CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee), for the first time since his late Friday announcement that he’d call a special session on public safety, spoke to reporters in Chattanooga on what he’s expecting from it.
“What we plan to do is work together with the General Assembly to find a way that will in fact protect the broader public, that will protect the rights of Tennesseans,” he said. “We believe we can do that.”
The governor was in Chattanooga to sign the ‘Forever Homes Act’ to expedite adoptions and encourage them over abortions. He also talked about the need to enact some sort of emergency protection order for firearms.
“There needs to be a way to separate those that are a danger to others and to themselves from access to weapons and protect the rights — and particularly the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans,” Lee said.
But he will almost certainly run into a roadblock in the form of House Republicans, though Senate leadership seems a little more receptive to the idea.
“I don’t think it’s a non-starter,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) said to reporters about red flag laws following session Friday night. “I think that we’ll have to examine it and have it go through the requisite committees in both the Senate and the House.”
House Republican leadership put out a statement last week, saying the Caucus wouldn’t consider a red flag law at all.
“None of us are going to vote for red flag laws that are going to have an ex parte hearing, where the person who is the subject of that hearing isn’t going to find out about it until it’s already over,” House Majority Leader William Lamberth said.
WKRN asked the governor how he plans to get anything done related to gun safety, given that Lee’s proposal was essentially an emergency protection order.
“What’s important is that we look at what we all agree upon,” he said. “That’s the place to start.”