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Kentucky House Passes Dangerous Legislation to Nullify Federal Gun Laws and Punishes Law Enforcement For Enforcing

February 22, 2023

The Kentucky chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the Kentucky House of Representatives passing Kentucky HB 153 which seeks to invalidate federal firearm laws and would make it illegal for any public officer or employee of the state, including state and local law enforcement officers, to assist with the enforcement of federal gun laws that help keep Kentucky safe. 

“We shouldn’t punish law enforcement for doing their job — but it’s clear our lawmakers are more interested in appeasing gun extremists and a gun lobby over the safety of our communities,” Cathy Mekus, a volunteer with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This bill was proposed last year and the Senate demonstrated the necessary leadership to reject this legislation. We urge them to do the same this session so that we can protect our communities from senseless acts of gun violence.” 

This law would handcuff law enforcement from being able to do their jobs of enforcing the law and protecting communities from gun violence. Missouri continues to face severe backlash from law enforcement after passing a similar nullification law that immediately hampered their ability to maintain public safety. After Kansas passed a nullification bill, two Kansas men were prosecuted for illegally making and possessing firearm accessories they falsely believed were exempt from federal regulation. An appeals court rejected their argument that they were protected under Kansas’ nullification law. 

In an average year in Kentucky, 770 people die by guns. Gun violence costs Kentucky $9.6 billion each year. According to Everytown’s new gun law rankings report, Kentucky has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. More information on gun violence in Kentucky is available here.

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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