child rapeCriminal Justice SubcommitteeDeath penaltyFeaturedhandgunsharassmentHB1631HB1645HB1663House Bill 1631House Bill 1645House Bill 1663House Criminal Justice Subcommitteelifetime orders of protectionPrivate SchoolsrapistsStalkingState NewsTennesseeTennessee General AssemblyTennessee House of Representatives

The Death Penalty For Child Rapists, Handguns For Private Schools, & Increased Protection For Stalking Victims Up For Debate In House Subcommittee Tuesday

Image Credit: PickPik / Public Domain ; @GinoBulso / X ; Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Tennessee bills that seek to authorize the death penalty for child rapists, allow private schools to create policies for carrying handguns on campus, and expand lifetime orders of protection for stalking and felony harassment are set to be heard in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday, January 23rd.

Authorizing Death Penalty For Child Rapists

House Bill 1663 (HB1663), sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44), as introduced, would allow the death penalty to be prescribed as punishment for adults who commit the following crimes: rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child, and especially aggravated rape of a child.

These charges are all classified as Class A felonies in Tennessee.

Current state law dictates that a person convicted of rape of a child must receive a minimum 35-40 year sentence and if appropriate, a 40-60 year sentence.

If a person is convicted of aggravated rape of a child, they must be sentenced to imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.

Rep. Lamberth’s bill would simply be increasing the consequences for these crimes.

Read more about this legislation HERE.

Allowing Private Schools To Develop Handgun Carry Policies

House Bill 1631 (HB1631), sponsored by Rep. Gino Bulso (R-Brentwood-District 61), clarifies that “a private school serving students in any of the grades pre-K through 12 is authorized to adopt a handgun carry policy for the private school’s property.”

Bulso initially proposed a similar law during the 2023 session after the shooting at Covenant School. The amendment did not advance, although the Tennessee Attorney General’s office stated that private schools did have that option if it was adopted into law.

Read more about this legislation HERE.

Expanding Lifetime Protection Orders For Victims Of Stalking & Felony Harassment

House Bill 1645 (HB1645),  sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44), as introduced, expands the eligibility for filing a petition to obtain a lifetime order of protection to include victims of aggravated stalking, especially aggravated stalking, and felony harassment.

Lamberth’s bill was filed during last summer’s special session where it passed the House unanimously but died when the Senate refused to take action.

Read more about this legislation HERE.

To voice your support or opposition to any of the bills summarized above, contact the House Criminal Justice subcommittee members listed below prior to Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024:

Clay Doggett (R) – – (615) 741-7476

Elaine Davis (R) – – (615) 741-2287

Monty Fritts (R) – – (615) 741-7658

John Gillespie (R) – – (615) 741-8201

G.A. Hardaway (D) – – (615) 741-5625

Dan Howell (R) – – (615) 741-7799

Bud Hulsey (R) – – (615) 741-2886

Gloria Johnson (D) – – (615) 741-2031

William Lamberth (R) – – (615) 741-1980

Debra O. Moody (R) – – (615) 741-3774

Lowell Russell (R) – – (615) 741-3736

Joe Towns, Jr. (D) – – (615) 741-2189

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at

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