Monday, August 21, 2023

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee Advances Special Session Focused on Red Flag Laws and Gun Control Measures



Despite widespread opposition, Tennessee's Governor Bill Lee has convened a Special Session, primarily aimed at pushing his Red Flag laws and other gun control measures. 

Earlier this year, Governor Lee introduced what he termed a "temporary mental health order of protection," which critics argue is simply a rebranded Red Flag law. His intention to pass such legislation is highlighted by its mention in his official proclamation for the Special Session.

As of August 21, 2023, lawmakers have submitted a slew of legislative items including 102 House Bills, 14 Senate Bills, and various resolutions. The titles of many of these proposals are vague, allowing for potential last-minute changes to their content. This keeps the possibility of a Red Flag law alive, especially since it has been a top priority for Governor Lee and several other lawmakers since April 2023.

The submitted bills also cover a range of other issues such as secure storage requirements, expanded categories of people prohibited from owning firearms, and more. The vagueness of these proposals means they could be amended to enact a variety of measures, possibly infringing upon 2nd Amendment rights.

Here's what supporters of the 2nd Amendment can do:

1) Instead of visiting the legislature this week, engage with your individual lawmakers through phone calls and emails. Insist that the Special Session should produce no results and that they should vote to adjourn.

2) Don't be placated by lawmakers' assurances that no Red Flag laws or other gun control measures will emerge from this Special Session. The only acceptable response should be a categorical rejection of any future gun control measures.

3) Call on lawmakers to revisit the mandate of the Supreme Court's decision in the Bruen case in January. Insist that they repeal any laws or regulations that didn't exist in the majority of states when the 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791.

4) Demand that your lawmakers motion to adjourn the Special Session immediately, especially in light of constitutional questions surrounding the Governor’s call for such a session.

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