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Kentucky Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?

Image: Kentucky Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?
A man with a firearm listens to Pastor Ken Pagano during the "Open Carry Celebration" at New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky, June 27, 2009. (Ed Reinke/Pool/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 11:52 AM

In an attempt to keep Kentucky gun laws regulated by the state, legislators have made revisions that put little control in the hands of local authorities. Laws regarding purchases and carrying guns are made by the state.

These laws have given more freedom for gun owners, but make some residents concerned about the presence of guns. Kentucky has long been a gun-friendly state and state officials say they are doing what their constituents want.

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A bill sponsored by state Rep. Bob Damron
, a Democrat, passed in 2012 to prevent local governments from regulating firearms or enacting its own gun laws.

Kentuckians are allowed to openly carry firearms in city-owned facilities that include city office buildings, parks and even libraries. Gun owners still have to abide by state laws when openly carrying a weapon. Although it’s relatively easy to obtain a concealed weapon permit compared to other states, Kentucky gun laws don’t allow concealed weapons in places such as police facilities, courthouses, public meetings, and airports.

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Schools and colleges are allowed to prohibit guns from their properties. Private businesses can notify people guns are not allowed in establishments. Courts are under a separate judicial branch and make their own restrictions on guns.

The 2012 state law made many local governing bodies exclude firearms from the language in their ordinances and laws. In Louisville, city council members had to remove firearms in its list of deadly weapons. Bill O’Brien of the Jefferson County attorney’s office said local authorities can control someone with a machete, but “can’t control firearms.” Supporters, however, say the state law just makes sure only the state can regulate firearms. “Local governments can’t regulate firearms,” Damron, the bill’s sponsor, said.

Some issues continue to be addressed under the state law, because public places owned by towns and cities that never allowed guns were forced to allow them. Damron and other supporters of Kentucky gun laws say the intent is for citizens in the state to protect themselves and their families with firearms.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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In an attempt to keep Kentucky gun laws regulated by the state, legislators have made revisions that put little control in the hands of local authorities. Laws regarding purchases and carrying guns are made by the state.
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2014-52-07
Sunday, 07 Dec 2014 11:52 AM
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