MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County district attorney is weighing in as calls for changes in gun laws in Tennessee have been the focus at the state capitol this week while a special session with the general assembly is underway.
Drama unfolded in Nashville Tuesday during day two of the special session. Several groups as well as reportedly some Covenant School parents were kicked out of the committee meeting.
This comes as public safety and mental health are set to be discussed during the session following the Covenant School shooting in March, where six people died, including three children.
But many republicans are blocking gun restrictions despite polls and public feedback showing many voters want them.
Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy says he initially had “cautious optimism” about the session.
“What I expected and what seems to be happening are two different things,” Mulroy said. “Because I thought after years of inaction, I thought finally the state legislation would do something about sensible gun regulation and I’m disappointed now that I’ve seen the Governor’s call that it includes almost everything but that.”
He was open in saying he’s disappointed and gave a list of reforms he believes are sensible and could make a difference in Shelby County, such as requiring safe storage of guns in cars.
“Because we know that’s what’s caused the skyrocketing rate of car break-ins and there should be actual penalties attached for not doing it,” Mulroy said.
He also said it doesn’t seem to be asking too much to temporarily confiscate guns in some cases.
“It does not seem to me to be asking too much to say that if law enforcement has credible evidence that somebody is a danger either because it’s a mental health episode or domestic violence issue that’s getting out of hand, that they ought to be able to, with the assistance of a judge be able to take those weapons until the situation can be resolved.”
He also said permitless carry needs to be re-examined and it’s “catastrophically dangerous” for places like Memphis.
“At a minimum, could we have a carve out for local control on this? And allow certain jurisdictions to opt out?” he asked.
Mulroy did note some things he’s hopeful about like discussions about blended sentencing for juveniles.