No Gun Control Laws Passed in TN Special Session: Gov. Bill Lee’s Push After Shooting at Christian School Rejected

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 9: Second Amendment activist Joseph Gabriele of Littleton, Colorado gathers with other activists in support of gun ownership on January 9, 2013 at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado. Lawmakers are calling for tougher gun legislation after recent mass shootings at an Aurora, Colorado movie …
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The Tennessee special session called by Gov. Bill Lee (R) for the purpose of securing gun control has ended with no gun control laws adopted by the state’s legislature.

Gov. Lee called for the special session in the spring after the regular legislative session ended without passing any gun control laws.

When the special session opened on August 21, 2023, Breitbart News noted that Lee and other gun control proponents were putting pressure on Republicans in the state legislature in hopes of securing a red flag law, among other controls.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks with reporters Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

But the special session ended August 29, 2023, with no new gun controls adopted.

Three bills passed in the session, one of which gives a tax break to gun owners who buy a safe for storage and another that deals with human trafficking.

The Tennessee Firearms Association noted that the third bill made a change to a pre-existing gun law, winnowing the window of time from 30 days to 72 hours that “courts and court clerks are required to report certain information regarding individuals to the TBI for inclusion in the background check databases.”

Breitbart News noted that a red flag law would not have prevented the 27-year-old transgender individual from opening fire in the Christian school on March 27, 2023.

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 had a gun at one time, but they urged her to sell it and believed that she had done so. The parents were unaware that she had actually bought more guns, which she kept hidden from them.

On the morning of the attack 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, law enforcement made clear the transgender shooter was not on their radar. In short, there was nothing to trigger the confiscatory aspect of a red flag law.

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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