BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee stopped by the Tri-Cities Tuesday, a day after he officially called for a special session on public safety.

Lee spoke at Northeast State Community College’s commencement ceremony and held a media availability before leaving.

News Channel 11 asked Lee about the upcoming special session starting August 21, where he expects his order of protection proposal to be heard.

Lee’s proposal calls for a strengthening of Tennessee’s order of protection law. The proposal would allow an individual to have guns removed from their possession by court order if they prove to be a harm to themselves or others.

Lee made the proposal in the wake of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville, in which six people, including three children, were killed.

The legislation, which Lee pushed in the closing days of the General Assembly’s regular session, would allow for a judge to remove guns from an individual for a maximum of 180 days.

Any removal of weapons would be initiated by a police petition to the court. The individual involved would be allowed to appear in court to plead their case.

The proposal has been met with mixed reactions from fellow Republican lawmakers, including some in Northeast Tennessee, but Lee said he is confident the bill can be passed.

“We can do that,” Lee said. “It is hard work to find a way to do that, but it’s important work for the safety of Tennesseans, and I believe the General Assembly will work together throughout the Summer to find solutions and answers. That’s the goal of this session. I think we’ll probably get there.”

Some lawmakers have called the proposal a “red flag law,” which Lee continued to refute.

“I don’t like red flag laws,” Lee said. “I believe that we ought to find a way that actually provides the protection for both citizens and constitutional rights.”

Lee said it will take some deliberation by lawmakers to get the bill passed.

“Every member of the General Assembly certainly understands that it is important for us to find a way to provide for the safety of all Tennesseans,” Lee said. “The right strategy for that will be something that those members will have to decide upon.”

With school safety on the mind following the Covenant shooting, Lee said he will soon sign newly-passed legislation on school safety.

“We’ve talked about it at length, a school safety proposal that puts an SRO in every public school in the state,” Lee said. “It provides for a number of safety measures, funding for public and non-public schools to harden their schools.”

The August 21 start date for the session falls after the start date for many schools.

Lee said the date gives lawmakers time to consider the proposal.

“This is a complex issue,” Lee said. “You’re not going to solve it in a short period of time.”

He said the timing was discussed with lawmakers, and it will allow them to meet with stakeholders and constituents.