Tennessee Republicans move to protect gun industry after Nashville school shooting

Nashville, Tennessee - As Tennesseans continue to protest for gun reform, Republicans in the state legislature have passed a bill to protect firearm manufacturers from liability.

Tennesseeans march for gun reform outside the state Capitol in Nashville.
Tennesseeans march for gun reform outside the state Capitol in Nashville.  © REUTERS

The Tennessee state Senate voted 19-9, largely along party lines, to send HB 1189 to the desk of GOP Governor Bill Lee.

The legislation aims to shield gun and ammunition manufacturers, dealers, and sellers by limiting when civil lawsuits may be filed against them in Tennessee, a permitless carry state.

The decision to pass the measure came amid ongoing protests calling for legislative action to end to gun violence after a deadly school shooting in Nashville last month left three 9-year-olds and three adults dead.

Trump's Truth Social loses more than half its value as stock continues to tank
Donald Trump Trump's Truth Social loses more than half its value as stock continues to tank

The protests shot to the national spotlight when Republican lawmakers voted to expel two of their Black Democratic colleagues who attended and spoke at a rally in the state Capitol.

The lawmakers, state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, have since been reinstated.

Tennesseans continue to demonstrate against gun violence

State Rep. Justin Jones carries a coffin representing one of the victims of the Covenant School shooting into the state Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee.
State Rep. Justin Jones carries a coffin representing one of the victims of the Covenant School shooting into the state Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee.  © REUTERS

With the latest move to protect firearm providers, Democrats and gun reform advocates are once again condemning Republicans for prioritizing the interests of gun companies above the safety of the people they serve.

"There’s a soul sickness in our state when Tennessee Republican legislators are more concerned with protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits, than children from being killed by mass shootings," tweeted state Rep. Justin Jones, one of the reinstated lawmakers.

"We said, protect children not guns – they choose the guns," he added. "This is morally insane."

Biden says an Iranian retaliation to Israel's bombing of embassy compound is imminent
Joe Biden Biden says an Iranian retaliation to Israel's bombing of embassy compound is imminent

The day prior, Jones made headlines by carrying a small coffin representing one of the victims of the mass shooting to the state Capitol.

The protests continued on Tuesday as demonstrators linked arms while covering a three-mile stretch from the Vanderbilt University children's hospital, where victims of the shooting were taken, to the Capitol.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS

More on US politics: