WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Elected officials in several counties are trying to show support for gun restrictions proposed by the governor, but those efforts haven’t been successful so far.
On Thursday night, Eric Welch brought a resolution to the Williamson County Board of Education that would call on the Tennessee General Assembly to pass an extreme order of protection law to curb dangerous people’s access to firearms.
His resolution included language similar to the order of protection law Gov. Bill Lee called on the legislature to pass in the final days of session.
“We can’t fly the flag at half mast anymore because you’d never fly at it at full mast anymore,” Welch said. “We don’t want to have gun battles inside our schools. What we want is to stop that before it even happens.
However, some of Welch’s colleagues weren’t sure they should be weighing in on what the legislature should do at all.
“This is not our decision to make; this is a decision that the state is going to be voting on,” said one board member. “We cant look away from the fact that this is highly charged. This topic, it’s very divisive,” added another.
Toward the end of the meeting, Welch addressed his colleagues again and said he did not want to see this resolution ignored.
“If you are unwilling to take a stand on an issue because you think its highly divisive, respectfully, you’re in the wrong place,” he said.
In Rutherford County, Commissioner Hope Oliver introduced a resolution last month calling for the state to pass an order of protection law and a safe storage law.
Her proposal was met with silence and a fellow commissioner telling her she did not follow the proper protocol to bring a resolution like this to the body.
In Knox County, members of the junior commission wrote their own gun reform resolution that didn’t advance.
“You say you’re proud of us,” said one of the junior commissioners. “Why dont you let us be proud of you?”
However, there was little debate in Loudon County leading up to the unanimous passage of a resolution asking the General Assembly to make no changes to state gun laws.
“Guns by themselves don’t kill no more than a car does,” said one Loudon County resident.
Yet, Welch said that these county leaders are not representing the interests of most Tennesseans.
He pointed to a recent Vanderbilt poll showing three quarters of voters support order of protection laws.
It is unclear when the Williamson County Board of Education will take up the resolution, but Welch said it is likely not going to be at their next meeting.