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JCP Week in Review, March 2

Jared Bentley • Mar 2, 2018 at 2:31 PM

In this week’s national headlines, guns and safety still remain hot topics. While offering no specifics, President Donald Trump put fellow Republicans in the hot seat, calling for quick and substantial changes to the nation’s gun laws and criticizing lawmakers for being too fearful of the National Rifle Association to act.

Trump again voiced support for expanded background checks. He endorsed increased school security and more mental health resources, and he reaffirmed his support for raising the age to 21 for purchasing some firearms. Trump mentioned arming teachers, and said his administration, not Congress, would ban “bump-stock” devices that enable guns to fire like automatic weapons with an executive order.

A handful of retail outlets, led by Dick’s Sporting Goods, have already made concessions and changes to their policies; either halting sales of assault-style rifles, raising the age of gun sales to 21, or removing high-capacity magazines from their inventory. Even the nation’s largest employer, Walmart, has instituted higher age requirements and removed assault rifles from their shelves.

Keep reading the Johnson City Press for more information as the debate moves ahead.

 

 

 

What’s happening internationally?

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday that his military has tested an array of new strategic nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted, a technological breakthrough that could dramatically increase Russia’s military capability, boost the Kremlin’s global position and also raise Western concerns about a potential renewed arms race in the 21st century.

He noted that Russia “had to develop” the new weapons as the U.S. has developed a missile defense system that threatened to undermine the Russian nuclear deterrent and ignored Moscow’s concerns about it.

“No one has listened to us,” he said. “You listen to us now.”

So, now can we talk sanctions?

Washington County officials shave suspended two bus drivers without pay after two incidents this week that put students in danger.

Lanty Ross Lindley told police he fell asleep at the wheel when he crashed into a tree Tuesday afternoon, the first incident in his five year bus driving career. Jackie Adams, who was charged with a DUI during her Wednesday-morning route, had also never experienced disciplinary action during her three year tenure as a driver in the system.

Five students were injured in Tuesday’s incident. Lindley was also injured after being pinned in the bus, and had to be cut out by emergency responders. While no one experienced injury on Adams’ bus, she was transporting 23 students at the time of her arrest, and her impairment was evident, according to authorities.

Both Adams and Lindley went through the rigorous background checks and training procedures required, and now both are facing charges - Adams with the DUI, and Lindley with failure to exercise due care. Both will remain suspended without pay pending the outcome of the police investigation.

And finally, a bill legalizing certain forms of medical marijuana narrowly passed through the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Monday afternoon, despite one local legislator voting against it.

House Speaker Beth Harwell cast the deciding vote to keep Cosby Rep. Jeremy Faison’s Medical Cannabis Only Act alive as it moves forward in the legislative process.

The bill would not permit the recreational use of marijuana or even allow individuals to smoke the raw plant for medical reasons. If it passes, patients 21 years or older who are diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition,” such as cancer, ALS or PTSD, would be eligible to consume oil-based manufactured cannabis products. Jonesborough Rep. Micah Van Huss joined Rep. William Lamberth and Rep. Michael Curico in opposing the measure.

To find out what happens with the bill in its battle along the bureaucratic chain, follow johnsoncitypress.com and our in-depth coverage of the process.

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