Physicians today, citing the previous failure of the TN General Assembly to act on a bare minimum  order of protection in the aftermath of  the Covenant School tragedy, call on elected leaders to to enact laws to protect children, families and communities. deliver petitions to legislator’s offices.

NASHVILLE, TN — On the opening day of Governor Lee’s Special Session on Public Safety, physicians  gathered at the Cordell Hull State Office Building to walk the halls of legislative offices and hand deliver copies of a petition, signed by over 1,100 physician parents, calling on elected officials to protect the health and well being of children by adopting common sense gun safety legislation.

Nashville pediatrician, Dr. Vidya Bansal, motivated by the “unacceptable failure of the Tennessee General Assembly to act on a bare minimum order of protection last spring”, gathered these physician signatures representing 4 pages of schools their children attend.

“Growing up in Nashville, I never had to fear guns in schools,” said Dr.  Bansal.  “As a pediatrician and a parent, the unacceptable, repeated failure of the Tennessee General Assembly to act on even a bare minimum ‘order of protection’ in the aftermath of a school tragedy motivated me to engage other physician parents to demand that our elected leaders enact legislation that will protect our children, our patients, and our communities from senseless gun violence that has become a nationwide public health epidemic.”

Dr. Bansal continued, “Firearms are now the number one leading cause of death of children in the United States. The right of our children to LIVE should trump anyone’s right to own a gun without the proper training and necessary background checks and permits. And our children are worth more than a gun manufacturer.”

Dr. Bansal’s petition calls on the General Assembly to debate and enact legislation that includes ALL of the following:


• School Security

• Mental health support and access

• Banning weapons of mass casualty in the form of 

  AR-15 and other assault rifles

Dr. Katrina Green, an emergency physician practicing in Nashville and Columbia, has worked in trauma centers and treated countless victims of gunshot wounds. “One of the things my training did not prepare me for was the soul-crushing, heartbreaking sound of the wails of mothers when you tell them that their child has died,” said Dr. Green.

“Tennessee is failing at protecting its citizens. We aren’t safe in schools, places of worship, grocery stores, movie theaters, concerts, shopping malls, or hospitals. Today there is blood on the hands of gun lobbyists, gun manufacturers and the legislators who refuse to act,” continued Dr. Green.  “Since the supermajority legislature ended their regular session on April 21, without taking any action on gun safety reform, there have been 473 firearm incidents in the state, resulting in the death of 206 people, including 24 children.”

Dr. Green shared her experience on the day of the Covenant School shooting. As she was heading in to work she received a text from a colleague notifying her of a mass casualty event with several reported casualties. “It was a tough day.  Later came the knowledge that two of the children killed that day were those of members of the medical community. This one hit close to home.

“When the General Assembly adjourned for the summer without taking up any meaningful gun legislation, I wish I could say I was surprised. But I’ve seen this supermajority legislative body ignore the will of the people time and time again.  Poll after poll shows overwhelming bipartisan support across Tennessee for gun safety measures, including background checks and extreme risk protection orders,” concluded Dr. Green.

Physicians then proceeded to the legislative offices in the Cordell Hull State Office Building to deliver the petitions.  They plan to attend the opening session of this Special Session when it gavels in at 4PM today.


Physician Petition for Gun Violence Prevention and Gun Safety

Tennessee Under the Gun – Shooting incidents since April 21st end of regular legislative session

New Tennessee survey finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety, laws   The Tennessean, 4/17/2023

Tennessee Poll Results: Gun Safety Reform, commissioned by Protect My Care in April, found strong bipartisan support across Tennessee for gun safety measures, including background checks and so-called “red flag” laws. Top among supported gun safety measures were strengthened background checks for all gun sales (88%), followed closely by safe storage laws (82%).  Seven in ten voters support extreme risk protection laws, and the same portion is opposed  to the idea of dropping Tennessee’s legal age to carry a gun from 21 to 18. 

Vanderbilt Poll shows broad bipartisan support for gun safety legislation  5/3/2023