NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A desperate plea Tuesday to Governor Bill Lee from a mother who knows the consequences of gun violence all too well.
Akilah Dasilva was shot and killed in the 2018 Antioch Waffle House shooting. He was one of the four victims murdered.
His mother has been a vocal advocate for gun control ever since. Tuesday, she joined with faith-based leaders in Tennessee urging the Governor Bill Lee to pull his support for permitless carry of guns.
Several law enforcement agencies have come out against permitless carry, and now more than 500 faith-based leaders and families of gun violence victims are speaking up.
“Receiving a call that your child was shot and learning that he didn’t make it was devastating— looking at his cold, motionless body in a box was painful and traumatic,” Shaundelle Brooks, mother of Dasilva said.
The bill being pushed by Gov. Lee will allow anyone 21 and over to conceal or open carry guns.
Brooks said more guns without proper vetting is not the solution.
“Please, please listen to law enforcement, public safety experts, and families that are personally affected by such horrific traumatic act of violence and vote against this law,” Brooks emphasized.
Gov. Lee made his case for the bill during a discussion with the NRA all while news of Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado was breaking.
“The ability for a law abiding citizen to carry a fire arm without a permit is not connected to violent crimes committed with guns, and a lot of people seem to put that in the same bucket,” Gov. Lee said.
Members of the faith community are also speaking out.
“We want to be sure that people handle firearms safely, that they are trained.” Aaron Marble, Senior Pastor of Jefferson St. Missionary Baptist Church said. “That they go through the protective measures to ensure that we don’t have to see the type of mass shootings our nation has become accustomed to.”
The bill passed the Tennessee Senate 23 to 9 last week and heads to the House.
Governor Bill Lee’s office released a statement in response to the bill securing passage in the Senate.
“This Constitutional Carry legislation is a key priority in the Governor’s public safety agenda, and we are pleased with the progress in the legislature. Governor Lee believes we need a robust commitment to the 2nd Amendment.”