NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In a single year, 85 children in Tennessee died by gunfire. A Republican leader filed legislation for the upcoming special session that he hopes will help keep people safe.
The state’s Republican leaders have repeatedly said that a bill to temporarily restrict gun access to dangerous people will not pass during the special session. However, House Majority Leader William Lamberth has his own idea to protect Tennesseans.
HB7012, a bill co-sponsored by Lamberth, was filed on Tuesday, Aug. 15. It aims to provide free firearm locks to Tennessee residents, requires state-approved handgun safety courses to include lessons on safe firearm storage, and eliminates the retail sales tax on gun safes and firearm safety devices beginning Nov. 1.
“If you own a firearm and you exercise your Second Amendment rights, that firearm needs to be secured,” Lamberth said. “That firearm, when it’s not on your person or in use, needs to be secured in a gun safe, have a gun lock on it. I mean, make sure that that gun is properly stored.”
A new state report found guns were the leading cause of death of children in Tennessee in 2021.
Clemmie Greenlee, the founder of Mothers Over Murder and Nashville Peacemakers, has dedicated her life to ending gun violence after losing her son to gun violence in 2003.
She believes lawmakers are doing all they can to stop gun violence. Instead, it takes a community telling legislators exactly what needs to be done, according to Greenlee.
The state report also discovered that Tennessee’s rate of child firearm deaths was 36.4% higher than the national average. In addition, 93% of child firearm deaths were “probably preventable,” officials said.
To see the full 2023 report, click here.