State House Erupts Into Chaos After Controversial Bill Passed

( – Democrats and Republicans fundamentally disagree on gun laws. The left believes more regulation will lead to fewer gun deaths. They point to other countries, like Australia, as examples of what can happen when there are strict regulations in place.

Republicans dismiss those claims as unrealistic and unconstitutional. Furthermore, they believe gun-free zones, like schools, actually make people less safe. That’s why Tennessee’s House just passed legislation expanding gun laws.

Guns In Schools

On April 23, legislators in Tennessee passed a bill to allow teachers and school staff to carry concealed handguns on school grounds. Lawmakers moved to pass the legislation after a school shooter killed three students and three others at a private Christian school in Nashville last year.

The shooter was a former student who claimed to be transgender and blamed the religious school for some of their problems. The massacre prompted lawmakers to take steps to prevent similar murders in the future.

According to the text of the bill, employees would need to take the following steps first:

  • Obtain an enhanced carry permit.
  • Participate in 40 hours of Peace Officer’s Standards and Training commission-approved training and 40 hours of training in school policing every year, and they would be required to pay for it themselves.
  • Receive written permission from the chief of their law enforcement agency, the superintendent, and the school principal.
  • Undergo a thorough background check.
  • Submit to a psychological exam conducted by a licensed healthcare professional in Tennessee.

Democratic State Senator Raumesh Akbari criticized colleagues by pointing out that Tennessee teachers aren’t allowed to have flags supporting the LGBTQ community in their classrooms, but they’ll be allowed to carry a gun.

In debates earlier this month, State Senator London Lamar (D) held her baby in her arms on the Senate floor and said it was hard for her to keep her emotions in check when she knew they were debating over a bill that would put her child’s life at risk.

Protests Erupt

Protesters filled the House gallery in the Tennessee Capitol during the vote. They carried signs that read “KEEP GUNS OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS” and “IT IS THE GUNS.”

When the bill passed, demonstrators erupted with chants of “Blood on your hands.”

A major point of contention for those who don’t support the bill is that teachers and school officials won’t be required to notify parents if someone is carrying a gun at school. Republicans argued the weapons would not be visible, and they also would not be allowed in gyms, stadiums, or auditoriums when a school-sponsored event was taking place.

The bill now goes to Republican Governor Bill Lee’s desk for his signature.

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