Guns

'Tennessee Three' set to meet with President Biden to talk gun control

President Biden said there’s nothing more he can do, and up to Congress to act on gun control. However, the lawmakers say there might be other ways.

'Tennessee Three' set to meet with President Biden to talk gun control
George Walker IV / AP

The "Tennessee Three" are headed to the White House.

Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson will meet with President Joe Biden to continue a conversation about gun reform.

The three held a gun control protest on the House floor on behalf of protesters demanding stricter gun laws following the deadly school shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville.

The GOP-led House then expelled the two youngest Black Democratic lawmakers, while Johnson kept her seat by one vote.

Local leaders then reinstated Jones and Pearson back at the State House on an interim basis until a special election could be held.

President Biden met with the Tennessee Three earlier this month over a video call.

"They had a conversation. He thanked them for speaking out and standing their ground, and being very clear about what's needed to protect their communities. And he invited them here to continue that conversation," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Jones said he’ll be asking the president to declare a public health emergency when it comes to gun violence.

State Rep. Gloria Johnson: Race played a role in colleagues' expulsion
State Rep. Gloria Johnson: Race played a role in colleagues' expulsion

State Rep. Gloria Johnson: Race played a role in colleagues' expulsion

The Tennessee state representative tells Scripps News the expulsion is "an assault on democracy."

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"I think that we need emergency response because we’re facing a crisis situation. In states like ours, we need help from our national leaders, because we’re in a state where the only action that our colleagues took in response to the mass shooting in Nashville was to expel the two youngest Black lawmakers and then to pass a law to protect gun manufactures. That’s all they passed this session," said Jones.

Biden told reporters there’s nothing more he can do and it’s time for Congress to act.

"I have gone the full extent of my executive authority to do, on my own, anything about guns," said President Biden. "The Congress has to act. The majority of the American people think having assault weapons is bizarre; it's a crazy idea."

Pearson says they’ll be speaking with President Biden about other ways that can potentially help.

"Beyond executive orders, what other authority exists within departments and agencies that the president is ultimately responsible for that can call for a public health emergency, that can call for resources to go into communities that are feeling the harm of the epidemic of gun violence the most in order to get mental health resources, in order to get gun prevention resources as well," said Pearson.

Tennessee’s governor announced there would be a special session to address gun reform and public safety. However, House Republicans put out a statement standing firm against passing any red-flag laws.