Proposal would allow concealed weapons in public schools

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A new piece of legislation set to be debated in Frankfort would allow certain people to carry weapons inside schools and other public places.

Kentucky House representative Tim Moore (R-18) sponsors House Bill-221, a measure that would loosen restrictions on where concealed deadly weapons permit holders could carry.

“These are the kind of people who should have a right to carry a weapon, which is already legal and legitimate for them,” Moore said during an interview at his Elizabethtown home.

Currently, unlawful possession of a weapon on school property is a felony that can carry a five-year prison sentence.

“We want to give our citizens the right to defend themselves from the most heinous acts without being labeled a criminal,” Moore said.

If passed, the law would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon at a public school or on the campus of a public university. Moore calls it an “anti-terrorism” bill, not a gun bill.

“It would give a terrorist or criminal, who intends to perpetrate some sort horror, pause before selecting a location,” he said.

The bill does not restrict the rights of private property owners to prevent persons carrying a concealed weapon on their property.

“We've created these gun-free zones, and all that we really tell people in this situation is to duck and cover,” Moore said.

So far, Moore says the response to his proposition has been positive, but he does expect some resistance.

“I don't think I've ever gotten such a quick and overwhelming response ... all positive,” Moore said. “But I’m sure there will be debate."

Opponents to similar legislation in other states have said that only law enforcement officers should carry weapons in schools, and that concealed carry training is not enough. Moore feels it is enough but is open to reviewing those restrictions moving forward.

The bill was introduced on Jan. 11 and will next face a House judiciary committee before heading for a vote in the House of Representatives.

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