NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC/WSMV) - A group came together Tuesday in Nashville to speak out against a permitless gun carry bill a day after the U.S.’s second deadly mass shooting in a week.
“The last thing we need is a governor who chooses to be deaf to the cries of the people,” said Eugene Se’Bree, associate pastor of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church.
The Southern Christian Coalition spoke outside the Tennessee State Capitol Tuesday in opposition of the bill. The group is sending a letter to the governor and the Tennessee General Assembly asking them to drop it.
Shaundell Brookes was among the speakers. Her son, Akila DaSilva, was shot and killed in a deadly Waffle House shooting almost three years ago.
Brooks says she feels like she has no choice but to speak publicly.
“It is a slap in the face because I feel since my son was murdered I don’t think they’ve done anything, and I think this is the worst that they’ve done so far,” she said.
Governor Bill Lee attended a meeting of the National Rifle Association Monday promoting the permitless carry bill.
“The bill is focused on the protection and the expansion of Second Amendment rights and liberties, but it’s also really a part of what is, for me, a public safety agenda,” said Lee.
Speaking in Memphis Tuesday, Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings said passing the bill would be “catastrophic” and took aim at the governor for what he called a symbolic victory lap.
More than 500 religious leaders from across the state are calling the bill a public safety threat.
“Governor Lee continuously touts his commitment to faith and his religious community and the values and morals that he says underpins his every day actions,” said Se’Bree. “Where are your values and morals now?”
They’re calling on Lee to change course, hoping their letter and Brooks’ plea will make a difference.
“Please, please listen to law enforcement and public safety experts, families that are personally affected by such horrific and traumatic acts of violence and vote against this law,” said Se’Bree.
The permitless carry bill has already passed in the state Senate. The House Finance, Ways and Means Committee took it up Tuesday.