State Lawmakers Respond to White House Gun Control

Firearms are prohibited in the halls of legislative plaza. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Firearms are prohibited in the halls of legislative plaza. Photo credit Blake Farmer/WPLN

Several members of the Tennessee General Assembly are rewriting their gun legislation in response to White House calls for more gun control.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison bars state and local money from being spent to enforce any new federal law or executive order restricting guns. But President Obama actually proposed some things Faison agrees with last week, like being tougher on gun crime. So he’s revising the state legislation.

“I wanted to leave it wide open. I knew he was going to do or say something before we came back out of recess.”

Faison says his bill will single out any ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. He says a proposal made by Rep. Joe Carr last week to arrest federal agents trying to enforce new gun laws goes too far.

Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains is the sponsor of Faison’s bill in the state Senate. He says whatever the final version says, the point is to send a message to Washington D.C. – that Tennessee can choose to look the other way.

“We don’t have to fund it. I mean they can’t tell us how to spend our money. If we wanna help ‘em, alright. If we don’t, alright.”

Both Governor Bill Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell have said guns are not a priority of theirs during the legislative session.

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