MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis leaders are looking to address gun violence by proposing new laws, which would restrict access to certain weapons.
Councilman JB Smiley is sponsoring an ordinance that would ban permitless carry, assault rifles, and the ability to store weapons in your vehicle unless it’s in a lockbox.
“There’s a proliferation of firearms in the city and if the state elected officials are derelict in their duty, refusing to take care of our people, on the local level, we have an obligation to make sure that people are safe in their homes and their communities and that’s what this ordinance is about,” Smiley said.
Currently, Tennessee state law prevents such ordinances from being able to take effect, which could cause the council to face litigation.
“I acknowledge they’re going to be some legal questions, ultimately, it may end up being more symbolic than anything else but I give them a lot of credit for trying,” Steve Mulroy, Shelby County District Attorney said.
Despite the opposition that law could face, Mulroy says it’s a step in the right direction. “We absolutely do need to repeal permitless carry,” Mulroy said. “We need a ban on assault rifles, we need red flag laws, we need a lot of those things, so I’m with them in spirit.”
The ordinance will be brought to the council Tuesday, with the hope that this issue can be decided by voters in the upcoming election.
“We’re passing this ordinance understanding that we will be sued by the state of Tennessee,” Smiley said. “But we will stand our ground and make sure that people in the city of Memphis will be safe.”
The full referendum is listed below: