NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) said that despite the tensions during the Tennessee General Assembly’s special session, he is glad some of the bills to bolster public safety passed but wishes others could have been approved.
One of the bills that did not make it through was legislation concerning threats of mass violence.
“That would have had that person brought in and analyzed and looked at,” Faison, the GOP caucus chairman, said. “We believe in the Second Amendment. Sure, wouldn’t have taken their guns immediately, but we would have looked at them, had them looked at coming from a court of law to see do they need help, if they need help, let’s give them to a place that can help them.”
Faison was pleased to see lawmakers pass a bill requiring the reporting of timely records from courts to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). He said hundreds of thousands of background checks were missed over the past two years.
“So when a person goes to do a background check, if they are a potentially violent felon, they should not be able to go and buy a gun,” Faison said.
He is also pleased with the $30 million in funding for school safety grants for colleges and universities.
“Such as ETSU, which is right down the street, that they’ll have the ability to access grants to make sure ETSU is safer,” Faison said.
Faison called what happened on the House floor Tuesday between Speaker Cameron Sexton and Rep. Justin Pearson, a member of the so-called Tennessee Three, “egregious.”
“When you’re already full of emotions and you’re at a 10 and then all of a sudden somebody’s right up in your face, right up in your personal space,” Faison said. “That was unfortunate for them.”
Faison said rules need to be followed on the House floor. He said all legislators sometimes experience not getting what they want. However, he said it’s not an excuse to act out.
The East Tennessee lawmaker also said legislators need to remember that other lawmakers like him represent other people in the state who might have differing opinions.
“Just because some Nashville legislators or Memphis legislators believe that certain things or certain laws should be passed, that doesn’t mean that the people of my district feel that way.”
Faison said he hopes the Senate will work with the House to pass more public safety bills when the legislature convenes in January.