Washington, D.C—The National Black Caucus of State Legislators reiterates its position in strongly condemning the actions of the Tennessee House Leadership for expelling two legislators for “disorderly behavior” following a protest for gun reform on the chamber Floor last week, in response to the deadly shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville.
In moving to expel these legislators, first introduced through an expulsion resolution, the Tennessee House has done something that it has not done in the last 157 years. The first expulsion, in 1980, was of a representative found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office, and the most recent came in 2016 when another member was expelled over allegations of sexual harassment.
NBCSL is appalled to hear the Speaker of the House characterize the actions of these legislators as acts of “insurrection.” This drastic partisan move to expel two of its members in light of their participation in a peaceful protest to amplify the need for effective gun control laws, is un-American and a direct attack on our democracy including one of its core elements; our first amendment rights.
“I am saddened by the expulsion of these two legislators,” said Representative Laura Hall (AL), President of NBCSL, “Gun reform continues to be a frontline issue in all states, and we must continue to work to pass legislation to reduce the loss of innocent lives.”
For decades, NBCSL has promoted and continues to support sensible gun reform laws. In 2022, NBCSL passed Resolution LJE-22-57 supporting the repeal of “Stand Your Ground” Laws. We’ll continue to stand with our colleagues in Tennessee in fighting for the pillars of our democracy. Each of us as state legislators are working to bring forth comprehensive legislation to ensure gun safety and to prevent the recurrence of tragedies such as what occurred in Nashville, from happening. For more information, visit our website www.nbcsl.org.