Three Tennessee state lawmakers who were disciplined for participating in gun protests are set to visit the White House on Monday to meet with President Joe Biden. The White House announced on Wednesday that President Biden will meet with state Reps. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Justin Jones of Nashville, and Justin Pearson of Memphis.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday, “Earlier this month, the president spoke to them by phone after they were subjugated to expulsion votes in the Tennessee Statehouse for peacefully protesting in support of stronger gun safety laws following the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. During that call, the president thanked them for their leadership in seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for the democratic values.”
She added: “The president looks forward to continuing that discussion when they all meet with him on Monday.”
Jones and Pearson, who are Black, were initially expelled but have since been reinstated to their seats by their respective local councils. Johnson, who is white and participated in the same demonstration, was not expelled. The actions of the Tennessee Republicans in expelling two of the Democratic lawmakers has gained national attention, with national Democrats rallying around the events and the White House seizing on the opportunity to do the same, repeatedly weighing in on the events.
The visit to the White House by the trio of state lawmakers signifies the Biden administration’s support for their efforts to advocate for tighter gun laws in the wake of the tragic mass shooting in Nashville. It also highlights the importance of addressing gun violence and promoting gun safety measures at the federal level. President Biden has been a vocal advocate for common-sense gun laws and has called for measures such as universal background checks, banning assault weapons, and closing loopholes in the gun sales process.
The meeting with President Biden is expected to provide an opportunity for the lawmakers to discuss their efforts to promote gun safety measures in Tennessee and share their perspectives on the urgent need for stronger gun laws in the country. It also reflects the Biden administration’s commitment to engaging with state and local officials who are actively working towards addressing the issue of gun violence.