Tennessee governor announces safety funding after school shooting
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has unveiled his policy responses to The Covenant School shooting that killed six people last week.
Why it matters: The proposals focused on enhancing school safety, which has broad support in the Republican-dominated legislature.
- Lee and top lawmakers also endorsed more mental health funding.
- He said lawmakers should consider other measures, including "keeping those that are a danger away from weapons," in the coming weeks.
Zoom in: Lee is proposing $140 million in new funding to hire school resource officers or guards at every public school.
- An additional $20 million would go toward public school security improvements, such as magnetic locks.
- Under Lee's plan, $7 million would be set aside for private school security upgrades. Private schools could use the funding to hire a guard, according to a Lee spokesperson.
- Lee would also add more funding for school mental health liaisons.
Between the lines: Lee has said he was open to considering something like a red flag law, which allows authorities to take guns away from people who are a danger to themselves or others. But he told reporters Monday it was up to the General Assembly to hammer out the specifics of such a measure.
- Lt. Gov. Randy McNally voiced support for red flag laws last week, but he cautioned that some conservative lawmakers might oppose it.
What he's saying: "A person who is a threat to themselves or a threat to others should not have access to weapons," Lee told reporters Monday. "To the degree that we can do that, protecting the constitutional rights of our people … we should look at ways to accomplish that."
- "That's what I anticipate the members of the General Assembly will contemplate," he said.
- "There are any number of ways that that can be accomplished, and we should look at all of those ways."
Meanwhile: In an update Monday, Nashville police said the shooter — identified as Audrey Hale — kept journals over several months on plans "to commit mass murder at The Covenant School."
Of note: Hale "considered the actions of other mass murderers," per police.
- Hale, who was killed by police, fired a total of 152 rounds, including 126 rounds from an assault-style rifle.
The shooter's motive has not been established and remains under investigation, police said.
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