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Tennessee Gov. Lee Calls for Legislation to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Dangerous People; Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond

April 11, 2023

Gov. Lee Announced Today His Plans to Address Gun Violence, Including Calling On Lawmakers To Pass An ‘Order Of Protection Law,’ Saying ‘He Believes People Who Are A Danger To Themselves Or To Others Should Not Have Access To Weapons’

In a Press Conference Last Week, Everytown President John Feinblatt, Nashville Mayor John Cooper, and Leaders with Students Demand Action Called on Tennessee Lawmakers to Pass an Extreme Risk Law, Which Might have Prevented the Shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville

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 Governor Bill Lee’s announcement calling for an ‘order of protection law’ to keep guns away from dangerous individuals. On Monday March 27, three children and three adults were shot and killed at The Covenant School in Nashville Tennessee by a shooter who showed dangerous warning signs. In the weeks since the shooting, Everytown along with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, have been calling on Tennessee leaders to reject efforts to weaken the state’s gun laws, and instead, come to the table to find common ground on policies like an Extreme Risk law, which might have prevented the shooting. 

“When young people speak out and show up, we’re impossible to ignore,” said Bobbi Sloan, a volunteer with Students Demand Action and a student at Vanderbilt University. “We’re optimistic about Governor Lee’s announcement, but we’re not going to let off the gas pedal. It’s long past time Tennessee lawmakers took action to keep us safe, and we’re hopeful that today’s call to action will give legislators the push they need to take life-saving action.”

“These past two weeks have been a testament to the strength of our advocacy,” said Leeann Hewlett, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “For our teachers, children, family, and friends, this is an important first step on a long journey to protect Tennesseans against reckless acts of gun violence. This is not when we stop, but when we get louder. We know change is possible and will continue to make legislators hear our voices until we can feel safe in our communities.” 

In the wake of the shooting at The Covenant School, Students Demand Action volunteers mobilized in Nashville, Memphis, and across the entire nation to demand lifesaving action on gun safety. Last Wednesday, students walked out of more than 300 schools across 40 different states to send a clear message to lawmakers: young people are fed up with living in fear of gun violence, and legislators at every level must take action to keep communities safe. In a press conference last week, Everytown president John Feinblatt, Nashville Mayor John Cooper, former U.S. Congresswoman and Orlando Chief of Police Val Demings, and leaders with Students Demand Action called on Tennessee lawmakers to pass an Extreme Risk law, which might have prevented the shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville.
Tennessee currently has the 12th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States and some of the weakest gun laws in the country. An Extreme Risk law may have prevented last week’s shooting and saved six lives. Nineteen states — including Indiana and Florida — have already passed an Extreme Risk law. Guns are the number one killer of American youth, and our refusal to accept that this is the best we get has allowed us to make an effective step towards progress. We look forward to continued action from lawmakers to stop the shooting before it starts.

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