Kentucky Legislative Update: 3/6/19

Scored Votes

HB 328 - An Act Relating to Firearms on School Property passed the full House 91-2-5 (Yeas 55 Rs, 36 Ds; Nays 2 Rs, 0 Ds)

This bill clarifies that the legal ability of an adult to possess a firearm on school property does not extend to adults who are students.

SB 150 - An Act Relating to Carrying Concealed Weapons passed the full House 60-37 and has been sent to the governor for signing.

Amendment 3 failed 30-58. The amendment would have required background checks and training for concealed carriers.

Amendment 4 failed 31-53. The amendment would have inserted language related to domestic violence restraining orders

Amendment 7 failed 34-51. The amendment would have limited concealed carry to persons who have documentation of training.

Amendment 19 failed 33-54. The amendment would have limited a person carrying a concealed firearm to a single cartridge of ammunition

Following these votes, there remain 35 members of the Kentucky House with A+ grades.


Editorial: 'Permitless Carry' puts Kentuckians at a disadvantage

From the Bowling Green Daily News:

We do not support Senate Bill 150 because we don’t believe allowing our residents to conceal carry a gun without any idea of how to use it or when deadly force is justified is not good policy for our state.

Carrying a firearm, especially a concealed firearm, is a great responsibility.

We do believe that the better trained a concealed carrier is, the more of a deterrent he or she is against would-be attackers. Let’s face it, criminals don’t follow the laws and most of the time don’t buy guns legally. But why do away with requirements that at least give honest, law-abiding citizens the opportunity to learn the basics, so that when they do feel the only way to protect themselves is to pull a concealed firearm, they have a fighting chance?


Kentucky full speed ahead with unpopular 'Constitutional Carry' bill

Most Kentucky voters and gun owners support a state law requiring a permit and safety training to carry a concealed handgun in public and do not want to see it changed, a poll released Wednesday shows.

The telephone survey, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of two gun-control advocacy groups, found that 91 percent of Kentuckians and 90 percent of gun owners in the state favor the current permitting system for carrying concealed weapons.

It showed 67 percent of Kentucky voters oppose a bill now in the state legislature — Senate Bill 150 — that would allow law-abiding adults who are at least 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a concealed-carry permit or the required safety training.

SB 150, which has already passed the State Senate 29-8, is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. LEAP Forward is continuing to grade action on this bill, and is scoring opposition.


Courier-Journal Reporter: 'By the end of June, I could be armed and dangerous'

…I had never in my 53 years shot a handgun before Saturday.

Folks in the Kentucky State Senate think I’m overqualified.

If the Senate bill removing educational requirements becomes law, anyone 21 or older who doesn’t have a felony record or a history of domestic violence, hasn’t been committed for drugs, and meets a few other requirements, could carry a concealed firearm — without even the minimum amount of training I received Saturday.

“You think, ‘Hey, I’ve taken the class. I’m ready,’” Marlan Ingram, the instructor who taught my class at Open Range in Crestwood, told the class. “Yeah. You’re not ready.”


On Parkland anniversary, Kentucky Republicans do NRA's bidding

Moral bankruptcy is too mild for what Kentuckians witnessed as the state Senate obediently advanced the NRA gospel that no matter the question, the answer must be more guns in the hands of more people.

Despite the empirical link between guns and motherless children, SB 150’s sponsor, Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, touted the convenience to single working moms of not having to get a permit to conceal a gun that is more likely to kill her than save her.

As he presented SB 150 to a committee, Smith sat beside NRA state director Art Thomas, carrying out orders that have nothing to do with keeping Kentuckians of any age safe.


Kentucky 'constitutional carry' law ignores the importance of training

From Dom Calicchio, Fox News:

But one Republican state senator said he was concerned about the bill also eliminating the six-hour gun-safety course that is currently required for gun owners.

Sen. Danny Carroll argued that the training is important in order to maximize public safety.

Danny Cope, a firearms instructor, former police officer and advocate of Second Amendment rights, said he agreed.

“Probably 70 percent of all of the students I have taught were not familiar with handguns and had no working knowledge of a handgun,” Cope told WLWT-TV of Cincinnati.


Permitless concealed carry another step closer to reality in Kentucky

A critic of the bill, Connie Coartney, said Kentucky lawmakers marked the anniversary by advancing "more dangerous gun legislation and doing the bidding" for the NRA. She is with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The change would drop the training currently required to obtain a license, which is something some people find concerning. 

"Right now you don't know what you don't know and people don't know what they don't know," Barry Laws said. "You're going to miss out on training, they're going to miss out on the safeties, they're going to miss out on how to store firearms, and the laws in Kentucky. They won't know those."

Laws is the owner and weapons instructor of Open Range. 

LEAP Forward will continue to grade SB 150 and score opposition.


Moms Demand Action rallies against permitless carry in Kentucky

From Jack Brammer, Lexington Herald Leader:

The National Rifle Association, which is pushing the so-called permitless carry bill, said the bill will give law-abiding gun owners the ability to better protect themselves and their loved ones.

Connie Coartney, volunteer leader with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said the measure — Senate Bill 150 — “would dismantle Kentucky’s permitting system that has kept our communities safe for years.”

“SB 150 would allow some people with dangerous histories to carry a loaded handgun in public, with no background check and no safety training, putting all Kentuckians at risk,” Coartney said. “This is a dangerous and irresponsible piece of legislation and we will not rest until it’s defeated.”


Kentucky is the next state up in the push for 'Constitutional Carry' legislation

Less than a month after the unpermitted carrying of hidden firearms was signed into law in South Dakota, similar legislation is set to be heard in the Kentucky Senate.

SB 150, by Republican Senator Brandon Smith and cosponsored by eight of his GOP colleagues, would, simply, allow anyone over the age of 21 who’s allowed to own a firearm to carry that weapon - concealed - with no license at all times. It mimics not only the South Dakota law, but other so-called “Constitutional Carry” bills LEAP Forward is tracking in South Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma.

The Senate Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Transportation Committee will hold hearings on this bill this week on the anniversary of the Parkland shooting - Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

LEAP Forward is grading action on this legislation and scoring opposition.