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Asm. Gipson and Fellow Assemblymembers Hosted Press Conference with Expelled Tennessee Rep. Jones to Protect Democracy and Continue to Tackle Gun Violence

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 15, 2023) – Assemblymembers Mike A. Gipson and Mia Bonta hosted a press conference today in anticipation of AJR 5, which condemns the Tennessee Legislature for expelling two representatives after they joined a peaceful protest against gun violence, and they welcomed Representative Justin Jones, one of the two Tennessee representatives expelled.

“In March, three Tennessee Representatives joined hundreds of protesters at the state Capitol in Nashville to demand stricter gun laws,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson). “These actions led to the unjust expulsion of two Representatives, Mr. Jones and Mr. Pearson, from the Tennessee House of Representatives, while their colleague Representative Johnson was allowed to stay in office. The people of Tennessee recognized this miscarriage of justice, and I am happy to report that Representatives Jones and Pearson have been reappointed to the house and are back in action. Still, they were only re-appointed because the Metropolitan Council and the County jumped in, not because the Tennessee Legislator recognized their mistake. That is why I introduced AJR 5 on the California Assembly Floor today. This AJR officially tells Tennessee that California condemns its actions in expelling these two representatives for exercising their constitutional rights. California will not stand idly as threats to democracy occur across this great nation.”

“On March 27, Representative Jones, a son of Oakland, spoke up for victims of gun violence,” said Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland). “He stood up for what was right and was immediately admonished for his actions. The Tennessee House of Representatives chose to expel him, but the people, who believe in him, who value him, and who need his voice in the Legislature immediately put him back in the seat he rightfully belongs in. Mr. Jones is using his position of power to draw attention to gun violence and to warn of the snowball effects that can happen when we act on politics and not on policy. The fact that Mr. Jones was able to be in
the California Capitol on the day we brought up AJR 5 is powerful. California stands with Mr. Jones in preserving democracy and speaking out against gun violence.”

Assemblymember Mike Gipson will unveil Assembly Joint Resolution Five on the Assembly Floor today, which boasts 33 co-authors from both houses so far. This AJR condemns the expulsion of Rep. Jones and Rep Pearson from the Tennessee Legislator.