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‘The emotional scars are a lot deeper’: Woman shares personal tragedy to advocate for red flag laws

By Chris Davis

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) — In light of recent mass shootings, some Tennessee lawmakers want to adopt red flag laws in the Volunteer State. Under the law, family members, physicians and law enforcement could petition a court to remove weapons from a person who is a risk to themselves or others.

But a Nashville woman says, based on her own life experiences, the law is desperately needed.

“I can replay it in my head, over and over,” said Twana Chick, a retired Metro Police officer.

Back in 2021, Chick could just tell there was something wrong with her brother.

“His diagnosis was narcissistic personality disorder with obsessive-compulsive traits,” Chick said.

So she reached out to several organizations, seeing if there was anything they could do about him owning weapons.

“We were trying to find any legal means to intervene, and there was none because Tennessee does not have that mechanism in place, there is no Red Flag Law,” said Chick.

She was worried her brother might harm himself. She never imagined he’d try to kill her.

“At approximately 7:30 that evening is when my brother fired on me,” said Chick. “The first round hit me in my right lung, the second round hit me in my right wrist and severed the artery and the nerve. The third round hit me in my left quadrant — my abdomen.”

Chick was shot a total of 10 times and managed to stagger away from her parents’ front porch to triage her own wounds, as her brother died by suicide.

“I felt like this was a sucking chest wound so my arm was on that, and in the middle of all that, I was trying to get my phone to dial 911, which I had difficulty with,” she said.

Many parts of her body are forever changed, but Twana admits, the deepest scars come from within.

“The emotional scars are a lot deeper and longer. People don’t see them. They tend to look at you and think you’re doing great. Sometimes you are, sometimes you aren’t,” said Chick.

As hard as it is to talk about it, Chick is sharing her story as an advocate for red flag laws.

“It’s not about taking away gun rights, it’s about keeping families healthy,” she said. “We would like this looked at this year, this session, today. Let’s not wait until someone else is going through this.”

Chick says she’s testified before on Capitol Hill, but many lawmakers wouldn’t even look her in the eyes as she shared her story. She says she’s willing to speak again, if legislators are willing to consider red flag laws this session.

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