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A federal judge eased access to firearms in Tennessee on the same day as the deadly shooting at a Nashville school

2023-03-29T17:31:14.298Z


The decision marked a further step in loosening laws in the state, where Republicans have relentlessly cut gun regulations in recent years.


By Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise -

The Associated Press

As Nashville residents reeled from an elementary school shooting that left six dead Monday, a federal judge quietly cleared the way to lower the minimum age for Tennesseans to carry firearms in public without a permit to 18. , just two years after a new state law set the limit at 21 years.

The decision marked a further loosening of gun laws in the state, where Republican Party leaders have continued to slash gun regulations and lashed out at those who have warned that doing so comes at a cost.

It is a situation that is repeated throughout the country.

Republican-led states reject calls to tighten gun safety regulations despite massacres, while Democrats champion gun control proposals.

A group of female students in front of the entrance to The Covenant School in Nashville on March 29, 2023.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

"This is not freedom. Our families do not deserve this. I am sick of living in fear that our loved ones will not come home because of gun violence," Democratic state senator Raumesh Akbari said after the shooting.

"Prayers are good, but faith without works is dead," he said, referencing a common Bible verse.

"Let's not let another preventable tragedy occur without this legislature taking real action," he demanded.

In a video statement released late Tuesday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, called for prayers but warned: "Prayer is the first thing we should do, but it's not the only thing." weapons but vowed to take action.His wife, he said, was a friend of two of the victims.

[Nashville School Shooting: The Details of a Massacre Police Say Was Thoroughly Planned]

"We can all agree on one thing: that every human being is of great value," he said, "and we will act to prevent this from happening again. There is a clear desire in all of us, whether or not we agree on the steps to be taken." follow, that we must work to find ways to protect ourselves against evil.

However, Monday's shooting is not expected to change Tennessee's political direction on gun regulation.

Republicans control every major political office in the state and face little opposition from Democrats, who are demanding tougher gun laws.

In 2019, Lee told religious leaders that he believed that if Tennesseans prayed to God to favor the state, God would answer their prayers, from slowing the state's opioid epidemic and improving state educational outcomes to preventing the state's opioid epidemic. school shootings.

But last year, when asked if he would support restricting guns in response to mass shootings across the country, Lee spoke out against it.

Republican congressman regrets the massacre in Nashville and in networks they attack him with a photo

March 29, 202300:31

"We cannot control what we cannot control," he said after the massacre in May 2022 at a school in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 elementary school students and two teachers dead.

Instead, he signed an executive order calling for heightened security measures, but making no mention of guns.

He also called for each school to have a school resource officer, but ruled out the possibility of arming teachers as a measure to strengthen school security.

In his Monday statement, Lee said steps have been taken to strengthen school security: "That work has not been in vain."

Family photos of Congressman Andy Ogles in 2021 reflect Tennessee's lax gun culture.

In them, the Republican is seen posing with firearms in front of his Christmas tree.

The caption reads: “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere checks the interference of evil;

deserve a place of honor with all that is good."

[Attacker and all six killed in Nashville Christian school shooting identified: all three boys were 9]

Ogles, whose district includes Nashville, said after Monday's shooting that her family was "devastated by the tragedy."

Republican lawmakers have introduced bills so far this year that would make it easier for teachers to arm themselves and allow college students to carry guns on campus.

At the same time, the efforts of the Democrats to strengthen security measures have failed.

On Tuesday, lawmakers delayed treatment of any of the controversial gun-related bills, saying they wanted to offer respect to the community.

The most significant move has to do with the state's carry without permit law.

In 2021, Lee spearheaded the initiative that allowed most adults 21 and older to carry firearms without first obtaining a permit that requires passing a background check and training.

Thereafter, gun maker Smith & Wesson announced plans to move its headquarters to Tennessee.

Nashville shooter bought guns legally, despite receiving treatment for emotional problems

March 28, 202303:04

However, the law ran into a lawsuit from a gun rights group that argued that the minimum age should be 18.

Late last year, Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti's office brokered a settlement instead of upholding the law, citing last year's US Supreme Court ruling that expanded gun rights.

Skrmetti proposed allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to carry guns in public.

The deal was approved Monday, the same day a 28-year-old former student shot his way into the private Christian school, killing six people, three children and three adults.

Skrmetti's office declined to comment on the deal.

Police said Tuesday that the attacker, identified as Audrey Hale, managed to buy seven weapons in five different places, despite being undergoing medical treatment for "emotional problems."

Source: telemundo

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