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TN Representative Littleton Kills Mass Shooting Accountability Bill. Why?


Representative Mary Littleton,
District 78, Humphreys County, TN


Tennessee House bill 2937, sponsored by Representative Mary Littleton,  with a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Senator Rusty Crowe, was attempting to reform the way in which mass shooting investigations are conducted.  This twofold accountability bill would ensure toxicology testing for prescription psychotropic drugs used by the alleged shooters and would also allow mental health treatment records to be disclosed to law enforcement and the public. This may have been helpful in having Audrey Hale’s Manifesto released earlier along with obtaining mental health folder #46.

This bill would have dictated that the behavioral health (mental health) industry could not approach law enforcement or investigators to influence the investigation, as there is obvious bias if behavioral health products and services are involved, such as drugs, counseling and law enforcement training.  Instead, Littleton pulled her own bill a minute prior from Committee consideration for her stated reason that she was so upset that it was the anniversary of the Nashville Covenant School shooting. What?  AbleChild has reached out for comment, and she has not returned our calls.

The general assembly agenda was flooded with pro-mental pro-behavioral health bills.  Littleton’s legislation was the only bill that would have aimed at reforming this powerful billion-dollar industry that is allowed to withhold data from mass shooting investigations.

There were several unusual events associated with getting this bill to Committee, beginning with the filing where the jacket went missing, which is needed to file the bill, the filing deadline was almost missed, and the mishandling of the proposed bill by the legal department.  AbleChild learned that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) wanted the entire behavioral health section gutted. Why? Wouldn’t law enforcement want these additional tools of investigation? Doesn’t make sense.  But, after much deliberation, everyone involved was ready to move forward. 

So, one can imagine the disappointment upon learning that Littleton had pulled this much needed bill; and it’s anyone’s guess when, or if, this legislation will be heard in the future. Littleton could have been a champion on a piece of legislation to protect public safety and help families understand what goes wrong with the horrible mass shootings. What was the last-minute cold feet behavior? Littleton could have taken the lead on model legislation and, instead, we all must wonder why she acquiesced and to who? 


Audrey Hale, Manifesto, Mary Littleton, Mass Shootings, Nashville Covenant School, psychotropic drugs, TN