Las Vegas shooting victims who flew to Nashville not allowed to speak in legislature
Two survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting who flew to Nashville weren't allowed to speak before the House Civil Justice Subcommittee in support of a bill that would ban bump stocks in Tennessee.
Chris Stevens, who tours with Jason Aldean, and Kari Kuefler, who was present at the concert, were in Nashville on Wednesday to testify on the bump stock ban sponsored by Rep. Dwayne Thompson (D-Shelby County).
However, Vice Chairman of the House, Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) didn't allow the testimony and said Stevens and Kuefler could submit written testimony or are "welcome back when the bill is rolled." Watch the interaction in the video below.
State Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) said the dismissing of the victims Wednesday was "one of the most offensive days" he's seen in the Legislature.
"Victims of the Las Vegas shooting and a forced marriage victim flew to Nashville to testify today only to have House GOP leadership dismiss them without listening. One of the most offensive days I’ve seen in the legislature — and that’s not a low bar." - Sen. Jeff Yarbro
The bill was reset to the last day of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.
The bill would make it a Class E felony to purchase, sell, possess, or use a part, component, device, or attachment designed to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle.
The bill has already passed on second consideration and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill is also one which has drawn strong opposition from one local 2nd Amendment group. The Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) has previously taken issue with the language 'accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire.'
In their opinion, such language could make it a felony to possess a belt, rubber band, or shoestrings.
In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the NRA issued a public statement supporting regulations on devices that are designed to allow semi-automatic rifles function like fully-automatic rifles.