NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Four prominent mayors across Tennessee sent a letter to state leaders, urging them to enact some gun reform.
“How is it that mentally ill people can have unrestricted access to guns?” Metro-Nashville Mayor John Cooper said.
In the letter, Cooper, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris laid out a joint 10-part agenda on gun reform. They sent the letter to Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee), Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge).
It included asking for universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders, more commonly known as red-flag laws.
“There are proven ways that we can reduce this cost of life,” Kincannon said. “We can save lives by adopting these measures that are in this letter.”
As session speeds toward close, thousands have protested for more gun control.
Tuesday evening saw people come together to form a human chain along a three-mile route from Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to the Capitol. It featured several different groups, including from colleges in Nashville.
“Now, it’s time for us to stand together, in unity, and send our message,” Dr. Bill Johnson, Tennessee State Assistant Dean, said. “Our message is, ‘keep our people safe.’”
With just days remaining, Lee proposed gun changes in the form of a temporary mental health order of protection. But it’s not clear if it’s going to pass.
“We’re not going to get all the way there this year, in the next couple of weeks, but I feel like we can make some good steps forward,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth said last week. “We already have, with the school safety bill.”
Reporters also pointed out to Democrats that many Republican leaders have expressed hesitance over the possibility of false accusations leading to unnecessary firearm removal.
“Poppycock! It’s just stuff,” House Minority Leader Karen Camper said. “You see, they already have a made-up mind.”
Session is slated to end this week.