NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed off on additional protections for gun and ammunition dealers, manufacturers and sellers against lawsuits within a bill that lawmakers passed after a deadly school shooting in March.
The Republican governor quietly signed the legislation Thursday. Its provisions kick in on July 1.
The state Senate gave final passage to the bill in mid-April, just weeks after the March 27 shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville that killed six people, including three 9-year-olds. The House had passed it before the shooting.
Lee's choice to sign the bill comes as he keeps pushing for the same Republican lawmakers, who hold supermajorities in the House and Senate, to pass a proposal that aims to keep guns away from people who could harm themselves or others. Lee plans to call lawmakers back into an August special session that aims “to strengthen public safety and preserve constitutional rights” after they adjourned last month without taking up his “temporary mental health order of protection” proposal. His office hasn't released the parameters of what version of that proposal, or others, will be considered in the session yet.