GOP members vote down move to hear bill on House, Senate floors
NASHVILLE — Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle called on House and Senate Republicans to support floor votes on a bill allowing Tennesseans to store guns in vehicles on businesses’ parking lots, regardless of the business owners’ personal preferences.
“I would respectfully ask that the minority yield to the majority of members on this bill, so that we might have a fair and open vote,” Kyle said. “I can’t vote against this bill if the members won’t allow it to be heard on the floor.”
Kyle’s motion to suspend the rules and place Senate Bill 3002 on Tuesday’s Senate floor calendar failed with 17 yes votes. The motion requires two-thirds of members pressing a button – either yes, no or “present not voting” – to support the motion.
Of the 13 members who voted no or registered as “present not voting,” 12 were Republicans. Another three Republicans were in the Senate chamber, but did not press a button at all.
An Associated Press report Monday night quoted an anonymous House Republican who said that House Republicans had decided against a floor vote on the bill. Guns rights advocates, including members of the National Rifle Association, support the legislation.
Kyle told his Senate colleagues Monday night that he plans to make the same motion when the Senate reconvenes Tuesday.
“We have another chance to ensure this bill has a fair hearing later this week,” Kyle said. “I would hope that some Republicans might reconsider their stance against a bill that affects many of their constituents.”