FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2017) – A so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill prefiled in the Kentucky House of Representatives would make it legal for most Kentuckians to carry a firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Rep. C. Wesley Morgan (R-Richmond) pre-filed BR172 in August. The legislation would allow persons 21 or older, and not otherwise prohibited by other laws, to carry concealed weapons without a license. Individuals would be allowed to carry concealed without a permit anyplace license holders can currently carry. Kentucky law stipulates a number of places where it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon including hospitals, police stations, courthouses, government meetings and areas primarily dedicated to selling alcoholic beverages for consumption. These restrictions would remain in place under the proposed law.
BR172 would still allow Kentucky residents to obtain a license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with the state.
A similar bill was introduced in the Kentucky Senate during the 2017 legislative session but it was never brought up for a vote in the full Senate.
While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions like passage of BR172 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” ShallNot.org campaign lead Scott Landreth said.
BR172 will be officially introduced after the regular session convenes on Jan 2, 2018. At that time, the legislation will receive a bill number and a committee assignment.
TJ Martinell is an author, writer, and award-winning reporter from Washington state. His dystopian novel The Stringers depicting a neo-Prohibition Era in the city of Seattle is available on Amazon.