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Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Bill To Allow Armed Teachers A Year After Shooting

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Tennessee legislature passes gun for teachersProtesters chanted “Blood on your hands” at Tennessee House Republicans on Tuesday after they passed a bill that would allow some teachers and staff to carry concealed handguns on public school grounds, and bar parents and other teachers from knowing who was armed.

The 68-28 vote in favor of the bill sent it to Republican Gov. Bill Lee for consideration. If he signs it into law, it would be the biggest expansion of gun access in the state since last year’s deadly shooting at a private elementary school in Nashville.

Members of the public who oppose the bill harangued Republican lawmakers after the vote, leading House Speaker Cameron Sexton to order the galleries cleared.

Four House Republicans and all Democrats opposed the bill, which the state Senate previously passed. The measure would bar disclosing which employees are carrying guns beyond school administrators and police, including to students’ parents and even other teachers. A principal, school district and law enforcement agency would have to agree to let staff carry guns.

The proposal presents a starkly different response to The Covenant School shooting than Lee proposed last year. Republican legislators quickly cast aside his push to keep guns away from people deemed a danger to themselves or others.

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