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Nashville elementary school shooting renews gun debate among Tennessee lawmakers

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An elementary school shooting in Nashville Monday that killed six has renewed the debate over guns in Tennessee once again as state lawmakers try to decide how to prevent tragedies like this in the future.

Some say the only way to prevent these tragedies is by issuing bans for firearms, while others say mental health is the issue.

New information released Tuesday from Nashville police reveals the shooter, Audrey Hale, bought seven guns from five different gun stores legally over the past several days. Three of them were used in Monday's shooting.

Police say they know she was under doctor care for an emotional disorder.

Both of those facts now sparking new debate about what has to change to prevent more tragedies.

"Please don’t say you're pro-life and put more guns on the streets," said Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell.

Heated debate came just hours after the Nashville school shooting on the state House floor.

But lawmakers put a pause on discussion about gun-related bills.

“Any gun-related bills scheduled for discussion today and tomorrow are being rolled to next week, out of respect to the victims of yesterday’s horrific scene," said Republican state Sen. Todd Gardenhire.

Other lawmakers that represent Tennessee want the focus on mental health laws, not gun.

"I don't think you're going to stop the gun violence," said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn. "I think you've got to change people's hearts."

The question some are asking: Should the 28-year-old shooter have been able to buy seven different guns, two of them assault rifles, at five different gun stores in a few days span?

According to Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake, Audrey Hale was dealing with an emotional disorder.

"Law enforcement knew nothing about the treatment she was receiving," Drake said.

Peter Ambler with GIFFORDS, a gun violence prevention organization, says some other states have extreme risk protection orders, but not Tennessee.

"Tennessee could have used those resources to implement an extreme risk while the legislature and the governor enacted a state version of the extremist law but they chose not to," says Ambler.

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Ambler said that this red flag law has been passed by dozens of states over the past 10 years.

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