NASHVILLE – Protesters in Tennessee who break certain laws during demonstrations will now face harsher penalties, including losing the right to vote.
Gov. Bill Lee signed into law on Thursday a bill that stiffens penalties for protesters. House Bill 8005, sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, House Republican Majority Leader, went into effect immediately.
Camping on state property such as the Capitol was previously a misdemeanor. It will now be classified as a Class E felony punishable by one to six years in prison. Convicted felons also lose the right to vote and carry a gun.
The law also criminalized marking with chalk on a government building and introduced mandatory minimum jail sentences for certain crimes.