NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A crowd of 22,000 people protesting for gun rights at Virginia's state capitol drew eyes from around the world, but also from those involved in the gun debate in Tennessee.
Activists at Monday's rally in Richmond protested several laws restricting gun access in the commonwealth state. The notably democratic legislature there a reverse image of Tennessee's republican super majority. Both states, however, attempt to pass gun legislation every year.
In Tennessee, gun laws to ban accessories that increase the fire rate of semiautomatic weapons failed in 2018. Other laws that would make Tennessee a permitless carry state have already been proposed in 2020.
Gun lobbying group, Safe Tennessee Project, believes what Virginia lawmakers are doing is the right thing and hope Tennessee will follow at some point.
"The state of Virginia had an election last fall and most of the folks who won after running on a very clear platform for common sense gun laws," said Beth Joslin Roth. "So, they're there with a mandate from the voters of Virginia to pass this legislation. My take on it is I don't think that anything they're proposing is too extreme. Virginia is certainly a state that has experienced some horrific gun violence in the form of mass shootings and I think a lot of people want to see common gun laws passed."
Jason Edgely, a firearm safety instructor from Nashville Armory had a different take.
"There will always people who do try to do stuff like this. I think what we have to understand is, the more control we try to put over [guns], the steeper and deeper we get into going against what we've been given for a few hundred years now," said Edgely.