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Packing heat in the state Capitol


Statement from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

"As moms, we cannot accept our children’s lives being put at risk by those who carry firearms, and we will not wait for a preventable tragedy to occur before we demand these laws be changed. We call on the Kentucky Legislature to ban the concealed carry and open carry of firearms not only within state Capitol buildings, but in any city-owned facility or property in Kentucky, including libraries, parks, city council chambers and city halls. We look forward to finding a common ground on this issue, working with any/all of our lawmakers to pursue this policy change for the health and safety of or children, and all Kentuckians."

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a place, just by it's presence, that commands respect. Where laws are made and meant to protect the quality of life of the people in the state. So it might be surprising that anyone can carry a gun inside the Capitol.

"I am a gun enthusiast. I believe in second amendment rights all the way up," said state representative Richard Henderson. He never takes his gun to work but sympathizes with Rep. Leslie Combs who fired her gun accidentally last week in her Capitol annex office. Combs says she thought the gun wasn't loaded. Police say she followed proper procedure and the case was quickly closed.
But it opened up questions about the possible danger of guns in the Capitol. A place where on any given day, hundreds of legislators and Kentucky citizens intermingle.

"It would no more concern me that somebody is carrying a firearm, whether it was open or concealed, at the Capitol than anywhere else."
Trooper Paul Blanton says Kentucky State Police run security at the Capitol. They have metal detectors at the entrances. If you are carrying a gun where everyone can see, you are allowed to enter. If you have a concealed weapon, you have to show your concealed weapons license.
"If it is concealed, the security guard will make sure the person that's carrying it has a concealed weapons license. But there's no record kept," Blanton said.

At any given time, there's no record of who is carry a gun inside the building. It wasn't always like that. Trooper Blanton says years ago there was a way to identify who was carrying a gun inside the Capitol, but they don't do that anymore.

"Maybe protocol needs to be addressed. But the debate of whether we restrict weapons at the Capitol is a legislative decision and the will's not there to change that. I can say that, Henderson said."


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