During a special session on public safety prompted by a mass shooting that took place in late March at The Covenant School, the GOP-controlled Tennessee House of Representatives voted to silence Democratic Representative Justin Jones. Jones expressed concerns about mass shootings and gun violence in the state while advocating for school safety measures and mental health resources rather than increased police presence.
Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton ruled Jones out of order twice during a recent debate. This led to a party-line vote of 70-20 in favor of silencing Jones for the rest of the day. Democrats walked out in protest.
The legislative session has seen little progress with a stalemate between the House and Senate, both held by Republicans. Despite calls from Governor Bill Lee for gun-related legislation, only a few bills related to mental health and school security have been passed.
Jones alongside fellow Representative Justin Pearson were both removed from the House following a protest from the floor calling for gun law reforms following The Covenant School that left 6 people dead.