“What we found out in most active shooter things is that they’re young adults,” Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) said. “Their frontal lobes are not fully developed.”
Williams filed a new bill ahead of regular session – the first new one that could make serious changes (there were two other bills filed to make Cleveland, Tennessee, the hot slaw capital of the state and another to designate hot slaw as the official state food).
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In essence, it would make it so anyone who has committed a felony or a misdemeanor of cruelty toward animals as a juvenile would be prohibited ‘from purchasing or possessing a firearm until the juvenile reaches twenty-five (25) years of age.’
“My thought was, is how can we delay – not prevent them from being able to buy a weapon in the future – but how can we delay that so there’s actually a penalty to them for committing those acts and so they can reestablish themselves?” Williams said.
The bill will draw Democratic support, at least as it’s currently written.
“A lot of bills get filed that look great,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said. “But they tend to get amended or take on other forms and used as more of a caption bill.”
“We don’t have a monopoly on good ideas,” Clemmons said. “We’ll look at anything that anybody proposes and vote for something if it’s a good policy that’s going to better protect our children and our families.”
With Republicans typically aiming not to restrict firearm purchases, it was interesting to see Williams file the bill.
“It’s something we can all coalesce around that I think is good for our youth in Tennessee and also a real deterrent,” he said.
The fact that the bill comes from a Republican gives it a much better chance for survival.