“In the poll, Tennessee voters dramatically retreat from their soft support of proposed Red Flag Laws and do not see this as the solution to their safety concerns when informed that Red Flag Laws merely take guns away from dangerous individuals but do nothing to prevent them from causing harm by some other means.
Red Flag Law support erodes even further when informed that there are existing laws to take threatening individuals out of the community right now,” the poll said. “Tennesseans largely support recently passed legislation that puts police officers in schools and believe enforcing the current laws on the books is an effective solution to keeping their families, communities, and state safe.”
Co/efficient surveyed 1,770 likely general election voters in Tennessee. The was conducted between May 30 through June 1 via text message and landline phone calls.
According to the poll, 84 percent of voters say a dangerous individual should be removed from the community rather than taking their guns and leaving the individual in the community.
“Support for Red Flag Laws drops 21% when voters are informed this leaves threatening individuals in the community, failing to prevent harm by some other means,” the summary of the poll says. “Two-thirds of voters say current laws should be enforced to take dangerous people out of the community rather than passing new ones that would leave them in the neighborhood.”
The report also notes that 77 percent of Tennesseeans support a new law to beef up armed security at schools.
“We all agree that dangerous unstable individuals who intend to harm themselves or others, should not have access to weapons,” Lee said in a video posted on Twitter in April, “and that should be done in a way that requires due process, a high burden of proof, supports law enforcement, punishes false reporting, enhances mental health support and preserves the Second Amendment for law abiding citizens.
Throughout the last couple of weeks, I’ve worked with members of the General Assembly, constitutionally-minded, Second Amendment-protecting members to craft legislation for an improved Order of Protection law that’ll strengthen safety and preserve the rights of Tennesseans.”
For its part, the Republican-led Tennessee House GOP said red flag laws are a “non-starter.”
“Any red flag law is a non-starter for House Republicans,” the House majority party said in response to Lee’s proposal. “Our caucus is focused on finding solutions that prevent dangerous individuals from harming the public and preserve the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. We have always been open to working with Governor Lee on measures that fit within that framework.”
State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) echoed the sentiment of his House colleagues in a statement to The Tennessee Star.
“I have reviewed the governor’s proposal,” he told The Star. “It’s a red flag law and I have always opposed red flag laws. I do not support it.”