TN GOP Under Pressure from Gov. Bill Lee, Other Gun Control Advocates

Gov. Bill Lee
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

Republicans in the Tennessee legislature are under pressure from Gov. Bill Lee (R) and other gun control advocates as a special legislative session for gun control convenes Monday.

On April 23, 2023, Breitbart News reported a frustrated Gov. Lee called a special session after the regular legislative session ended without any votes on new gun control, particularly on a red flag law.

Lee emerged from the March 27, 2023, attack on the Nashville Christian school supporting red flag legislation. However, the attack on the Christian school actually demonstrated the futility of a red flag law.

In other words, although Tennessee does not have a red flag law, it would not have mattered if they did.

One reason it would not have mattered is because the transgender shooter’s parents did not even know she possessed guns. Breitbart News reported that her parents knew she had one gun, once upon a time, but they urged her to sell it and believed that she did. The parents were unaware that she had actually bought more guns, which she kept hidden from them.

On the morning the attack was to occur the shooter left her home with a red bag, which the mother now surmises contained firearms. But at the time, the mother was unaware. Not knowing that their daughter owned guns, the parents would have had no reason to call and trigger a confiscatory red flag protocol.

Moreover, the transgender shooter had no criminal record–she bought her guns legally–and was not on police radar.

The Daily Beast noted Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) chief John Drake indicated MNPD would have taken away the shooter’s guns prior to the attack occurring, but “as it stands, [they] had absolutely no idea who…[she] was.”

But Gov. Lee is pressuring Republican legislators to adopt a red flag law in the special session and FOX17 pointed out that a Nashville “police reform” and advocacy group, ‘Keeping Every Vision Alive’, is pressuring the GOP lawmakers as well.

Breitbart News noted that singers Sheryl Crow and Amy Grant met with Gov. Lee in the Spring, pressing for more gun control.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at



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