EMPLOYEE SAFE COMMUTE BILL (SB3002/HB3560) under attack by House Republican Leadership
The employee safe commute bill by Sen. Faulk and Rep. Bass appears to be in good standing in the Senate but is reportedly coming under heavy opposition in the House as House Republican leadership is putting pressure on House Republican members to stay away from the legislation, to refuse to co-sponsor the legislation and to let it be known that this bill should not come to the floor for a House vote. This pressure is coming, reportedly, directly from Speaker Beth Harwell‘s office and those who bow to the office.
This is a critical turning point. There are some in House leadership in the Republican party who are willing to marginalize not just Tennessee’s firearms owners but all conservative grassroots organizations. These elite “conservative in name only” leaders are taking Tennessee’s conservative citizens and their rights for granted. Some of them have said that Tennessee’s firearms owners (and presumably other conservative interest groups) must support the Republican caucus because it is the “best friend” that firearms owners have. In reality, that is a “take-it or leave-it” mindset which presumes that these groups of citizens will vote for “the lesser of two evils” rather than to find other options such as better statesmen to run in primaries and other races. These Republican leaders have ignored that most of the progress on Tennessee’s firearms laws (including two veto overrides) was made at a time when Speaker Naifeh was in control and the changes were made with bi-partisan coaltions despite the work of his “shadow operatives” to kill and derail practically all 2nd Amendment legislation.
So have things really changed that much with Speaker Harwell rather than Speaker Naifeh? Her prior voting record clearly suggested the events we now observe. This is why TFA and many others opposed Harwell’s campaign for Speaker.
It is important that all TFA members, firearms owners and all conservatives who believe that the rights that are recognized and guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution and also the Tennessee Constitution are more important than the individual objectives of political power and petty partisanship must take action to demand of our elected state officials that this bill be brought immediately to the floors of both houses for full, recorded votes. It is time we specifically identify those who would aid Speaker Harwell to infringe rights so that they might be known for who and what they are before we are asked to vote for them again.
We also still have the TFA Action Center email campaign still operational. With it you can send an email to your House member, your Senate member, each member of each Judiciary Committee and the Governor. Note: If you use the TFA Action Center campaign, please edit the subject and body of the message to customize it for your personal use. It will send it to your specific legislators based on your street address.
It is time to flood the offices of the legislature with our demands. Even if you have already sent a message or made a call, the work to protect our rights and remove infringements sometimes requires that we do more than a single email or phone call.
Also, these events make it important that we raise funds for the TFA PAC so that we can help to financially support not only the campaigns of those who have stood firm, particularly against the mandates of leadership, but also to support those who would challenge these “conservatives in name only” during election cycles. As with Speaker Naifeh, we might not defeat Speaker Harwell in an election but we can certainly defeat enough of those in the caucus who would return her to power.
There is an opportunity for Speaker Harwell and her lieutenants to realize that the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment and the interests of conservatives are not to be taken for granted but if they fail to do so, it will soon be time to work to replace them from their thrones on Mount Olympus.