Tennessee Dems To Visit White House as Biden Pushes Gun Control

FILE PHOTO: Rep. Justin Pearson, Rep. Justin Jones, and Rep. Gloria Johnson leave the Tennessee State Capitol after a vote at the Tennessee House of Representatives to expel two Democratic members for their roles in a gun control demonstration at the statehouse last week, in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Cheney Orr
April 19, 2023

WASHINGTON (Reuters)—Three Democrats in the Tennessee legislature who faced expulsion over their participation in gun control protests will visit the White House on Monday as U.S. President Joe Biden continues to press for an assault weapons ban, the White House said.

Biden wants to "thank them for speaking out and standing their ground and being very clear about what's needed for our community," White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday.

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson - two young Black legislators - were expelled earlier this month but were later returned to office by their localities. A third representative, Gloria Johnson, who is a white woman, narrowly survived an expulsion vote.

The three lawmakers joined children, parents and others protesting at the state Capitol days after a Nashville school shooting killed three 9-year-old children and three school staff members.

"Now they want to speak out. And now they want to come here and have that conversation. It's really important to move that conversation," Jean-Pierre said. Additional details about the meeting will be released in coming days, she added.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Doina Chiacu; writing by Susan Heavey)

Published under: Gun Control