Yesterday, House Bill 6, the School Security Act of 2013, passed in the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee by a voice vote. HB 6 now goes to the Calendar and Rules Committee to be placed on the House floor calendar. A vote on this crucial school security legislation could come early next week. Please contact your state Representative today and respectfully urge him or her to vote for HB 6. Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.
Sponsored by state Representative Eric Watson (R-22), HB 6 would 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 to 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 Myrick had retrieved his pistol from his truck. Had an armed individual already been present, this incident could have ended much sooner. Certainly, another misguided and ineffective gun control law is not going to protect our school teachers or students.
The companion to HB 6, Senate Bill 570, recently passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6 to 2 vote and has been referred to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee where it is scheduled for consideration on Monday, April 15. Please contact members of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee and politely urge them to support Senate Bill 570. Contact information for these Committee members is provided below.
Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee:
Senator Randy McNally (Chairman)
Senator Douglas Henry (Chairman Emeritus)
Senator Bo Watson (1st Vice-Chairman)
Senator Doug Overbey (2nd Vice-Chairman)
Senator Steven Dickerson
Senator Lowe Finney
Senator Ferrell Haile
Senator Joey Hensley
Senator Bill Ketron
Senator Jim Kyle
Senator Mark Norris