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Kentucky Senate advances proposal to ignore new federal gun laws

February 25, 2013 | | Comments 3
State Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea

State Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate overwhelmingly approved a proposal Monday that would let the state ignore any new federal gun laws.

After a lively debate that involved discussion of everything from the Gettysburg Address to a shortage of ammunition, the chamber approved Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jared Carpenter of Berea, on a 34 to 3 vote.

The three Democratic senators voting against the measure — Wayne McGarvey and Gerald Neal of Louisville and Kathy Stein of Lexington — said it would violate the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.

McGarvey said he supported the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives people the right to keep and bear arms, but couldn’t vote for a measure that is unconstitutional.

Instead of passing a bill that violates the U.S. Constitution, he suggested the Senate approve a resolution urging Congress not to take away the right to own and wear guns.

Stein called the bill “meaningless” and asked her colleagues “can we please rise above the temptation to pander?”

In contrast, Carpenter said the measure is needed to protect the Second Amendment. He noted that he could not find small-shell ammunition to buy over the weekend because many Kentuckians are buying ammo in fear that the government will take away their guns.

Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, said guns are “a way of life in Kentucky, especially in rural areas,” adding that he is teaching his son gun safety as his father taught him.

In voting for the bill, Jones said legislators should do everything they can to make sure gun rights are not weakened.

Stein said she believed in the Second Amendment, but “with limitations.”

“If we do this, we will pick and choose what parts of the Constitution of the United States we will adhere to and which ones we will ignore,” she said. “No one is coming to get your guns and to cut down on the availability of ammunition.”

Stein noted that President Abraham Lincoln relied on the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause to save the country. She then quoted his Gettysburg Address.

Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, said he believes the U.S. Constitution is the “supreme law of the land,” but voted for the bill “to make my position known on the Second Amendment.”

Carpenter’s bill, which the National Rifle Association is pushing in other states, is a response to several gun control initiatives that President Barack Obama unveiled last month in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut. Obama has proposed legislation to require universal background checks for gun purchasers and reinstating a federal ban on some assault weapons.

SB 129 carries an emergency clause, meaning that it would take effect immediately upon becoming law. It now goes to the House for consideration.

The Senate also approved SB 150, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, that reduces from 90 days to 60 days the amount of time state police have to approve or deny an application for a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon.

The vote was 36-1. Neal cast the only “no” vote.

Filed Under: Federal GovernmentKY General AssemblyState Government

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  1. Sarah P. says:

    This just shows how Kentucky Legislatures do not understand their role and the important issues before them. NO ONE HAS EVER SAID TO TAKE AWAY WEAPONS but for some reason instead of focusing on important issues that critically affect Kentucky families, our representative body would rather do an EASY FIGHT then make DIFFICULT DECISIONS; of course while ensuring they are called back for a special session costing Kentucky more money.

    OUR LEADERS are a JOKE!!

  2. Willie B says:

    @Sarah P.: You don’t think the 2nd Amendment is important? Are you insane?
    That is the most important piece of legislature to come out of Frankfort in the last 10 years.
    Want to know what is a joke? That the majority of Americans do not realize the importance or the REAL reason for the 2nd Amendment. Do us all a favor and educate yourself before going off about absolutely NOTHING.

  3. Marcus says:

    The regulations proposed by the federal government may violate the interstate commerce clause. In such a scenario, nullification has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. Restrictions on the rights of individuals could be nullified if they have no ICC implications.