Washington DC — Gun violence prevention organizations Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety, GIFFORDS, and March for Our Lives condemned the Republican-led Tennessee legislature for failing to pass meaningful gun safety legislation during the state’s special session. In the aftermath of the Covenant School shooting, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee called for a special session and urged lawmakers to pass an extreme risk protection order to keep guns away from individuals determined likely to commit violence. Republicans in the legislature, however, would rather play politics and silence any debate than focus on saving the lives of their constituents. The special session ended abruptly yesterday, and legislators failed to pass an extreme risk protection order law, but did pass legislation advancing education around safe firearm storage.
Kris Brown, President, Brady:
“It is an egregious disservice to all Tennesseeans and a dishonor to all the loved ones of those killed in the shooting at Covenant and the communities grappling with this epidemic that little action was taken to prevent gun violence. Every six hours, someone in the Volunteer State is killed with a gun, and this session had the potential to save lives. We will not forget the lawmakers that turned their backs on Tennessee – silencing Black leaders in the process – and neither will voters.”
Sean Holihan, State Legislative Director, GIFFORDS:
“This week Tennessee legislators had the opportunity to honor the victims of gun violence in the state with action, they even had the support of Republican Governor Bill Lee. Instead, they failed to act and pass an extreme risk protection order law. Republican legislative leaders who do the gun lobby’s bidding at the expense of Tennessee families will have to answer to the voters they let down. GIFFORDS is committed to working with advocates and survivors in Tennessee and won’t stop fighting for commonsense gun safety laws.”
Natalie Fall, Executive Director, March For Our Lives:
"The Tennessee legislature made a choice this week to continue letting children and Tennesseans suffer under the weight of gun violence. And we have to be clear about that—gun violence is a choice. Young people refuse to have that decision made for us and refuse to live in fear. The lack of action in the special session is an utter disgrace to the families who have lost so much and to young Tennesseans who were promised action. Young people will remember this, and we won't take it lying down."
Angela Ferell-Zabala, Executive Director, Moms Demand Action and senior vice president of movement building, Everytown for Gun Safety:
“If there’s one thing Tennessee lawmakers should take away from this special session, it’s that gun safety advocates, survivors, and students cannot be silenced – we will keep demanding action to solve our gun violence crisis. The Covenant School shooting last March remains a tragic reminder of what happens when politicians choose to weaken gun laws, rather than prioritize public safety. Once again, they have failed to pass meaningful gun safety legislation so we will continue fighting until the state’s lawmakers can find common ground and pass the common sense laws Tennesseans deserve.”
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.