Democrats hope for common ground in pursuit of new gun laws
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Impassioned calls for changes to state gun laws continue in Louisville in the wake of a deadly mass shooting. Many question what kind of restrictions could be passed in the Republican dominated Kentucky legislature.
“I don’t think the answer is to try to take your handguns away from individuals who are law-abiding citizens,” State Senator David Yates of Louisville said. “I don’t think that someone’s coming to say I’m taking your guns. But we do have to have an open honest conversation in the community about what is the best approach.”
Yates is the Minority Whip in the State Senate where Republicans outnumber Democrats more than four to one.
He said the first step is to keep the gun conversation going and hopes to find common ground with conservative lawmakers on gun-related issues like mental health.
“I have to look at it from a positive standpoint,” Yates said.
He said one opportunity for common ground might be a red flag law, allowing the courts to temporarily take possession of guns owned by someone in crisis.
“Some type of restriction,” Yates said. “Again, I know we’re not going to move mountains. But we’ve got to move forward. What we’re doing right now doesn’t work.”
Leaders of both the Kentucky House and Senate did not respond to a request for comment.
Senator Damon Thayer of Georgetown, the Republican Senate majority floor leader responded by text saying, ”Keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens is not a solution to violent crime. The perpetrator broke multiple laws which carry the highest penalty yet still was not deterred from committing a heinous crime.”
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