2 proposed bills illustrate both sides of the debate over guns in Kentucky
One bill allows concealed carry of guns on college campuses. The other allows local communities to pass their own gun regulations.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Among the hundreds of bills filed for the 2018 General Assembly, there are two that illustrate the debate over guns in Kentucky.
One bill gives communities the option of passing their own gun laws. The other removes restrictions already in place.
Ilya Chernyavskiy has a license to carry a concealed weapon and said he should not have to give up that right when he goes to class at the University of Louisville.
“If you're not a criminal, if you're not a bad member of society, I don't think there should be a reason why you are prohibited having means of self-defense,” he said.
He supports HB 210, filed by Rep. Tim Moore (R-Elizabethtown), which would allow concealed carry on college campuses.
“We recognize, as does the United States Constitution, that the right to bear arms is one of our protected rights as citizens,” Moore said.
Luther Brown lost his grandson in 2016 when someone dropped a loaded gun and shot him. Brown now works to promote gun safety, including using gun locks.
“If that gun has a lock on it, you have an opportunity to think about what it is you're getting ready to do versus grabbing a gun in the heat of an argument,” Brown said.
Brown backs HB 189, a bill by Rep. Reggie Meeks (D-Louisville), which would allow local communities to pass their own gun regulations and specifically requiring the reporting of stolen guns.
“Governmental institutions should have, and do need, the flexibility to protect their local citizens,” Meeks said.
Meeks opposes Moore's college campus bill and believes Moore has the wrong approach.
“It's counterproductive to our public safety. Period,” he said. “The toughest gun laws in our nation are in places like Chicago and Washington D.C., and they have the highest incidence of murder and violent crime."
Chernyavskiy, Moore, Brown and Meeks all want the same thing: safer communities. But they have different ways of going about it. It is a debate in the society that is playing out at the State Capitol in Frankfort.
Moore believes his bill has a good shot at passing, while Meeks knows his is a longshot. Both hope to at least contribute to the conversation about guns.
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