State Rep. Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) is sponsoring a bill which he sees as a motion by Tennessee to honor the state’s support of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
According to Cochran, his proposed bill would ensure that “institutions that are openly restrictive and combative towards gun owners and firearm-related businesses are not able to participate in public bond sales.”
The state representative said his bill was designed after a policy that Louisiana’s bond commission developed to ban Citygroup and Bank of America from participating in public bond sales.
Prior to the Louisiana board’s motion, both banks announced policies that would enact financial restrictions against companies in the firearm industry. In Cochran’s words, “They came out pretty openly against gun owners and firearms establishments about who they lend to.”
Cochran explained his belief that companies seeking to restrict the Second Amendment are not in line with values held by a majority of his constituents and those throughout the state.
“I want to make sure that companies that Tennessee is doing business with are congruent with the values of the vast majority of Tennesseans,” he stated, adding that along with his district, “Tennessee believes strongly in gun rights and the right to bear arms.”
Although Cochran noted that restrictions like those in place by the banks are a “private company’s right” he also emphasized that “the State of Tennessee does not have to agree to do business with them.”
To Cochran, the Second Amendment is not only important to Tennesseans, but is also an essential element of the nation’s Constitution. That is another reason why he believes that “if your company is openly combative to a vital part of the Constitution” the business should be restricted from participating in public bond sales. For the Englewood native, personally, he said, “Obviously, I am a very strong advocate of the Second Amendment. I believe our founders thought it was a very important part of the Constitution.”
According to the state representative, the bill proposal stems from concerns voiced by a constituent who thought the state should take similar action to that of Louisiana’s.
Right now, Cochran said he is focusing on moving other pieces of legislation but expects the bill will be presented in two to three weeks. He also noted that “certainly changes and tweaks will be made” to the wording of the proposed legislation, but he believes it has “a good chance of passing” the Legislature.
“Anytime there’s talk about firearms or the Second Amendment, no doubt there will be some opposition, but again, a majority of Tennesseans and our district are in favor of the Second Amendment,” Cochran explained.