To our 2nd Amendment Kentucky friends: here’s the low down on gun bills in the House this short session. If you’re really in a hurry, just skip to the 3 Minute Pro-Gun To Do List at the bottom! (Thank you, Liberty4Ever!)
HB 156 – The Kentucky Firearms Freedom Act – YES
The wording is very similar, and probably identical, to previous versions. It’s a good bill. It may be one of those dusted off every year to secure some legislator’s pro-gun credentials without anyone seriously attempting to pass it… but if The Kentucky Firearms Freedom Act came up for a floor vote, few Kentucky politicians would dare vote against it. Voters would wonder if those politicians were against Kentucky, Firearms, or Freedom?
HB 285 – The Kentucky Firearms Freedom Act – YES
This was introduced by Jim DeCesare on February 7th, while HB 156 (which looks identical) was introduced by Stan Lee. HB 285 currently has more sponsors and looks to be the bill to back. It was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. Maybe we should try to put pressure on some legislators to get it moved through the House Judiciary Committee ASAP, and if that doesn’t happen soon, start moving for a discharge petition to get it out for a House floor vote.
When we tried a late session discharge petition in 2010, Owens held an emergency committee meeting to hear the bill, even though he had canceled three previous committee meetings to avoid hearing it. They pretended to listen, then suddenly moved to adjourn and it was all over with the bang of a gavel. Owens is a poster boy for everything that’s wrong in Frankfort. Owens is the vice chair this time and John Tilley is the chairman, so it may get an honest hearing this time. He does come from a pro-gun part of the state, and he seems politically savvy enough not to cross gun owners if he doesn’t want his fast-track political career to end at the next election.
HB 265 – The Giant Gun Ban Bill – NO
This 22 page bill is chock full of nonsense. It would basically make Kentucky gun laws the equivalent of New York gun laws. Honestly, there is no way this would pass the Kentucky Legislature, but it’s probably still worth calling to oppose on general principles.
It was just assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, and it’s no surprise that the committee vice chairman Darryl Owens is also a co-sponsor. He might be able to help move it out of committee, but it won’t be well received on the House floor. It’d be better for him to leave it languishing in committee.
The bill is too ridiculous to summarize in detail. Among the horrors:
- It would reclassify a large percentage of commonly owned firearms as “assault weapons”, based on the usual nonsensical and mostly cosmetic features.
- It would require the Kentucky State Police to register all of these “assault weapons.”
- The KSP would also register all handguns and all “large-capacity ammunition-feeding devices,” which would include any magazine with a capacity in excess of seven rounds!
- It would also require new databases to be kept by sellers of firearms and ammunition.
- The seller would be required to check with the state to see if the buyer has the state’s permission to purchase a firearm or ammunition.
- You’d only be allowed to buy ammunition if you had a license for a firearm in that caliber.
- All firearms and ammunition transactions would be immediately logged by the seller, including a copy of the buyer’s driver’s license, and
- All records would be immediately available for inspection by any law enforcement officer at any time, and
- All records would be transmitted to the Kentucky State Police at regular intervals.
- All firearms sales would be recorded, and all firearms would be cataloged and reported to the state whenever the owner dies.
There is approximately a 0.00% chance this gun grabbing bill will pass in Kentucky. This bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee on February 12th.
HB 268 – The Confiscation & Destruction Of Assault Weapons Bill – NO
Another outrageous gun grabbing bill. It has the same broad definitions of an “assault weapon” as HB 265, but this bill would prohibit any “assault weapons” from being sold at auction after they were confiscated during a crime. Instead, they’d either be transferred to a local or state law enforcement department, or they’d be destroyed if no department wanted the confiscated weapon.
Like HB 265, this would pass in New York, but thank goodness this is Kentucky and it’s a complete joke and it’s dead on arrival. Probably not even worth calling a legislator on this one, unless you’re so moved by the ninnies you feel compelled to rant at someone. It’s co-sponsored by the same eight Democrats, seven of whom are in urban Louisville or Lexington. This bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee on February 12th.
HB 233 – The Kentucky Firearms Preservation Act – YES
This bill mostly reaffirms the unalienable right of law abiding Kentuckians to keep and bear arms, as was the original intent of the 2nd amendment to our US Constitution and Section 1 of our Kentucky Constitution. There is a lot of good language in this bill, even though it is a restating of existing law and constitutionally recognized rights. The bill specifically describes US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s pending anti-gun legislation as well as current and pending presidential executive orders as unconstitutional under both the United States Constitution and Kentucky Constitution, and in no uncertain terms it would nullify those federal actions. It’s a very strongly worded bill, and it’s getting some bipartisan support. This bill was reassigned to the House Judiciary Committee on February 12th.
HJR 33 – The Second Amendment Preservation Act – YES
Similar to HB 233, but in the form of a joint resolution. It’s more terse than HB 233, but still has some nice wording about nullification, including a reference to the 1798 Kentucky Resolution. This bill is before the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs, where I suspect the chairman, Darryl Owens will not allow it to have a fair hearing.
All but one of these are before the House Judiciary Committee. There are pro-gun and anti-gun votes on that committee. If you know any of these people, please contact them personally and tell them to support our right to keep and bear arms.
Rep. John Tilley [Chair]
Rep. Joseph M. Fischer [Vice Chair]
Rep. Darryl T. Owens [Vice Chair]
Rep. Ryan Quarles [Vice Chair]
Rep. Brent Yonts [Vice Chair]
Rep. Johnny Bell
Rep. Robert Benvenuti III
Rep. Jesse Crenshaw
Rep. Kelly Flood
Rep. Jeff Hoover
Rep. Joni L. Jenkins
Rep. Thomas Kerr
Rep. Stan Lee
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian
Rep. Reginald Meeks
Rep. Tom Riner
Rep. Steven Rudy
Rep. Kevin Sinnette
Rep. Gerald Watkins
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: The 3 Minute Pro-Gun To Do List:
#1 Call 800-372-7181 and tell the LRC (Legislative Research Commission) clerk that you’d “like to leave a message with multiple bill numbers for [your House representative’s name here] and the House Judiciary Committee,” then read her the following list:
HB 156 – SUPPORT
HB 285 – SUPPORT
HB 233 – SUPPORT
HB 265 – OPPOSE
HB 268 – OPPOSE
#2 Ask to leave another message for [your House representative’s name here] and the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs and tell her:
HJR 33 – SUPPORT
NOTE: They will want your name and address, and maybe your phone number, but the entire deal should take three minutes and you’ll have issued multiple green slips to your elected officials so that you are represented in a strong pro-gun and pro-liberty voice.
Legislation isn’t a spectator sport. Few people bother to call, so your call represents approximately 10,000 Kentuckians. Your voice does count! Please make the call!