LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's possible some federal firearm bans won't be enforced in Kentucky, if House Bill 153 is signed into law by the governor.

One Crestwood gun shop said it might seem like a good thing for 2nd Amendment rights but warned that it is more complicated than that.

"It just wouldn't be enforced by state employees of Kentucky. So an ATF agent could still arrest you, a federal agent could still arrest you," said OpenRange president Barry Laws.

House Bill 153 would keep Kentucky law enforcement officers from enforcing federal bans on firearms that were passed after 2021.

For example, in January of this year the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a ruling for guns with stabilizers and tightened regulations for guns with this stabilizer accessory.

"It turns your previous pistol into what's considered a regulated short barrel rifle. Once that's on the books, that gun is a short barrel rifle and you can't just sell it to anybody. That's a federal offense," Laws explained.

Under HB 153, Kentucky law enforcement wouldn't have to enforce the ATF's new stabilizer rules, but that doesn't mean federal agents couldn't enforce that law.

Laws at OpenRange said he supports the intent of the bill, but he worries about the nuances that could leave gun owners vulnerable to federal charges and possibly arrests, if it becomes law.

"It's not just an easy 'yay,' we don't have to do anything anymore. You have to be very mindful, as a citizen, what this means to you," Laws said.

Kentucky's Republican supermajority passed it out of both chambers and handed it off to Gov. Andy Beshear on March 15.

As a federally licensed firearms dealer, OpenRange would still be subject to federal laws, even if HB 153 became law.

Laws does want to see if the state will help with the cost to educate gun owners on any changes.

In a statement to WDRB News, HB 153 sponsor Rep. Josh Bray, R-Mount Vernon, said in part, implementation and education is the intended next step. 

A plan has not been created. 

The bill is on the governor's desk. Beshear could sign it, veto it or let it pass without his signature.

Missouri lawmakers tried to pass a law similar to Kentucky's bill, but the law was struck down by a federal judge who said it was unconstitutional. Now, Missouri's attorney general plans to appeal.

It's likely if HB 153 becomes law in Kentucky, it could also face legal battles.

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