NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) was clear when asked about Gov. Bill Lee’s (R-Tennessee) emergency relief protection order plan, as it currently reads.
“The House, we’re not going to pass anything that looks like a red flag law,” Sexton said. “So, that’s off the table.”
With special session less than two months away, Sexton and Lee visited Clarkrange, Tennessee, to kick off Lee’s TDOT tour celebrating the governor’s massive transportation package.
Lee has maintained since the end of session in April, after the Covenant School shooting, that his plan is the way forward – at least, until Thursday.
“We’ve put that language out, and as I said, it’s a framework. I expect the General Assembly to look at it and determine if there are adjustments they want to make to that,” Lee said. “We’ll actually probably be putting out some other proposals, as well.”
Though he said his office hasn’t fleshed those out yet.
Lee admitted, ultimately, the decision is not his. “We’ve made it really clear that we’ve proposed this piece of legislation and the General Assembly will analyze that—like I’ve said before, they make the decision about what law comes out of session.”
But Sexton says no matter what Lee calls the initial ERPO plan, it isn’t passing with its current wording.
“Well, I don’t know if it’s off the table. You can amend whatever you want to amend. You can get into committee, take a look at it, you can approve it, you can have meetings with stakeholders,” Sexton said. “I just know, the General Assembly, especially the House, if it’s a red flag law, it’s not going to pass.”
With the top member of Tennessee’s House pushing against him, Lee is running out of avenues to weave his plan through.
“I think there are a lot of ideas,” Lee said. “There are a lot of beliefs that we should have protection for the people of our state, that we should protect the Second Amendment, that there are ways to protect public safety.”
That leaves the pair at an impasse, with Tennesseans hanging in the balance. Though they both felt confident something would get done.