Three Tennessee lawmakers made national news earlier this month after participating in a gun control protest in the state Capitol on March 30. Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson joined their constituents who were upset about the Republican-controlled legislature’s lack of action on firearms after the deadly March 27 shooting at The Covenant School. Jones and Pearson, the youngest two Black members of the assembly, were expelled for their actions.
Jones’ and Pearson’s expulsion only galvanized their supporters and garnered them well wishes from Former President Obama to Vice President Harris. Now, President Biden is planning to meet with the Tennessee Three. Yesterday (April 19), the president’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, announced that the elected officials will visit the White House on Monday (April 24).
“The president has been very clear about how very important it is to take the next steps when it comes to gun reform, and he saw these three legislators as taking that next step,” Jean-Pierre told reporters in the clip seen below. “He was proud and very appreciative of their efforts of what they were doing in the state House and how important it is to have that type of visibility, to have those voices out there to continue to call on an issue that he’s been talking about not just for the past several months, but for years.”
“They had a conversation,” she continued. “He thanked them for speaking out, standing their ground and being very clear about what’s needed to protect their communities, and he invited them here to continue that conversation.”
Pearson and Jones were promptly reinstated back in their positions as interim representatives, but will need to win special elections to permanently secure their seats again. The state has set the special election for Aug. 3 with a primary election on June 15.
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