(Memphis) In just a couple of weeks, Tennessee lawmakers will debate over a proposed bill directly impacting minors and guns.
Devail Lewis’ story is all too familiar in Memphis. A teenager shot and killed by another teen. Police say a 17-year-old gunned down the young father outside a community center in September.
“Here in Memphis, we have a problem with juveniles committing violent crimes. They are using weapons to commit crimes against citizens and themselves.,” said State Representative Antonio Parkinson.
He believes to tackle the problem, you have to go after crooks illegally supplying guns to minors.
“Right now in the state of Tennessee, it’s only a misdemeanor for anyone to supply a minor with a weapon,” advised Parkinson.
Parkinson calls that a slap on the wrist and wants to make it a felony.
“That person who supplies the weapon to the juvenile, will also become an accomplice to the crime as well,” said Parkinson.
If passed, the proposed law would not apply if a child were at a target range practice or hunting with a licensed adult. In the last legislative session, Parkinson tried to push the bill through, but it didn’t pass because it would cost too much money to enact the proposed law. While the price could be an issue again, Parkinson hopes a string of high-profile shootings across the country make lawmakers realize lives are the priority, not money.
“Just think about the victims, if you had a child, or became a victim, you would want something done,” said Parkinson.