Lawmakers Seek To Change Gun Laws In Response To Waffle House Shooting

Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 21:49:46-04

In light of the fatal Waffle House shooting, three state lawmakers have called for changes to Tennessee gun laws.

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro, along with state Reps. Mike Stewart and Bill Beck made the announcement during a press conference Monday as the search for suspected Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking was still underway.

They are calling for an amendment to SB2356 in an effort to close loopholes that they say make it harder to enforce existing gun laws. They believe after two mass shootings in Davidson County in seven months, changes need to be made.

"We don't think that doing nothing is an option, and there are areas where all of us can and should easily agree change can be made," said Sen. Jeff Yarbro, a Democrat from Nashville.

The new language would make it unlawful to buy a gun or possess if you have been subject to suspension, revocation or confiscation in Tennessee or other states.

It would also make it an offense to give or loan a firearm to someone who cannot legally possess it under state law and make it an offense to re-loan or give back weapons to those who have been subject to confiscation.

The legislation comes after Reinking lost his rights in Illinois to have firearms after he was arrested by the Secret Service last year. The FBI in Springfield, Illinois took his weapons and gave them to his father. His father, who was licensed, later gave them back to his son.

Lawmakers said the way the law is written now, Reinking did not violate state laws and that doesn't make sense.

"These aren't extreme measures," said Sen. Yarbro. "This isn't an agenda to chip away at the 2nd Amendment.  Most people in Tennessee Think this is the law already."

The state lawmakers said they plan to share this information with their colleagues in the coming days.  They hoped it started a discussion before the end of this legislative session.