Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order on Tuesday that strengthens gun background checks and is asking for lawmakers to put their differences aside and pass an order of protection law.
Lee’s Executive Order ensures that the existing background check process provides Tennessee law enforcement with up-to-date information and more closely guarantees the safe, lawful purchase of firearms.
Lee’s call for gun reform in the wake of the March 27 mass shooter who broke into The Covenant School and murdered six Tennesseans, including three nine-year-olds.
“I believe that this will protect victims and that it will hold dangerous people accountable and away from firearms and that it will preserve constitutional rights at the same time.”
Lee said that the specifics of the order of protection are yet to be determined and that cooperation between the lawmakers will be required.
“We should work to set aside our differences and accomplish something that Tennesseans want,” he said. “It’s going to require coming together and finding what we agree on together and moving forward on those things.
Senate minority Leader Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, issued a statement urging the Republican super-majority to take up Gov. Bill Lee’s call for gun reform.
“In this moment, our families deserve action to stop future gun violence. The governor is right to make this a priority before the session ends.
“Our caucus announced last week five common sense reforms to reduce gun violence, including expanded background checks and an extreme risk protection order law. When done right, these are smart and effective solutions to keep kids and families safe.
“We are ready to work with the governor and we urge our Republican colleagues in the legislature to move quickly to put gun reform legislation on his desk.”
Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in America.
“I’m encouraged by Gov. Lee’s openness to put solutions on the table, and act quickly to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “We’re eager to work with him and legislators to design new laws that keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them and make residents safer.”
Lee’s executive order is on top of a $200 million proposal by Lee to increase security in schools.