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Tennessee Republicans Move to Expel Democrats Over Gun Control Protest

Tennessee lawmakers
Tennessee lawmakers ( Photo: The Washington Post )

Days after a deadly school shooting in Nashville.

Tennessee Republican

House Democrats ( Photo: Yahoo News Singapore )

Three Democratic colleagues in Tennessee are facing expulsion from the House by Republican lawmakers for supporting a gun control protest

Hundreds gathered at the capitol to protest against the lack of gun control measures after six people were killed at the Covenant school last week. State representatives Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson approached the house podium without being recognized and cheered the protesters on.

House Republicans introduced three resolutions to expel the Democratic trio at the end of Monday’s session, four days after the protest. The chamber’s leadership also compared the gun control protest to an “insurrection”. The three have already been stripped of their committee assignments, and more sanctions are expected, according to the Tennessee House Speaker, Cameron Sexton.

The trio is being accused of “knowingly and intentionally [bringing] disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives through their individual and collective actions,” according to the filed resolutions.

Tensions flared during Monday’s session as supporters in the gallery booed and jeered at the introduced resolutions. House members also got into a confrontation on the chamber floor. Jones accused representative Justin Lafferty of pushing him and grabbing his phone.

Republicans who filed the resolution successfully argued to expedite the expulsion process, with a vote scheduled for Thursday.

House Democrats will probably be unable to block the expulsion resolutions given the house’s Republican majority, made up of lawmakers who are in favor of keeping guns as accessible as possible to the public. The rally followed the killings of six people at the Covenant school, including three students and three staff members.

Authorities have said that the victims were all slain after an intruder fired 152 times at the school

Since the shooting, thousands have gathered at the Tennessee capitol calling for meaningful gun control measures, including young children and their parents who packed the building ahead of Monday’s session. The expulsions have garnered criticism, with some saying it is a sign of a larger issue with the Republican party.

The press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, criticized the Republicans’ actions, saying: “By doing what they’re doing with these three Democratic legislators, they’re shrugging in the face of yet another tragic school shooting while our kids continue to pay the price.”

Expelling a house member is an extremely rare occurrence, with only two of the chamber’s members removed since the civil war. This move has sparked controversy and is a sign of the polarized political climate in the United States.

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