NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Retired Metro Nashville Police Sergeant Twana Chick is less than two years removed from being shot by her brother ten times.
“I was so fortunate to survive,” she said. “It’s a miracle I’m even standing here.”
This week, Chick has been up at the Capitol asking for gun reform.
“I don’t understand why reps are acting like it’s impossible,” she said.
As the session wanes, many elephants in the room remain for Chick and the lawmakers.
The biggest: there has been no meaningful gun reform legislation since the horrific Covenant shooting, even though Gov. Bill Lee (R—Tennessee) has pushed for it.
“Why won’t we pray for a little courage and little backbone in that House chamber to do something about it?” Rep. Bo Mitchell (D—Nashville) said.
Mitchell made a last-ditch, Hail Mary effort to pass a bill to ban assault weapons, or at least open the code to some gun reform, in the House Delayed Bills Committee Friday.
“I’m here to do something, and if you’re against this language, let’s get this bill out of here,” he said. “You come forward with your amendment, and let’s put something on there that you won’t think violates anyone’s Second Amendment rights.”
Mitchell made the plea to Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R—Crossville), House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R—Portland) and House Minority Leader Karen Camper (D—Memphis) – the three members who make up the committee.
Though Lamberth said he was in favor of getting something done, this wasn’t it.
“There’s never going to be a time that I’m going to vote for this particular bill. The conversations will, shall and must continue,” he said. “But this particular bill – no matter how long we’re here for – I’m never going to be a ‘yes’ on.”
Several Democrats have begun calling for a special session, though they’d prefer to pass in the waning hours Friday.
“Oh, I’ll definitely support a special session,” Mitchell said prior to the committee hearing. “But there are several bills still lingering out there that myself and my colleagues are going to try to pull up on the floor today and have a vote on it.”
Some Republicans have expressed openness to the idea.
“What I have encouraged the governor is to back up, look at this and gauge all the people that are important,” House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison (R—Cosby) said. “Talk to our mental health, talk to our administrators, law enforcement, get it together. Let’s look at having a special session soon.”
Though others weren’t as candid.
“I’ll be talking later, probably today or tomorrow, with Governor Lee after I’ve talked with all the members and kind of formulated what their thoughts are,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) said.
McNally, the Speaker of the Senate, said he’d talk to his members before throwing support anywhere.
“The timing of when it is, I think that’s a big question that our members have and also whether it would be better handled in regular session in the committee system and structure that we have,” he said.
For now, though, Chick will have to wait.
“There is a way to satisfy everyone’s needs,” she said. “It is absolutely possible.”