Key Tennessee Republicans are calling for Metro Nashville authorities to release documents written by The Covenant School shooter, saying it is critical to know the motive behind the murders before a special session is held on gun-law reform.
Sen. Todd Gardenhire, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently filed a public records request with Metro Nashville Police seeking the “manifesto” and journals left by Audrey Hale, the person who killed six people, including three 9-year-olds, at the private Christian school in Green Hills.
Giving an indication of Republican lawmakers’ resistance to passing gun control reform, whether in a special session or in the just-completed regular session, Gardenhire said Gov. Bill Lee “should know better than to rush a special session under these circumstances.”
Lee announced Friday night, shortly after the Legislature adjourned without passing an “order of protection” bill, he would call a special session. The governor did not give a time frame, though sometime in mid-May is expected.
In his letter to Metro Nashville Police, Gardenhire notes the documents will be “instrumental in writing new laws regarding school safety,” and that they will be used for research, not commercial purposes. Gardenhire irritated Democrats shortly after the shooting when he said no gun-related bills would make it through the Judiciary Committee in the wake of the shooting.