Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones calls on his colleagues to pass gun control legislation from the well of the House Chambers during the legislative session at the State Capitol Thursday, March 30, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV /The Tennessean via AP)

On Monday, Tennessee House Republicans moved to expel three Democratic state representatives who participated in a protest calling for more gun control following the mass in Nashville. The lawmakers in question are Reps. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Justin Jones of Nashville, and Justin Pearson of Memphis. The resolutions seeking their expulsion were filed by Republican Reps. Bud Hulsey, Gino Bulso, and Andrew Farmer, each seeking to remove the lawmakers from office for their participation in the protests. The resolution states that the lawmakers engaged in “disorderly behavior” and “did knowingly and intentionally bring disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives.”

During the protest, the three Democratic lawmakers used a bullhorn on the House floor to call on their fellow lawmakers to take action to prevent further gun violence after three 9-year-olds and three adults were killed in the mass shooting at the Christian school. The shooter was armed with three guns and fired 152 rounds during the attack, according to police reports.

This move by Tennessee House Republicans has been met with controversy and criticism from many quarters. Some see it as an attack on free speech and an attempt to silence those who are calling for change in the wake of the tragic shooting. Others argue that it is a blatant abuse of power by the Republicans, who are seeking to punish their political opponents for daring to challenge their views on gun control.

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