On April 23, 2024. Tennessee House Republicans votes 68-28 to pass legislation to allow some trained teachers and school staff to carry handguns despite pleas from Democrats, students and gun-reform advocates to defeat the bill.

Dozens of protestors in the galleries began chanting “Blood on your hands” as soon as the legislation passed, prompting House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, to order state troopers to clear the galleries. Many protestors continued to chant and stomp down at lawmakers as the House floor fell into chaos over parliamentary issues.

Gov. Bill Lee can either sign it into law or allow it to become law without his signature. Lee has never vetoed a bill.

Armed teachers, who will be required to undergo training that some opponents have argued is not intensive enough, will be allowed to carry handguns in their classrooms and in most campus situations without informing parents and most of their colleagues they’re armed.

The passage of the bill comes a little more than a year since the Covenant School shooting in Nashville left six people dead, including three children.

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