Proposed bills would create new hate crime categories

Published 7:17 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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The Center Square

An interim Nashville state representative has filed a series of bills for Tennessee’s special session that would make any threats or acts of mass violence or stalking of health care providers who perform gender-affirming care or abortions a hate crime.

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Interim Rep. Anthony Davis, D-Nashville, filed the six bills heading into a special session of the Tennessee Legislature on public safety set to begin at 4 p.m. on Monday.

Davis is completing the District 51 term of late Rep. Bill Beck, D-Nashville, before he will be replaced by Democrat Aftyn Behn or Republican David Hooven following a Sept. 14 general election.

David and Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, are the few Democrats who have bills filed for the special session. Parkinson filed House Bill 7011, which creates a misdemeanor charge for a person who illegally transfers a firearm to a minor who is responsible for an act or threat of mass violence with a firearm.

Other recently filed bills include House Bill 7015 from House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, which allows DNA to be taken for anyone charged with a felony.

Lamberth also sponsored House Bill 7012 to require the Department of Safety to provide free firearm locks to Tennessee residents and to permanently exempt firearm safes and safety devices from taxes.

House Bill 7024 from Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, requires the Department of Safety to pay for active shooter alarm systems for public and private schools.

House Bill 7023 from Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, allows law enforcement to assign a school resource officer to a school district if they don’t already have a memorandum of understanding to have one.