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August 18, 2023

On Monday, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Will Host a Press Conference in the Media Room on the Ground Floor of Cordell Hull at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way at 11:00 AM. to Discuss Lawmakers’ Inaction Ahead of Special Session

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  The Tennessee chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement in response to Tennessee lawmakers introducing a bill to arm teachers ahead of the special session. Following Students Demand Action and Moms Demand Action volunteers mobilizing in Nashville, Memphis, and across the entire nation, to demand lifesaving action on gun safety on policies like an Extreme Risk law, Governor Lee called a special session on public safety. However, the framework Gov. Lee released ahead of the special session did not include language to allow for an effective Extreme Risk law, and lawmakers in the majority have yet to introduce any bills that would meaningfully reduce gun violence. Instead, bill HB7043 was introduced that would put more guns in schools by substantially broadening the ability of teachers and even visitors to carry guns in schools.

“If more guns in more places made us safer, we’d be safe already – but we’re not. I know my classmates and I wouldn’t feel safer knowing our teachers are carrying deadly weapons in our classrooms,” said Ibitihal Cheko, a volunteer with Students Demand Action and a High School Junior in Nashville. “There’s simply no evidence that arming teachers makes our schools safer. This is not the solution. In fact, it’s cruel and irresponsible to respond to our cries for change with a bill that will only endanger us more.”

Research shows that arming teachers introduces new risks of gun violence in schools and puts the lives of students, teachers, and law enforcement in danger – states with the weakest gun laws tend to have higher rates of gun violence than states with stronger gun laws. Tennessee currently has the 12th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States and some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Guns are the number one killer of children and teens in the U.S. and in Tennessee.

To speak with a Tennessee Moms Demand Action volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected].

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]