TN governor calls special session on ‘public safety.’ Democrats say it will do more harm than good.
The special session focused on public safety in Tennessee is officially happening. It’s set to begin Aug. 21 — as expected. Gov. Bill Lee is asking lawmakers to focus on preventing violent crime, but Democrats say it misses the mark.
As our nation faces evolving public safety threats, TN is taking action to protect communities & preserve constitutional rights. I thank the legislature for its continued partnership & look forward to achieving meaningful results for Tennesseans. https://t.co/4LMLPCI0y9— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) August 8, 2023
The governor issued the special session proclamation Tuesday afternoon. The press release gives the idea that it’ll focus mostly on protecting citizens from violent crime. But in the proclamation, it requests that lawmakers address mental health commitment, access to criminal and juvenile records, and blended sentencing for juveniles.
Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, says it leaves room for “very bad legislation.”
“He has opened up pandora’s box while completely failing to actually open the door to any substantive common sense gun safety legislation,” Clemmons said. “This is embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for him and the state of Tennessee.
The proclamation does include room for lawmakers to address school safety plans, threats of mass violence and safe storage of firearms.
Clemmons isn’t the only Democrat who is at odds with the call. Newly re-elected Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, tweeted that Lee is bowing to the extremist fringe of the Republican party.
Unsurprisingly, Governor Lee is bowing to the extremist fringe of his party in the parameters set forth for the special session.— Rep. Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) August 8, 2023
Tennesseans are demanding common sense gun laws to protect kids, not more juvenile incarceration to jail kids.
Republican cowardice is killing us!
Republicans have not commented on social media since the announcement. But prior to it, they voiced their disapproval of the governor’s earlier proposed emergency risk protection order.