MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis City Council says if state lawmakers don’t take action to reduce gun violence then they’ll take matters into their hands, drafting their own laws.
Just days after the lockdown on Highland Street and the shooting inside Fox 13, the Memphis City Council is pushing to consider gun control legislation even if it goes against state gun laws.
“First of all, the whole thing is horrific and sad, and unfortunately, it’s not just this thing,” Chase Carlisle, Memphis City Councilman said. “It’s been a series in Memphis, in Tennessee, and around the nation that has been happening far too often.”
Council members Chase Carlisle and Dr. Jeff Warren, who appeared on WREG’s Live at 9, say protecting the health and safety of citizens could come in the form of the council passing its own gun ordinances.
“Too long, too many and we just have to do something to protect the health and safety of our citizens,” Warren said.
The proposed ordinances could possibly ban assault weapons and permitless carry in Memphis.
“You should have the right to carry a firearm, but we want you to do so responsibly, and no one has really defined what responsible gun ownership really is,” Carlisle said.
“And if we’re not being protected by our state then we have to step up and do what we need to do and I assume when we do pass this, we’ll be in court,” Warren said.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has called for a special session of the legislature to tackle gun safety in the state, but an exact date hasn’t been set.
This week while in the Memphis area, the governor responded to demands for changes in gun laws. “I think the ideal solution is to find a way to do what most people think is important, which is make sure that people that are a threat to themselves or others because of a mental crisis, that people that are a threat don’t have access to weapons,” Lee said.
The gun debate is heating up as council members prepare to draft their own gun laws if the General Assembly doesn’t take action.
“People should realize it’s not just us, we’ve got our governor trying to help us with this,” Warren said. “I think what we’re trying to do is get some type of reasonable gun control, not gun annihilation. We’re never going to do that in our country, but we can have some type of control registration.”
“It’s about continuing the conversation and continuing to bring awareness to the issue that we’re not just sitting idly by even if it’s an uphill battle,” Carlisle said.
Governor Bill Lee has said that a special legislative session on gun safety will possibly take place sometime after July 4.