Yesterday, the House Civil Justice Committee considered House Bill 6, the School Security Act of 2013, and by a voice vote, passed HB 6 in committee. Sponsored by state Representative Eric Watson (R-22), HB 6 was amended to allow a person employed or assigned to a Local Education Agency to possess and carry a firearm on the grounds of that school if they are current or former law enforcement. The individual would also be required to have a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) and the written authorization of the director of schools.
Having an armed presence is the last line of defense from a future threat on our schoolchildren. On multiple occasions, an armed security guard or faculty member has prevented a school shooting from either happening or becoming worse. One of the most notable cases was Pearl High School in Mississippi in 1997. A shooter who had already killed two and wounded seven was disarmed by the assistant principal, Joel Myrick, after Joel had retrieved his pistol from his truck. Had an armed individual already been present, this incident could have ended much sooner. Certainly another gun control law is not going to protect our school teachers or students.
House Bill 6 has been referred to the House Education Committee and will be heard on Tuesday, April 9. Its companion, Senate Bill 570, passed in the Senate Education Committee yesterday and is scheduled for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, April 9. Please contact members of both committees and politely urge them to support House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 570.
Contact information for House Education Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee is provided below:
House Education Committee considering HB 6:
Representative Harry Brooks (Chairman)
Representative John Forgety (Vice-Chairman)
Representative Kevin Brooks
Representative John DeBerry Jr.
Representative Lois DeBerry
Representative Bill Dunn
Representative Roger Kane
Representative Ron Lollar
Representative Harold Love, Jr.
Representative Debra Moody
Representative Joe Pitts
Representative Dawn White
Representative Mark White
Representative Ryan Williams
Senate Judiciary Committee considering SB 570:
Senator Brian Kelsey (Chairman)
Senator Doug Overbey (First Vice Chairman)
Senator Stacey Campfield (Second Vice Chairman)
Senator Mike Bell
Senator Todd Gardenhire
Senator Mark Green
Senator John Stevens