Louisville lawmaker files bill to do away with Kentucky State Police gun auction
Rep. Reggie Meeks says some of the guns are ending up back on the streets
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville lawmaker is taking aim at a state law that he said puts more guns in the wrong hands.
Rep. Reggie Meeks (D- Louisville) said he wants to reduce the number of guns on the streets by ending the gun auctions conducted by Kentucky State Police.
Several times a year, confiscated guns that have been used in crimes, are sold to federally licensed gun dealers. The money is used to buy police equipment.
But Meeks said police tell him that, too often, the guns sold in auctions end up back on the streets, and used in other crimes.
“There are a lot of guns showing up on the streets that they don't know where they're coming from,” Meeks told WDRB News.
Meeks’ bill, HB 411, would do away with a state law passed in 1998 that requires seized guns to be sold by the state.
"Let's reverse that, and now begin doing what we did for years, and years, and years, destroying those weapons, taking them out of the commerce stream, taking them off our streets," he said.
But Rep. Tim Moore (R-Elizabethtown) said Meeks is aiming at the wrong target.
"It's not the gun that is the threat. It is the gun in the hand of the criminals," said Moore.
He said Meeks’ bill would limit the rights of legal gun owners, because a few are obtaining them illegally.
“We need to increase the penalty for possessing or acquiring a gun through illegal means,” he said.
Meeks said in the wake of the recent school shootings, it is time for lawmakers to have a new, serious conversation about guns.
"Let's find out if the public policy justification for not destroying these confiscated weapons, but putting them back on the streets, if there's some foundation there," said Meeks. “I don't believe it is.”
HB 411 is one of several gun control bills Meeks has filed this week, including HB 409 that would ban the sale of bump stocks, devices that make semi-automatics fire faster.
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