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Kentucky Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond to House Vote Passing Dangerous Permitless Carry Legislation

March 1, 2019

SB 150 Would Allow People to Carry Hidden, Loaded Handguns in Public Without a Permit

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement in response to the House of Representatives passing SB 150, a reckless piece of legislation that would allow permitless carry in Kentucky. Moms Demand Action volunteers testified against the bill and were joined by firearms instructors and law enforcement in opposition to this dangerous legislation. The bill now heads to Governor Bevin for his signature or veto.

“This bill is the exact opposite of gun safety,” said Connie Coartney, volunteer leader with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “While it is clear that our state lawmakers have little concern for our well being, we urge Governor Bevin to do the right thing. For the safety of our families and the good of Kentucky he must veto this bill.”

SB 150 would dismantle Kentucky’s concealed carry permitting system, doing away with the current requirement that law enforcement conduct criminal background checks and ensure that applicants have completed gun safety training before issuing a carry permit. This dangerous bill would make it easy for convicted felons, domestic abusers and others who could not pass a background check to carry hidden, loaded guns throughout the state. It would also lower Kentucky’s current standards for who can carry concealed guns, allowing people convicted of violent crimes like assault and terroristic threatening – who are now generally disqualified from obtaining a concealed carry permit – to legally carry loaded handguns in public. Passage of this dangerous bill would make Kentucky one of only a handful of states to abandon the core safety standards that are ensured by the state’s concealed carry permit system. States that have enacted permitless carry laws have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence.

This comes on the heels of polling conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of Everytown. The results indicate that 91 percent of Kentuckians and 90 percent of gun owners in the state support the current state law requiring a permit and safety training in order to carry a concealed handgun in public. Among other findings, the poll found that:

90 percent of Kentucky voters and 90 percent of Kentucky gun owners support the current law requiring a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.

67 percent of Kentucky voters oppose SB 150.

72 percent of Kentucky voters would be less likely to vote for legislators who support permitless carry.

Support for Kentucky’s permitting system has widespread bipartisan support — 87 percent of strong Republicans and 92 percent of strong Democrats support the current permitting system in Kentucky.

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