In a spirited press conference held during a highly debated special session that’s garnered national attention, a group of Tennessee Republicans came together to make a resolute commitment to combat human trafficking within the state. Organized by the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative advocacy group, the press conference featured prominent Tennessee Republicans from both the state House and Senate. This gathering took place in Nashville’s old Supreme Court chamber, coinciding with Left-leaning protesters advocating for gun control at the capitol.
The central focus of the conference was a bill, SB 7088, which mandates an annual report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and aims to amplify awareness of the prevalent issue of human trafficking in the state. House Majority Leader William Lamberth highlighted the need to bring this issue to the forefront and collaborate between the TBI, law enforcement, and the legislature to root out every community where this heinous crime occurs and allocate necessary resources.
Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson declared the state’s unwavering commitment to take on human and child sex traffickers with utmost determination. Congressman Andy Ogles (R-TN) underscored the biblical imperative lawmakers hold in battling trafficking, emphasizing their duty to protect the most vulnerable members of society.
The bill necessitates the TBI to compile a report on child and human trafficking crimes and trends within the state, relying on available data and the bureau’s human trafficking unit’s ongoing programs and activities. Aaron Gulbransen, the executive director of the Tennessee Faith and Freedom Coalition, condemned human trafficking as a pervasive menace, expressing the group’s unwavering dedication to rescuing women and children from this scourge.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reveals a stark reality: nearly 600 kids go missing in Tennessee every month, with some being runaways or ensnared in intricate situations, while others fall victim to trafficking. The issue of human trafficking has gained prominence, further fueled by the success of “Sound of Freedom,” a film portraying the heroic efforts of Tim Ballard, a federal agent who embarks on a mission to rescue a young girl from sex slavery in South America.
TBI clarified that most trafficked children in Tennessee are not foreign nationals, but rather kids who were born and raised within the state itself. The press conference and the bill’s measures underscore Tennessee Republicans’ firm resolve to tackle this grave issue head-on, demonstrating their commitment to safeguarding the lives and well-being of their fellow citizens.