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Tennessee’s Senate Speaker signals openness to red flag law

Senate Speaker Randy McNally told reporters Thursday that he would support red flag laws.
Senate Speaker Randy McNally told reporters Thursday that he would support red flag laws.

Tennessee Senate Speaker Randy McNally says he’d support removing guns from people who may pose a threat to themselves or the public, commonly known as red flag laws.

McNally’s support comes after the Covenant School shooting left six dead in Nashville, and could be a sign that some Republicans are reconsidering their opposition to new gun restrictions.

“In my opinion, I think states like Florida that have red flag laws — I think that that’s something that and there might be some disagreement here, but that’s something that I would support,” McNally told reporters last week.

Many Tennesseans are calling for stricter gun laws after the shooting at Covenant. But Republican lawmakers have so far resisted backing any new regulations, such as banning assault rifles and requiring permits to carry guns.

McNally said he’d want to ensure that any new measure would put in protections against making false reports to law enforcment.

The Oak Ridge Republican wrote a letter to Gov. Bill Lee suggesting changes that could prevent school shootings in the future. He gave four ideas to increase school security, including placing armed guards at public and private schools.

However, a red flag law was not among the measures McNally mentioned in his letter.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton was less committal, only stating that “everything” would be on the table for discussion following the shooting.

Blaise Gainey is a Political Reporter for WPLN News. He is the youngest of three siblings, husband and father of two. He previously held the State Government Reporter position for WFSU News in Tallahassee. He is from Apopka, Fla., and graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He previously worked for The Florida Channel and WTXL-TV. He is excited to move to another capital and report on state government. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports, outdoor activities and enjoying family time.
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