Tennessee Senate Killed ‘Anti-Riot’ Bill Protecting Drivers Who Unintentionally Hit Protestors Blocking Roads


After passage in the House, the Tennessee Senate killed a bill protecting drivers who hit protestors unintentionally and heightening charges for protestors blocking roads. The Senate deferred the bill to summer study last Tuesday. Prior to that, the legislation struggled to move forward in the Senate after action was deferred or delayed several times in committee.

The Tennessee Star reported in early March that State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville), the bill sponsor, called the legislation an “anti-riot” bill.

State Senator Paul Rose (R-Tipton) also sponsored the bill.

As written, the bill would have rendered drivers immune from criminal charges if they unintentionally kill or injure protestors or rioters blocking roads. No immunity would have been extended to “bad actors” that intentionally hit protestors with vehicles, Assistant Majority Leader Gant told The Star.

The bill would also have made it a Class E felony for protestors to obstruct roads that offer an access to an emergency exit – a mandatory fine of $3,000 and the loss of voting powers. Any individual that disobeys first responders’ requests to move would be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor: up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $500.

Further, any individual who throws objects at others, or intentionally intimidates or harasses one another could be jailed for up to a year and fined $2,500. If a protestor throws an object and injures another, that perpetrator could serve up to six years in prison.

The estimated fiscal impact of the bill would have reflected a $335,000 increase in state incarceration fees.

In the House, votes on the bill fell largely along party lines. Only State Representative John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) voted for the bill.

The only amendment on the bill clarified that the act would be known and cited as the “Law and Order Act of 2021.”

– – –

Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Senator Paul Rose” “Representative by Tennessee General Assembly and photo “Ron M. Gant” by Tennessee General Assembly.







Related posts

27 Thoughts to “Tennessee Senate Killed ‘Anti-Riot’ Bill Protecting Drivers Who Unintentionally Hit Protestors Blocking Roads”

  1. Nancy

    If the GOP senators think the hard working people of Tennessee approve of the lawlessness in the cities they should be primaried by real conservative opponents! What we have in the metro areas are riots and business destruction , these are not peaceful protestors! Thank you senator Rose for sponsoring this bill! Please bring it back up! Senator McNally is a great example of why we need term limits, and new senate leadership!!!!

  2. Ms Independent

    Sexton, Fiason, and a lot of other bullies need to lose their jobs since they want to try and dictate what it’s like to be on unemployment! They are nothing more than bloated woke bullies and clueless to what the government shutdown did to the average worker here in Tennessee! Show them the exit door!

  3. Some Dude

    Tennessee is turning Democrat.

    Tennessee is turning Democrat.

    Tennessee is turning Democrat.

  4. lb

    I see a lot of righteous indignation in these Comments but what are WE doing–what CAN WE DO to change these outcomes?
    Looks like, once again, they talk a big game to get elected but when the rubber hits the road–they are boating

    1. Some Dude

      Rules for thee, but NOT for me. THAT is ALWAYS built into their real agendas. There are always those who do not have to follow the rules. So pah, I do not care. This is ALL for the Democrats to fix, or lose future elections over. I can afford to sit the next two/four(ty) years out, and buy the same rules as all the Democrat politicians use, same as Biden will.

      The people currently rioting in these Democrat city streets ALREADY have nothing to lose, by their rioting. So they CAN riot, with impunity, and have zero concerns for civil lawsuits against their multi-million dollar fortunes & properties. I cannot afford to riot. So, I will only self-defend, for now. If Tennessee continues its goosestep towards the Liberal Democrat Party of Socialism, I will also LEAVE. Others will, as well. Taking all our wasteful spending, tipping, and tax-paying, with us. Businesses, too. Skills too.

      TN will change, for the worse, if TN maintains this embracing of the Democrat Party’s extremist march.

      PS: The cracks are, obviously, leaking. Just start by looking at the US Money Supply (M1, M2, or M3). If you do not get it, ask an accountant friend to look with you, and explain. Just look at a long-term chart, and notice all the free paper money USA has JUST printed over the last 12 months. 78% more, NOW, than ever existed before, in all time. Poof! Hot off the press! All of it… fiat money. (Best part is… most of that goes into the stock market, so just own stocks, just buy, “The Top 100”,! LOL!, and some metals!).

      PPS: Pay attention to CCP’s, Helmsman, Xi! China’s masterful leader, Xi, is in control, of almost everything, NOW. Especially if the world wants to keep using anything electric or rechargeable. Since Xi’s China owns all the rare-earth metals, needed! Oh, yeah! Own some mining stocks, too!

  5. Concerned

    Ferrel Haile, Mike Bell, Bo Watson, and few others are influenced by McNally. McNally actually shares an apt. with Mike Bell and I believe Bo Watson when staying in Nashville. And Sexton dated McNally’s daughter at one time. It’s a cozy little group. That may explain why they lean to the left together.

  6. 83ragtop50

    Once again the senate, which rules as if in a blue state, favors the criminal over the victim. My senator, Haile, needs to go. He has a history of cowering and voting against conservative principles. I have no idea how he got into a position of leadership as he has not shown any leadership.

    1. Jack

      Please recruit a conservative primary opponent to Challenge Haile! I agree with you he appears to be out of step with his district!

  7. Apparently my comments stepped n someone!
    But perhaps Mike Bell expects another bone re election money from Zukerberg/Face3book for, sending the Legislation to Summer Study or file 13. Now that Conservative Free Speech Censoring anti American activist Zukerberg/Facebook is in town, I expect a lot of anti American money and lobbying in our legislature and Governor’s mansion. Zukerberg gave a lot of money to BLM and ANTIFA and protects them Facebook.
    This am at the cafe everyone was ‘mad as hell” about this legislation being killed.
    I wonder if Mike Bell and his allies are even aware that what he/they did is exactly opposite the wishes and expectations of Tennessee’s Honorable Citizens/Patriots?

  8. Senator and Committee Chair Mike Bell Killed the Legislation by sending it to “Summer Study.
    Mike Belle has been instrumental in killing a lot of Republican/Conservative, pro American pro Law and Order Legislation that Tennesseans wanted, that Tennesseans and decency, America demanded! So now Tennesseans and all Americans who coming into Tennessee are subject to the BLM and ANTIFA Riots and persecution and prosecution if they fend off the Democrat Communist protected Communist mobs/militias or try to flee to safety and hit one of the Communist Insurrectionists!
    Someone send mike Bell an application to join the Democrat Communist Party..he betrays Tennesseans and should be censored and ejected from the Tennessee Republican party and his seat in the Legislature and whoever might be pulling his strings!

  9. william delzell

    The state Senate actually did the RIGHT thing for once when it killed this “green light for vigilantes” bill. The right to protest is SACRED to the keeping of our Constitution!

    1. CMinTN

      Your domestic terrorist buddies do not have a right to impede travel on public roadways. You are now infringing on peoples rights to travel to and from work, the doctor, etc. If you don’t want run over, don’t play in the street. Law or no law, if I feel threatened by your woke mob I will not hesitate to run them over if they are blocking my egress. Nor will I stop to check their well being afterwards. We are at war and we need to wrap our minds around that fact!

    2. Bill

      An obamonite supposedly standing up for the constitution? I didnt know you had such a sense of humor William. Made me laugh out loud. Good one…

    3. Roger Pankey

      The right to peacefully petition the government is a right, blocking traffic, destroying peoples vehicles and injuring drivers isn’t a right and never has been. You might learn to read what the First Amendment says, not what you wish it said. I posted it below.

      Amendment I

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  10. Sim

    McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton both need to find a new job.

    Sexton doesn’t like the 2th Amendment either, or the people who support it.

    I don’t live in their district, but can donate and spend some time there campaigning against them.

    It’s time everyone gets off their butts or the country is going to hell, “Literally”.

    I hate to think of what kind of country my GGrand’s are going to inherit from this Generation,

    I certainly don’t like what I see.

    1. Committee Chair Senator Mike Bell sent the Legislation to “Summer Study” and we know who his allies are and who pulled the strings..

  11. EdC

    Apparently the senate has no problem advancing “blue” corruption in Tennessee.

  12. Some of these jackals posing as legislators need to experience, first hand, the wrath of these animals.Then, and only then, might they have a clue what it’s like to be out there in the streets, unprotected, unlike their lair, in which they are always protected.

    Maybe they need an unscheduled home visit – help put it in a little perspective for them.

  13. Kevin

    Actually, the problem is the result of self-centered State leadership! Time and again individual elected representatives (Representatives and Senators) try to pass Bills that represent the needs and wants of their constituents, BUT, leadership kills it! This was all about not bringing down the wrath of the radical “woke” Left! It’s sad that we have people in leadership roles who don’t have the backbone to stand up for what is right and what the majority of Tennesseans want, and who cave in to thugs who try to intimidate and bully us ! Very sad!

    But Senate Speaker McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton are “connected at the hip”. One is on the way to retirement and looking to protect his legacy. The other is looking to further climb the “political ladder”. Governor Sexton? Senator Sexton? Hmmm? Having Antifa and BLM protestors camped out on the steps of the State capital looks bad and negatively impacts both of these efforts. Add to it that Governor Lee is getting ready for a re-election bid. Well, I think you get the picture, radical protestors get the way!

    Tennessee deserved better leadership!

  14. Steve Allen

    If you want to protest, do it from the sidewalk. Blocking traffic should be (or already is) illegal. Your first amendment rights don’t trump my right to freely travel.

    1. DM

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Protest all you want but don’t interfere with other americans rights, business, or free travel. The only sufferers should be the lawmakers & politicians.

  15. Karen Bracken

    We don’t need a law for this. If we feel our life is being threatened we already have the God given right protected under the Constitution to protect ourself and our family whether it be by use of a weapon or a car to take down our attacker.

  16. Jpastaman

    Do we know who killed it.

    1. EdC

      That would be good to know.

  17. LM

    Why do drivers need to be “protected” from criminal charges if the act of running over a protestor is unintentional? Why is it not already a crime for protestors to block public roads and throw objects at other people? That’s where the problem is.