Tennessee’s Barrett writes to Lee opposing red flag laws



(The Center Square) – Tennessee state Rep. Jody Barrett wrote Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday in opposition to Lee calling a special session on public safety that could include discussion of red flag laws in the state of Tennessee.

Barrett joins a group of lawmakers who have opposed the idea since Lee announced he would be calling a special session starting on Aug. 21, though details of the specifics on the special session have not been released.

Barrett told Lee in his letter that he has received formal resolutions from the Republican parties in Hickman, Lewis and Dickson counties – the three he represents – opposing Lee’s red flag law proposal and any red flag law.

“They have been joined by over 20 other GOP chapters across the state in firmly opposing what you are trying to do,” Barrett wrote. “That number continues to grow week by week. What is abundantly clear is that the vast majority of law-abiding, God-fearing Tennesseans DO NOT APPROVE of any variation of red flag law, no matter what misleading moniker or marketing campaign that you might try to disguise it with.”

Barrett wrote that some lawmakers are trying to take advantage of a shooting that left seven dead at Nashville’s Covenant School to promote their political ideology.

A Vanderbilt poll showed that 72% of Tennessee voters approve of Lee’s proposed law and 82% approve of an executive order he placed to strengthen background checks before gun purchases.

Barrett said he was writing only on his own behalf and didn’t seek other lawmakers to join him in the letter.

“I submit that your special session will only serve to give this cadre of charlatans a stage and an audience to continue their exploitation of our State,” Barrett wrote. “Make no mistake these folks do not care about Tennessee or dead children.

“They care only about media coverage and winning political rights by whatever means necessary.”

The Center Square recently reported House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Minority Leader Karen Camper voted to allow the introduction of a red flag law by Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville, late in session in the House Delayed Bills Committee but House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, voted against the introduction and it was thus not allowed

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