KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Lawmakers are reacting after Democrats walked out of the special legislative session Monday following a vote to silence State Rep. Justin Jones for the remainder of the day.

House Republicans passed a new rule a week prior that allows members to take a vote to silence a member if they cause disruptions or are ruled out of order. House Speaker Cameron Sexton ruled that Jones was out of order twice before the vote was taken.

State Rep. Sam McKenzie (D-Knoxville) said every representative in the minority and majority should have their voice be heard.

“Today is a sad day in the state of Tennessee and in history,” he said.

McKenzie also said the new house rule is distracting from the reason behind the special session.

“We’re just really sick and tired of the supermajority having a heavy hand and just doing things that are unnecessary. We’re trying to do the people’s business, we were brought down here, taken away from our homes, to deal with gun safety,” he said.

“Members know the House rules. If you continually violate decorum and the rules of the House, you are then choosing to accept the consequences of your actions,” State Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) said in a statement. “The house floor is a place for legislators to conduct the business of the people. Not a place for activists to push an agenda.”

State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) said Speaker Cameron Sexton’s actions were targeted.

“They also called another member, Gino Bulso, out of order two times, but nothing happened when they called Gino Bulso out of order two times,” Johnson said. “When they called Justin Jones out of order two times, they took a vote to silence him for the evening. Understand that Justin had circulated a letter to every member earlier in the day to call for a vote of no confidence in the speaker.”

She also echoed McKenzie’s concern that the chaos is getting in their way of making progress with gun reform.

“Once again, we ended the night with many of the Covenant moms in tears,” Johnson said. “They’re so tired of being thrown out the gallery, or not listened to, ignored and no one doing any of the things that they have begged these legislators form.”

In a press release following the conclusion of Monday’s session, House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) stated:

“We have been meeting with stakeholders across our state over the last several months on solutions that continue addressing Tennessee’s mental health crisis, juvenile crime, and public safety. We have many great ideas that will provide immediate relief to our citizens and their families and improve overall outcomes without infringing on constitutional rights, liberties, and freedoms. We hope the Senate will join us to address the mental health and juvenile crime crisis facing our state, communities, and families.”

The special session is expected to continue Tuesday at 11 a.m.