Mourning mothers fight against gun bill that could end required permit to carry
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - They were different mothers, but a common enemy united them Friday evening.
After three Austin-East students were shot and killed within weeks, grieving parents are demanding change in the center built in the wake of Zaevion Dobson on Friday. Dobson was the teen shot and killed while shielding friends in 2015. His mother was in attendance to lend support.
“For the strength of my son and his legacy, I will keep his name alive, as well as other children, I will keep their legacies alive, but their lives mattered,” Zenobia Dobson, Zaevion’s mother, said.
Zenobia along with Terry Walker Smith, who lost two sons to violence, said they’re lobbying to block a gun bill that would allow Tennesseans to carry a gun without a permit.
“Wow. With all the violence that is happening in our community, it’s important they do not pass this bill,” Dobson said.
Governor Bill Lee first announced the measure in 2020 and has said it’s a constitutional right and aimed at protection.
“The bill is not only focused on protecting our second amendment liberties but also on increasing safety for all Tennesseans,” said Lee. “This legislation is about increasing freedom for law-abiding citizens and implementing harder penalties for criminals.”
The mothers disagreed saying they fear guns will land in the wrong hands.
“There are guns out there that shouldn’t be out there,” Walker Smith said.
Still, one goal remains.
“It’s important for us as mothers and fathers to stand up for our children,” Dobson said.
The bill is expected to head to the criminal justice subcommittee Wednesday for discussion.
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