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Tennessee’s GOP-Controlled House Expels First of 3 Democrats For Protesting Gun Violence

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Rep. Justin Jones

Tennessee’s GOP-controlled House on Thursday expelled Democratic Rep. Justin Jones, the first of three Democratic members targetted by Republicans for their role in a demonstration calling for gun control after the Nashville school shooting.

The 72-25 vote to oust Jones was an extraordinary move the chamber has used only a handful of times since the Civil War.

As noted by CNN, the House was also considering ousting Reps. Gloria Johnson and Justin Pearson a week after the trio chanted back and forth from the chamber floor with gun-control supporters who packed the gallery.

The protest came after six people, including three children, were fatally shot at The Covenant School in Nashville.

Thousands of people flocked to the Capitol to support the three Democrats, cheering and chanting outside the House chamber so loudly that the noise drowned out the proceedings.

The trio held hands as they walked onto the House floor Thursday morning, and Pearson raised his fist to the crowd during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Offered a chance to defend himself before the vote, Jones said the GOP responded to the shooting with a different kind of attack.

“We called for you all to ban assault weapons, and you respond with an assault on democracy,” he said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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