WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday met with three Tennessee state Democratic lawmakers, two of whom have been expelled by the Republican-controlled state Home after they protested for gun security measures following a mass faculty taking pictures.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with Tennessee state Reps. Justin Jones of Nashville, Justin Pearson of Memphis and Gloria Johnson of Knoxville to debate efforts to ban assault weapons, the firearm that’s sometimes utilized in mass shootings, in accordance with the White Home.
“You’re standing up for our youngsters, you’re standing up for our communities,” Biden instructed the Tennessee lawmakers originally of the Oval Workplace assembly, in accordance with a pool report.
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“What the Republican legislature did was surprising, it was undemocratic,” Biden added.
“We handed probably the most important gun legal guidelines” in many years, Biden stated, “however there’s extra to do.” Biden in June 2022 signed into legislation bipartisan laws that was probably the most complete federal gun security laws in almost 30 years,
Johnson stated their push for gun security reform “actually lit a hearth in Tennessee,” pointing to the truth that their governor, who’s supportive of the NRA, is asking a particular session to handle gun violence.
Jones stated that they talked with Biden about how their state can cleared the path in exhibiting tips on how to go gun reform legal guidelines in pink states.
“Tennessee goes to arrange a mannequin for the nation about reworking this dialog round weapons,” Jones stated. “If we will do it within the South (go gun reform), the South goes to set the tone for the remainder of the nation.”
Johnson stated they talked with Biden about pink flag legal guidelines, bans of assault weapons and gun security measures resembling state legal guidelines to require weapons be saved in safes. Purple flag legal guidelines typically permit the courts to briefly take away a firearm from a person who’s a menace to themselves or others, amongst different provisions.
The varsity taking pictures left six folks, together with three kids, lifeless on March 27 on the Covenant College, a non-public Ok-12 Christian faculty in Nashville.
The three Democratic lawmakers days later took over the Home ground podium to protest legislative inaction on gun security laws.
There have been 173 mass shootings this 12 months alone, in accordance with information from the Gun Violence Archive.
State Home Republicans stated these Democrats violated the Home ground guidelines on correct decorum for his or her 40-minute protest.
Republican state lawmakers held votes to expel all three, however solely Jones and Pearson, two younger Black Democratic state lawmakers, have been expelled. Johnson, who’s white, prevented expulsion by Republicans by one vote.
“You can’t expel hope and you’ll’t expel a motion,” Pearson stated exterior the White Home.
Each expelled Democrats have been rapidly reinstated, however the choice to take away them, and to carry fast hearings on their expulsion, introduced nationwide consideration to Tennessee state politics.
Harris additionally visited Nashville in early April to fulfill with the three lawmakers, together with numerous civil rights leaders.
Tennessee Republican Gov. Invoice Lee is asking for a particular session of the legislature pertaining to gun reform after the legislature adjourned with out passing any measures regarding gun security following the Covenant College taking pictures.
“There’s broad settlement that harmful, unstable people who intend to hurt themselves and others shouldn’t have entry to weapons. We additionally share a robust dedication to preserving Second Modification rights, making certain due course of and addressing the center of the issue with strengthened psychological well being assets,” Lee stated in an announcement.