NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One group is keeping a close eye on the upcoming special session on guns. The Tennessee Firearms Association is doing what it can to stop any form of gun control.
Days before the special session, the PAC for the Tennessee Firearms Association reached for its advertising ammunition. The ad was broadcast on Tennessee radio stations and streamed online is an assault on Governor Bill Lee’s special session.
“He has no authority to enact legislation. He’s the administrative branch of government,” said John Harris, executive director, TFA. “He’s throwing a political tantrum essentially.”
Harris said the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Bruen decision last summer set a new precedent when it comes to gun control.
“The court said that the burden is on the government that proposes the legislation, the gun-control package (here, Governor Lee) to demonstrate that a regulation like this type existed in 1791 when the second amendment was adopted,” said Harris. “Bruen has to be taken seriously.”
Harris claims that under Bruen, gun control reforms, such as requiring safe storage in your vehicle, simply won’t hold up in court. T.F.A. would rather see gun-free zones taken away.
“If you go to some hospitals, some movie theatres, some public buildings, there’s a long list of these gun-free zones, where if we would just get rid of them, the gun is better off in control of the person who is lawfully able to carry it, than left unattended in a vehicle.”
The special session could also produce red-flag laws where guns are taken away from those deemed mentally ill. But T.F.A. points to research, which shows the public support for red flag laws drop 21% when voters are told these laws take the gun away, but leave the person free.
“Getting the dangerous person away from their victims, as opposed from away from their firearms, is a more common sense solution than just going out and taking the guns, but still allowing them to have access to still another gun, to pick up a machete, or take a knife, or just drive a car through a crowd.”
If any form of gun-control squeaks out of Lee’s special session, T.F.A. says they’ll be ready.
“If they were to pass red-flag, we will file lawsuits as soon as we can get them to the court.”
Proposals for tougher gun control have brought strong opinions and polarizing viewpoints from state lawmakers. News 2 explores what the people of Tennessee think in a special Voices of Tennessee report.