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Bill aims to block federal gun limits

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kentucky would ignore new federal gun regulations under a bill passed Monday by the Senate.

Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, would make federal gun laws or regulations passed after Jan. 1 unenforceable in Kentucky.

The bill, which passed 34-3, deals with banning or registering firearms, magazines and other gun accessories. The federal gun control debate has become heated following the fatal elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Some Kentucky gun stores have limited sales on ammunition with high demand lately, and Carpenter said he could not find any .38 caliber or .22 caliber rounds during the weekend.

He said hes fielded numerous calls from supporters of the bill.

If the administration tries to undermine the (U.S.) Constitution in any way, our citizens will be protected, Carpenter said.

Those who voted against SB 129 said the legislation would not stand with the U.S. Constitutions Supremacy Clause, which says state laws and constitutions are subordinate to federal law.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, said the bill is unconstitutional and suggested passing a resolution instead after voting against the bill.

This is not a debate on gun control; this is a constitutional law argument, McGarvey said.

Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, voted for the bill, but only so people will know where he stands on Second Amendment issues.

He said elected officials take an oath to uphold the Kentucky and U.S. constitutions.

I cannot ignore the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Carroll said, but for those who wonder where I stand on the issue of the right to bear arms, the purpose of my vote has been cast.

Other states, like Mississippi, Missouri and Wyoming, are pursuing similar legislation after President Barack Obama laid out his gun control proposals last month.

Some of the presidents proposals include mandatory background checks for gun sales and reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

Sen. Ray Jones, a Pikeville Democrat and co-sponsor of SB 129, voted for the bill, saying guns are a part of life in Kentucky and rural America.

He said the federal government should be focused on keeping guns from criminals and the mentally ill to curb gun violence.

As we come back here next session, I would love to engage the members of the majority party in some legitimate debate and dialogue on how we can best keep firearms out of the hands of people who are criminals and who are mentally ill, Jones said.

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.