Kentucky lawmakers introduce new gun control bill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky lawmakers introduce new gun control bill

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FRANKFORT, KY. (WDRB) -- Lawmakers in Frankfort have introduced a new gun control bill, but the legislation is likely to be quickly shot down.

Supporters say the bill takes what they call "reasonable steps" to reduce gun violence, while protecting the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"We live in a gun culture. We have to reverse it. We have to change it," said Louisville Democrat Jim Wayne. He says his bill is a step in that direction.

Some supporters came wearing the names of people killed by gun violence.

"Jesus said that the greatest command is to love God and love our neighbors. To plug a bullet hole in Kentucky's leaking dam of gun death and destruction is an expression of the love of God and neighbor," said Rev. Joe Phelps, pastor of Louisville's Highland Baptist Church.

The bill would, among other things: give the State Police authority to license and regulate guns; require background checks for private gun sales; mandate gun safes and locks; require defendants found guilty but mentally ill to surrender their guns; and allow local governments to regulate firearms.

"This is a reasonable piece of legislation. It does not take away people's guns, but we need to start protecting Kentucky's citizens," said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville.

But it's likely that this, or any gun control bill is going to misfire in the General Assembly.  "Generally, I think the legislative process on both the House and the Senate side would look with a quite jaundiced eye, as my father used to say, at anything that tries to restrict the Second Amendment rights to bear arms," said Senate President Robert Stivers, who has not yet seen this particular bill.

But gun control supporters are optimistic that they will eventually prevail.  "We are hopeful that we can get a hearing, and we're eternally hopeful this kind of legislation can pass," said Wayne.

The bill also contains an emergency clause so that, if it passes, it would take effect immediately.

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