Tennessee GOP expels Democrat for gun protest role

The Tennessee Republican Party has expelled a Democratic lawmaker for her role in a gun protest that took place at the state Capitol earlier this year. Representative London Lamar, who represents Memphis in the state House, was one of several protesters who staged a sit-in at the Capitol in March to demand action on gun control legislation.

The protest came in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead. Lamar and her fellow protesters called on lawmakers to pass a bill that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as require background checks for all gun purchases.


The Tennessee GOP condemned the protest at the time, calling it a “disgraceful display of disrespect for our state’s laws and the men and women who enforce them.” The party also called for Lamar’s resignation, saying that she had violated her oath of office by participating in the protest.

Now, the party has taken things a step further by expelling Lamar from its ranks. In a statement, the Tennessee GOP said that Lamar’s actions “demonstrate a complete lack of respect for the rule of law and the principles of our democracy.”

Lamar, for her part, has defended her actions, saying that she was simply exercising her First Amendment rights. “I was there to stand up for what I believe in, which is common-sense gun reform,” she told reporters. “I don’t regret it at all.”

The move to expel Lamar has been met with criticism from Democrats and gun control advocates, who say that it is an attack on free speech and an attempt to silence those who are calling for change. “This is a blatant attempt to intimidate and silence those who are speaking out against gun violence,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The controversy over Lamar’s expulsion highlights the deep divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of gun control. While Democrats have been pushing for stricter gun laws in the wake of mass shootings, Republicans have largely resisted such efforts, arguing that they would infringe on Second Amendment rights.

As the debate continues, it remains to be seen what impact Lamar’s expulsion will have on the larger conversation around gun control in Tennessee and beyond. But one thing is clear: the fight over this issue is far from over.

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