Republican Tennessee Gov. signs executive order to make it harder to buy guns

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee — a staunch Republican — signed an executive order yesterday to make it (a little bit) tougher for criminals to buy guns by strengthening background checks. It's doubtful the hypocritical anti-drag governor would have signed such an order had it not been for the tragic Nashville elementary school shooting that touched his own life — his family's good friend was killed in the massacre. But for whatever reason, at least he has shifted the conversation in Tennessee, and is now asking for tougher gun laws.

"I'm asking the General Assembly to bring forward an order of protection law. A new strong order of protection law will provide the broader population cover, safety, from those who are a danger to themselves or the population," he said at a news conference, adding that he hopes for immediate action.

"We should be very serious about real solutions and about getting real solutions across the finish line and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to do just that," Lee continued. "It is possible to get this done. We should work to set aside our differences and accomplish something that Tennesseans want us to get accomplished."

From ActionNews5:

The governor acknowledged the heartache caused by the deadly Covenant school shooting and the heated gun control protests that followed at the Capitol – made for an emotional week in Tennessee politics. But he said lawmakers have an obligation to take action.

Lee signed an executive order to immediately strengthen background checks for gun purchases. It requires the court system to provide information to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) within 72 hours of someone's latest criminal activity.

The TBI must also review the current gun buying process in Tennessee and report back any issues within 60 days.

Governor Lee also asked the General Assembly to pass a new, stronger Order of Protection law.

"I believe this will protect victims and it will hold dangerous people accountable and away from firearms," said Lee.

In a state that expelled two Democratic lawmakers for protesting gun violence following the Nashville tragedy, it's doubtful any real change in guns laws will come to Tennessee. But as the U.S. continues to suffer mass shootings on a daily basis, maybe we will see more spineless Republicans either moved by their own personal loss or forced by voters to finally stand up to the NRA and do what's right.