Nashville, TN – Justin Jones, a recently reinstated Tennessee lawmaker, has vowed to continue pushing for gun reform policies in the state following his controversial expulsion from the statehouse. Jones, a Black Democrat, was expelled earlier this year along with two other Democratic lawmakers in what many saw as a racially motivated move by the Republican-controlled House.
After a lengthy legal battle, a Nashville board reinstated Jones on Tuesday, much to the dismay of some conservative lawmakers who had been instrumental in his ousting. “We believe that Mr. Jones has shown remorse for his previous actions and is committed to working with his colleagues in a professional and productive manner,” the board stated in its decision.
Jones, who launched a campaign for the state Senate last month, said he was “thrilled” to be back in the House and vowed to use his platform to push for stronger gun reform policies. “I’m not going to let this expulsion be in vain,” he told reporters. “I’m going to use this as an opportunity to keep fighting for what I believe in, and that includes common-sense gun laws that will keep our communities safe.”
Many Tennessee residents, including readers of local papers like The Tennessean, continue to support the expulsion of Jones and his fellow lawmakers. However, some out-of-state outlets, like the Houston Chronicle, have questioned whether the move sets a dangerous precedent for other state legislatures, particularly those with Republican majorities.