Bill would allow those with permits to carry guns on school camp - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bill would allow those with permits to carry guns on school campuses

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some say House Bill 249 will make students and teachers feel safer, but others say it will lead to the wild, wild west.

The bill would allow people age 18 and over with concealed carry permits to take their guns onto public school property.

Like most college campuses, U of L is a gun-free zone. It's designed to make the campus more safe. But some say that just makes the campus a more tempting target for bad guys.

Ilya Chernyavskiy is a law student at U of L and has a concealed carry permit. But on campus, his holster is empty. School policy bans him from carrying his gun.

“I suppose if the criminal gave me enough time, I could undo my belt, take this hard piece of plastic and chuck it at them,” Chernyavskiy joked.

House Bill 249 would change that, allowing those over age 18 who have concealed carry licenses to take their guns onto public school property, from colleges down to elementary schools.

The sponsor says it would help prevent school shootings and terror attacks.

“They rarely go after locations where they know there's going to be opposition," Rep. Tim Moore said. "They go to places where they don't think there will be any opposition."

But Jon Akers, the executive director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, calls the bill dangerous, especially for K-12 schools.

“We try to keep off guns off campuses, and when people can come on campus without us knowing who has a firearm causes me great concern,” Akers said.

Akers says concealed carry permits do not qualify a person to act in a crisis. He says the answer is more trained police officers in schools.

“I'm talking about a moving target with kids running up and down the hallway,” Akers said. “How is a person with concealed carry going to be able to deal with that?”

But the bill's sponsor says police cannot be everywhere at once.

“And that is why we have a Second Amendment, so that the individual citizen, the law-abiding citizen has the first right to protect themselves from harm,” Moore said.

Back at U of L, Chernyavskiy says it's a no-brainer

“It would make feel a lot better," he said. "The campus would become a safer environment."

The bill applies not just to public schools, but also highway rest areas, public housing and government offices, except courthouses and jails.

Moore says he's hearing from both sides, but it's too soon to tell whether the bill is on target for passage this session.

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