(Washington) Two elected Democrats from Tennessee, who had demonstrated a week ago for better supervision of firearms after a massacre in a school, were expelled Thursday from the House of Representatives of this American state, with a Republican majority.

Lawmakers voted to exclude Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who joined hundreds of protesters inside parliament on March 30 calling for stricter gun control days after a mass shooting in a Christian school in Nashville, the capital of this southern state, during which six people lost their lives, including three children.

A third elected Democrat, Gloria Johnson, also threatened with exclusion for the same reasons, managed to keep her seat.

The protesters had entered the Capitol of Tennessee to challenge the local elected officials gathered in session. “What do we want? Gun regulations! When do we want it? NOW ! “, they had chanted in the corridors.

MM. Jones and Pearson had notably used a megaphone to invite protesters to shout slogans such as “Power to the people” and “No action, no peace”, according to several American media.

“An elected official who has expressed opposition can be expelled, this is unheard of in Tennessee. This has never happened in our history,” Justin Jones reacted on American television.

“What the country sees is that we don’t have a democracy in Tennessee,” he continued. “I will continue to hold them accountable for their actions […] This is not just about me, but also about trying to silence and exclude the movement that we are trying to carry. »

“Three children and three officials shot dead in yet another mass shooting. And what are the elected officials of the Republican Party focusing on? Punish elected officials who joined thousands of peaceful protesters calling for action,” U.S. President Joe Biden blasted on Twitter.

“It is shocking, undemocratic and unprecedented,” he added.

Such a measure is extremely rare in the United States. The Tennessee parliament had so far excluded only two elected officials in its modern history, in 1980 and 2016.

On March 28, 28-year-old Audrey Hale broke into a Christian elementary school, the Covenant School, with two assault rifles and a pistol, causing death before police shot her dead.

The tragedy, whose motive remains unknown, has aroused great excitement and revived the debate on the circulation of firearms in the United States, where they represent the first cause of death for minors.