Safe Tennessee Gun Policy Scholars Program

The Safe Tennessee Project Gun Policy Scholars Program is designed for high school students (rising 9th graders through rising 12th graders) who are interested in learning more about gun policy and legislative advocacy, and will provide an overview of the Second Amendment, including key court cases and federal and state laws, a history of the National Rifle Association, a review of US and Tennessee gun violence, and current gun violence and gun violence prevention research. 

Additionally, students will learn about public policy: how research and data is used to craft legislation, how bills are drafted, how advocacy groups and lobbyists work with lawmakers to file legislation, and how to build a persuasive case to advance or stop a bill.

The class will last approximately six hours and will be a mix of lectures, films, group discussions, guest speakers, and mock bill drafting and presentation. Students will be given the opportunity to review actual active legislation, develop talking points for or against a bill and present them to the group.

Students who care about gun violence prevention, and who are interested in political science, public health, public policy, or debate will benefit from learning more about the history of the “great gun debate,” how bills become laws, and how to use persuasive arguments to lobby legislation.

The class will last approximately six hours and will include a binder of course materials, and the books “The Second Amendment: A Biography” by Michael Waldman and “Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis” by Daniel Webster.  Lunch will be provided. There is no cost to attend.

In the spring semester when the Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes, we will offer a follow up course and interested students can participate in working with lawmakers to draft actual legislation, track bills, and even testify before committees.

The Gun Policy Scholars Class will be offered on three separate days. Interested students should pick a day that works best for their schedules. All classes will be held at Second Presbyterian Church,  3511  Belmont Boulevard.