NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The fight over stricter gun laws following the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, continued on Wednesday at the Tennessee State Capitol.

Anti-gun activists and a group of pastors gathered outside Gov. Bill Lee’s office to call for a special legislative session to repeal the permitless carry bill and ban semi-automatic assault weapons.

“I have treated many victims of gun violence. I’ve seen firsthand how bullets tear holes through bodies, severing arteries, punching holes through lungs and hearts, and shattering bones,” emergency room doctor Katrina Green said.

The group laid down stuffed animals, backpacks and flowers in remembrance of those gunned down at Robb Elementary School and a Tops grocery store.

“Even in our own state just this past weekend, six teenagers were shot in Chattanooga. Enough is enough,” the Rev. Dr. Kevin Riggs said.

The group is asking lawmakers to consider the five following proposals to bring peace:

  1. Repeal the permit-less carry law that went into effect July 1, 2021
  2. Pass a universal background check
  3. Call for a vote on SB1807 (Red Flag Law) that is still pending in the senate judiciary committee
  4. Ban semi-automatic assault weapons, armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines
  5. Form a committee that includes clergy from all faiths to work on common-sense gun control regulations

Nashville mom Shaundelle Brooks lost her son in the Antioch Waffle House mass shooting in 2018 and is calling on lawmakers to help protect other children in America.

“Where are the good guys with guns when our children are being gunned down? We are tired. We are angry,” Brooks said. “Wanting to keep our children safe is not us wanting to take your Second Amendment rights.”

Gov. Lee’s office sent News 2 a statement on Wednesday that said firearm restrictions are not being considered, but that school safety remains a top priority to the administration.

The governor was not present during the protest outside his office.

“School safety has been core to administration efforts since Gov. Lee took office, with efforts focused on crisis resources, confidential reporting and securing our schools. In 2019, the Governor established a School Resource Officer (SRO) Grant program placing 213 new SRO’s in TN public schools. Efforts also doubled the state’s annual investment in school safety funding, which many districts have leveraged to implement building security measures and expand violence intervention programming. School safety investments remain a top priority under the new TISA funding formula. 

Tennesseans are key partners in preventing violent crimes in schools. The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security developed a free app called SafeTN which is an anonymous reporting system for students, faculty, parents and the public to easily and confidentially report their concerns or tips to law enforcement. Mental health resources have been expanded through the Mental Health Trust Fund and The Tennessee Mental Health Crisis Hotline, which is available 24/7, 365 days a year: 855-274-7471.

In the coming weeks, we expect there to be significant follow-up regarding school security and how resources from the last three years, including additional federal funds, have been used for safety measures. Firearm restrictions are not being considered.”

Casey Black, Press Secretary for Governor Bill Lee