“I think we just have to listen to Tennesseans at all levels,” Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) said when asked if he thought the polls were accurate. “That’s part of what we have to do going forward is, what do the people of this state believe is most important.”
The TFA is arguably the most influential gun rights lobbying group in the state outside of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“Take a look at the Vanderbilt poll. I think that was very reflective,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said. “Eighty-two percent of Tennesseans support strengthening background checks, and we have a lot of work to do on that issue.”
Republicans have promised no gun restrictions will get through as the legislature is currently constructed. Instead, you might actually see fewer limitations as a concept to allow anyone with an enhanced carry permit to bring a handgun to schools will return after it failed in special session.
“Those kinds of individuals can add a level of security that we don’t have right now,” Rep. Chris Todd (R-Madison County), the bill’s sponsor, said. “Even if you have an SRO or a private security officer, for example, it’s just that much more enhanced.”
Clemmons punched back on that.
“No one single political party has a monopoly on good ideas, but unfortunately this GOP supermajority seems to have a monopoly on bad ideas,” he said. “That idea of putting more firearms in our public schools is simply a bad idea.”
Immediately following the special session, Lee said he felt it was a success, despite the Senate and House waging a cold war and very little legislation actually passing.
He doubled down on that Wednesday.
“Any time that we elevate a conversation around public safety, our state’s better off,” Lee said.