Kentucky Republican Moves To Expand Gun Rights
If someone is a responsible gun owner and concealed carrier in one place, why are they a criminal if they move, say, two feet to their right?
Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? You’re no more of a danger than you were two feet prior, now were you? Yet that’s the way the laws read in most states. You’re fine so long as you’re carrying on that side of a property line.
In Kentucky, one lawmaker seeks to change all of that.
Hours before Kentucky lawmakers presented bipartisan school safety legislation, a House Republican filed a bill that would let people carry guns into schools.
House Bill 30, filed by Rep. Robert Goforth, of East Bernstadt, would scrap most location restrictions for persons with a concealed deadly weapon license, meaning that guns could legally be carried into day care centers and elementary schools, as well as onto college campuses.
The bill would also abolish restrictions preventing people with concealed carry licenses from bringing guns into bars and other private businesses. Those with licenses would also be able to bring concealed weapons into meetings of the General Assembly.
“I’m trying to protect the public,” Goforth told the Courier Journal on Wednesday.
Goforth said his bill is intended to address a loophole in state law, which allows individuals to carry concealed weapons into bars, restaurants and other private establishments as long as the firearms aren’t loaded.
“Most people may not realize that the person next to you has a clip in his left pocket and a gun in his right pocket and there’s nothing law enforcement can do about it,” Goforth said. “They’re already doing it, so they need to be trained, they need to be licensed and we need to hold them to a higher standard.”
Goforth, who joined the General Assembly last February, said the bill is also about leveling the playing field for lawful gun owners. Certain officials, including law enforcement officers, judges and county attorneys, are exempted from location restrictions under the state’s concealed carry law.
“I want everyone to be able to protect themselves, their families and others, instead of only a select few in our society being able to do so,” he said. “I don’t see how one can argue that an attorney can be more qualified to carry a concealed firearm in those locations than any other person.”
I agree, for the most part.
Don’t get me wrong, I oppose training requirements, but Goforth doesn’t have to sell someone like me on the idea of allowing firearms in these places. He has to sell others, many of whom will be more likely to be swayed by his argument rather than fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone Second Amendment pontification.
I think it’s the right argument to make if you want to expand Second Amendment rights.
As it stands, Goforth is offering up a measure that every Second Amendment supporter–even those who are squishy on the Second Amendment–should back. The question is, will there be enough folks in Kentucky to agree to see this on the books?