NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Monday, Governor Bill Lee took questions from reporters, and many of them were focused on what his office is doing about strengthening gun laws.
“Working really hard, have been since the day we started talking about this, worked on it over the weekend with teams and with legislators and with folks who recognize that now is the right time to get that accomplished,” said Lee.
Last week, Lee asked the legislature to create a law allowing judges to take guns away from dangerous people, but time is running out. The session could potentially end this week, and so far, no bill.
Reporters asked what the governor is doing to get it passed.
“The House, the Senate, Republicans, Democrats, the governor’s office, and that’s what’s happening, work together to get a piece of legislation that sets aside politics and that actually moves forward with what needs to be done for the people. That is the goal,” answered Lee.
At the same time, protests outside of the Tennessee Capitol drew hundreds together, as coffins sat outside.
“We do the memorial services,” said one religious leader. “We are advocating for responsible gun laws because we are tired of the sounds of sirens in our community. The scripture tells us, we must speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves, and the victims of gun violence no longer have a voice or a vote.”
Inside the Capitol, Rep. Justin Jones (D—Nashville) held a child casket as he tried to walk into the House Chamber. Just outside the entrance of the door, he was stopped and told he could not bring “props” onto the House floor.
The protest comes after six people were shot and killed at The Covenant School shooting. The shooting led to several calls for gun reform, as school parents urged for change.
“Those screams and sorrowing wales, I work at pediatric oncology for 13 years, I’ve held kids in my arms as they died way too many times. Nothing compared to the scream of that mom,” said one Covenant School parent.
Religious leaders call it a prayer for change, by bringing the reality of gun violence straight to the capitol.