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Guns on campus bill sparks Republican infighting

By Erik Schelzig

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, May 11 2011 3:35 p.m. MDT

House Speaker Beth Harwell, right, speaks to reporters in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, after casting a tiebreaking vote to advance a bill to curb teachers’ collective bargaining rights out of the Finance Committee. At left is House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart, R-Henderson, and a main sponsor of the bill.

Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The demise of a bill seeking to allow faculty and staff to carry guns on the campuses of public colleges has led to a flare-up between Republican lawmakers in the Tennessee House.

Freshman Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden sent an email close to midnight Tuesday to Rep. Jim Coley of Bartlett that criticized his fellow Republican for what he described as "cowardly actions" for sending the measure to a study committee after the Legislature adjourns.

Holt wrote that last week's move made the House GOP caucus look "dysfunctional and incompetent."

Coley said he circulated the email among colleagues because of the language and tone Holt used. He said the two lawmakers have since come to an agreement to work better together in the future.

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