KY Attorney General says state should spend more on protecting - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KY Attorney General says state should spend more on protecting schools

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's top law enforcement official says he does not want to turn the state's schools into armed camps.  Attorney General Jack Conway says the state does need to spend more money to protect Kentucky's school kids.

Conway believes the state should focus more resources on school security, especially in the wake of Newtown -- but when it comes to gun control, he is taking a wait-and-see approach.

"I am strong supporter of the Second Amendment and have always been supported by the NRA, but I'm re-thinking everything," said Conway.

But Conway is not ready yet to back any specific gun control measures. He says the federal government should take the lead. But he does say restrictions on so-called assault weapons should be part of that conversation.

"I've got a lot of friends who hunt deer, hunt elk in Kentucky. I don't know any of them that use combat-style semi-automatic weapons to hunt. And so the question has to be asked, it has to be part of the discussion. Are there too many of those style weapons out there?"

Conway says he does not support one lawmaker's call for armed officers and metal detectors at every school in the state.  "I don't know that I want to take my little girl to a school where every day she has to walk by an armed officer to go to school. I'm not certain we need to be there yet," he said.

Conway does back re-funding Kentucky's safe school program, a bill he helped write following the 1997 shooting at Heath High School in Paducah.

It created the Kentucky Center for School Safety and set aside $10 million to help school districts set up security programs. But the program's funding has been cut by 60% over the past five years.

"I would like to revisit that to see if we can get the funding up to appropriate levels so that every superintendent in the state designs a safety plan, reports to the school center the way they're supposed to, and that we have some confidence that we're doing everything we can to make sure the resources are available for safe schools."

Conway says he wants a comprehensive approach to attacking the issues raised by Newtown -from gun laws, to mental health funding, to video game violence.

As far as his political plans, he says he will serve out his term, which means he will not run against Sen. Mitch McConnell. But he is looking at a possible run for governor in 2015.

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