Coffee and conversations with Rep. Weaver
Gun & Parking Lot Bill and school safety where just a few of the issues the packed house at The Early Cafe discussed Feb. 8.
District 40 Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver hosted her Coffee and Conservations with citizens from Trousdale County last Friday. Weaver plans to host a meeting throughout her district every Friday morning, and the second Friday every month in Trousdale.
Weaver represents Trousdale, DeKalb, Smith and a portion of Sumner Counties.
During these weekly visits Weaver hopes to hear the concerns of her district, and educate voters with bills that will be going through the session.
"It has been very successful, and it is part of my job to communicate with you what is going on down there especially with the session," said Weaver.
Weaver told the crowd that she wanted to discuss three topics that have been concerns throughout the counties including: school safety, gun control and the bills that Weaver will be presenting to the House.
"We live in a nasty world," said Weaver. "We have seen some horrendous things happen across our county, and it was devastating, horrible. Who would ever thought that we would have to start having discussions how to make our schools safer because someone who has got evil intentions walked through the doors and upon our children.
"It is absolutely something that none of us expected, and when it happens, we immediately think, 'Oh my gosh, what can we do to prevent that happening here?'"
Weaver went on the tell the crowd that she isn't planning to arm every teacher with a gun, but what she has offered it as a plan that will be in additional to a SRO officer at every school.
"That option is if a teacher chooses to, wants to and already has their carry permit" will be able to carry their gun into the classroom Weaver explained to the crowd. She did add stipulations that included: the teachers would have already gone through the carry permit training, receive extra training to will include 40 to 50 additional hours and the training would have to be done yearly.
"It will be like having an inner-SWAT team in the schools," added Weaver.
"Evil isn't going to go away, and we have got to start the discussion."
House Bill 6 [Senate Bill 0570] sponsored by Rep. Eric Watson (R) of District 22 and Sen. Frank S. Niceley (R) of District 8 would allow K-12 personnel to posse a firearm on school property if the person has a handgun carry permit, is authorized by the school superintendent, has had 40 hours of basic school policing training and uses frangible bullets.
"Most of my school administrators are not in favor of it," said Weaver. "I respect that and I understand that, but this is just an option."
Weaver went on to touch a little on school vouchers and advancements schools are seeing in technology across the state.
Guns & Parking Lot Bill
Weaver did confirm that SB0142/HB0118 aka the Guns & Parking Lot Bill sponsored by Lieutenant Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) of District 4 and Rep. Jeremy Faison (R) of District 11 will pass.
"Last year the bill was of course defeated, and it became a huge, huge issue," said Weaver.
The bill would allow a person with a valid handgun carry permit to transport and store a firearm or firearm ammunition in the permit holder's private-owned motor vehicle or private parking areas under certain conditions.
"I think you have the right to carry…you have the right to carry," said Weaver. "It is rather squirrelly when you have property rights and second amendment rights butting heads."
The crowd split sides as discussion continued on guns and second amendment rights.
"Interesting to me, when the second amendment was put in its place, everybody had a gun; everybody had a gun because they moved West," said Lloyd Butts. "There was a lot of lawlessness, crazies out there…so what did they do? They had a barrel sitting outside the saloons before you went in.
"Now it might be true that we have a crazy that slips into the restaurant, and starts shooting us up. By the time I draw my gun, she draws her gun and he draws his gun, I will probably kill more of the innocents in here than that guy would."
Butts continued, "I am all for the second amendment. I have hunted all my life. I have never had a pistol…never had a need for it because chances of somebody coming in…I'm 81 years old, and nobody has ever tried to shoot me except in the military.
"I think we are getting too tied up with everybody having a gun. To me that is not the answer. I don't know the answer, but certainly not everybody having a gun that can kill a lot of people."
As of Monday night, the Senate passed the bill 28-5. The bill still waits on the House vote that could happen within the next two weeks. If passed the bill will not go into effect until July 1.
I have a bill that I have been working on for two years," said Weaver. "A move on any welfare reform is very slow and hard to do…"
House Bill 0119 prohibits recipients of public assistance from using electronic benefit transfer cards to purchase certain goods or services in certain establishments. Sen. Jim Tracy (R) of District 14 is sponsoring the Senate version SB0244.
"I don't know about you, but I am tired of seeing people using EBT cards fraudulently. I am tired of that, because you and I are paying for that," said Weaver.
Weaver is also sponsoring HB0068 and HB0921.
House Bill 0068 establishes that a court may consider mental health records of a parent when making a child custody determination. Sen. Mae Beavers (R) of District 17 is sponsoring the Senate version SB0028.
House Bill 0921 prohibits a person from using certain photographic or electronic devices, cameras or cellular telephones in polling places. Beavers is sponsoring SB0803.
Weaver will host her next Coffee & Conversations March 8 at 8 a.m. in The Early Bird Cafe.
Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-754-3556 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.