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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Friday, Governor Bill Lee made his first public appearance since the mass shooting in a Collierville, TN Kroger where a gunman shot 15 people.

“It’s tragic. Our hearts go out to, and our prayers go out to, the victims and the families,” said Lee.

The Tennessee governor also addressed questions on whether the state’s open-carry law played a factor in what Collierville officials have called the “most horrific event” in the town’s history.

“[The] constitutional carry bill applies to law-abiding citizens,” said Lee. “What happened yesterday was criminal activity, violent criminal gun activity, and those are separate issues.”

Governor Lee signed the ‘permitless carry’ bill into law back in April. It went into effect on July 1.

The law allows any Tennessean older than 21 to carry open or concealed handguns without a permit.

“The constitutional carry law that was passed strengthens penalties for gun criminals, and we need to continue to find ways to attack violence and violent crimes, and we will keep doing that,” said Lee.