Reinstated Lawmaker Justin Jones Says He’ll Again Call For Gun Reform

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Democratic Rep. Justin Jones, who was sworn back into the Tennessee House on Monday (April 10), said he’ll continue to call for gun reform just days after he was ousted from the state legislature over a gun violence protest.

Following his reinstatement, Jones said the first item on his agenda is to work on gun reform legislation, per CNN.

“The first thing I do when I walk into this building as a representative is to continue that call for commonsense gun legislation,” the lawmaker said on the steps of the state Capitol.

Jones’ reinstatement comes after he and his fellow Black colleague, Justin Pearson, were expelled from the Tennessee House over a protest held on the chamber floor in the wake of the Nashville school shooting. Democratic Rep. Gloria Johnson also participated in the protest but was spared from expulsion.

The Nashville Metropolitan Council voted unanimously on Monday to reappoint Jones as an interim representative. He will hold the seat until a special election is held.

“Today we are sending a resounding message that democracy will not be killed in the comfort of silence,” Jones said Monday.

As a “new member” of the House, Jones said he has the power to file 15 bills, all of which will have to do with gun reform.

Following Jones’ reappointment, the Tennessee House Republicans said in a statement: “Tennessee’s constitution provides a pathway back from expulsion. Should any expelled member be reappointed, we will welcome them. Like everyone else, they are expected to follow the rules of the House as well as state law.”

Pearson remains expelled from the state legislature. His vacant seat is set to be addressed on Wednesday (April 12) during a Shelby County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“To anyone who has doubted the South, anyone who’s doubted the power of Tennesseans to advocate for an end to gun violence, anybody who’s doubted the movement to end assault weapons – anybody who’s doubted the movement, here’s your answer: The movement still lives,” said Pearson said Monday on the steps of the Capitol alongside Jones.

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