Tennessee to hold special legislative session on public safety

Gov. Bill Lee says he will have the legislature convene on August 21.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee
Posted at 5:39 PM, May 09, 2023

Tennessee's Republican Gov. Bill Lee has called for a special legislative session that's expected to touch on public safety and gun control, following a high-profile shooting in Nashville earlier this year.

The legislature will convene in Nashville on August 21, 2023.

"There is broad agreement that action is needed, and in the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to listen to Tennesseans and pursue thoughtful, practical measures that strengthen the safety of Tennesseans, preserve Second Amendment rights, prioritize due process protections, support law enforcement and address mental health," Gov. Lee said in a statement.

Gov. Lee plans to meet with residents, lawmakers and other stakeholders before the session to "discuss practical solutions."

Rep. Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, and expelled Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville.

'Tennessee Three' set to meet with President Biden to talk gun control

President Biden said there’s nothing more he can do, and up to Congress to act on gun control. However, the lawmakers say there might be other ways.


The planned session comes after a mass shooting at a Nashville school in March. A former student broke into The Covenant School in Nashville, where they shot and killed six people, including three students.

At the time, some lawmakers in Tennessee signaled they did not see a justification to change gun laws.

"Congressmen and senators are rushing to propose different things. And the reality is, you're not going to outlaw evil," Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett told Scripps News in an interview following the shooting.

In April, a protests against gun violence on the Tennessee House floor led to the expulsion of two Democratic lawmakers, Nashville Rep. Justin Jones and Memphis Rep. Justin Pearson. Both were later reappointed to their seats.