State of Kentucky Archives: on Gun Control


Amy McGrath: Supports background checks, honest conversation about guns

I am a gun owner and pro-Second Amendment. There are some commonsense things that most gun owners and most non-gun owners actually agree on, and we haven't been able to get it done. Why? The gun lobby. Beyond common sense measures Congress should have enacted long ago, like background checks, we need an honest conversation about what we are willing to tolerate as a nation
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate campaign website AmyMcGrath.com Jun 30, 2020

Charles Booker: Supports gun control; background checks; no assault weapons

Charles has lost five family members to gun violence. Gun violence is a public health crisis. In the Kentucky General Assembly, he has sponsored gun safety legislation while opposing policies to allow permitless concealed carry in Kentucky, and mandatory arming of School Resource Officers. As a Senator, Charles will support mandatory universal background checks for all gun purchases and enforcement of wait times. He will ensure that weapons of war are not used to devastate neighborhoods.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate campaign website BookerForKentucky.com Jun 17, 2020

Andy Beshear: Signed law requiring school police officers to carry guns

A new law in Kentucky will mandate that all school police officers must carry guns as part of an effort to secure the lives of the students. Democratic Governor Andy Beshear signed the bill into law on Friday, ending months of controversy and protests from anti-gun groups and Democrats in the state legislature. The bill, however, received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Kentucky House and Senate.
Source: Townhall.com blog on 2023 Kentucky Gubernatorial race Feb 24, 2020

Wesley Morgan: Oppose all efforts to eliminate; restrict 2nd Amendment

I believe the 2nd Amendment is your right and it means exactly what it says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". I oppose all efforts to eliminate or restrict this right.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate website WesleyMorganForSenate.com Feb 6, 2020

C. Wesley Morgan: Count on me to protect your 2nd amendment rights

Defending your rights from an oppressive government is my first priority. You can count on me to fight to protect your 2nd amendment rights.
Source: Ballotpedia.org Connection: 2020 Kentucky Senate race Sep 9, 2019

Matt Bevin: Allow concealed carry of guns without a license, training

Legislative Summary: SB150: Allow concealed deadly weapons to be carried by persons age 21 and over without a license in same locations where concealed carry license holders may carry them.

Analysis by The Louisville Courier-Journal: Bevin signed a bill that lets people carry a concealed gun without getting a permit or completing a background check and safety training first. Senate Bill 150 was backed by the National Rifle Association but opposed by groups such as Louisville Metro Police and the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police. State law had required people to get a permit before carrying a concealed firearm.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 29-8-0 on Feb/14/19; Passed House 60-37-3 on Mar/1/19; Signed by Governor Matt Bevin on Mar/11/19

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky SB150 voting records Mar 11, 2019

Charles Booker: Oppose concealed carry of guns without license & training

Legislative Summary: SB150: Allow concealed deadly weapons to be carried by persons age 21 and over without a license in same locations where concealed carry license holders may carry them.

Analysis by The Louisville Courier-Journal: Bevin signed a bill that lets people carry a concealed gun without getting a permit or completing a background check and safety training first. Senate Bill 150 was backed by the National Rifle Association but opposed by groups such as Louisville Metro Police and the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police. State law had required people to get a permit before carrying a concealed firearm.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 29-8-0 on Feb/14/19; Passed House 60-37-3 on Mar/1/19; State Rep. Charles Booker voted NO; Signed by Governor Matt Bevin on Mar/11/19

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky SB150 voting records Mar 1, 2019

Robert Goforth: Allow concealed carry of guns without a license, training

Legislative Summary: SB150: Allow concealed deadly weapons to be carried by persons age 21 and over without a license in same locations where concealed carry license holders may carry them.

Analysis by The Louisville Courier-Journal: Bevin signed a bill that lets people carry a concealed gun without getting a permit or completing a background check and safety training first. Senate Bill 150 was backed by the National Rifle Association but opposed by groups such as Louisville Metro Police and the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police. State law had required people to get a permit before carrying a concealed firearm.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 29-8-0 on Feb/14/19; Passed House 60-37-3 on Mar/1/19; State Rep. Robert Goforth voted YES; Signed by Governor Matt Bevin on Mar/11/19

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky SB150 voting records Mar 1, 2019

Rocky Adkins: Oppose concealed carry of guns without license & training

Legislative Summary: SB150: Allow concealed deadly weapons to be carried by persons age 21 and over without a license in same locations where concealed carry license holders may carry them.

Analysis by The Louisville Courier-Journal: Bevin signed a bill that lets people carry a concealed gun without getting a permit or completing a background check and safety training first. Senate Bill 150 was backed by the National Rifle Association but opposed by groups such as Louisville Metro Police and the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police. State law had required people to get a permit before carrying a concealed firearm.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 29-8-0 on Feb/14/19; Passed House 60-37-3 on Mar/1/19; Kentucky House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins voted NO; Signed by Governor Matt Bevin on Mar/11/19

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky SB150 voting records Mar 1, 2019

Robert Goforth: Ban weapons in courtrooms and jails

Goforth's House Bill 30 would still ban weapons in courtrooms and jails, but permit holders could carry almost anywhere else, including schools and bars.

"It's a public protection bill. I want to make sure that you're protected wherever you go," Goforth said. "I want to make sure you can protect yourself, your family and others, if need be."

Source: WDRB.org on Kentucky voting record HB30 Jan 14, 2019

Matt Bevin: Guns aren't problem in schools; kids in my school had guns

Hours before Kentucky lawmakers presented bipartisan school safety legislation, a House Republican filed a bill that would let people carry guns into schools. House Bill 30, filed by [Bevin's GOP primary opponent] Rep. Robert Goforth, would scrap most location restrictions for persons with a concealed deadly weapon license. Goforth said his bill is intended to address a loophole in state law, which allows individuals to carry concealed weapons into bars, restaurants & other private establishments as long as the firearms aren't loaded.

Goforth's bill appears in lockstep with Gov. Matt Bevin's stance on guns in schools. A day after the 2018 high school shooting in Parkland (FL), that left 17 students and staff dead, Bevin said that guns weren't the problem. When he went to school in New England, students would bring guns in for show-and-tell, he said. "Sometimes they'd be in kids' lockers," Bevin said. "Nobody even thought about shooting other people with them. So it's not a gun problem."

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on Kentucky voting records: HB30 Jan 9, 2019

Robert Goforth: Concealed carry at schools, bars, and businesses

House Bill 30, filed by Rep. Robert Goforth, would scrap most location restrictions for persons with a concealed deadly weapon license, meaning that guns could legally be carried into day care centers and elementary schools, as well as onto college campuses.

The bill would also abolish restrictions preventing people with concealed carry licenses from bringing guns into bars and other private businesses. Those with licenses would also be able to bring concealed weapons into meetings of the General Assembly.

"I'm trying to protect the public," Goforth told the Courier Journal. Goforth said his bill is intended to address a loophole in state law, which allows individuals to carry concealed weapons into bars, restaurants and other private establishments as long as the firearms aren't loaded. "Most people may not realize that the person next to you has a clip in his left pocket and a gun in his right pocket and there's nothing law enforcement can do about it," Goforth said.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on Kentucky voting records: HB30 Jan 9, 2019

Matt Bevin: Culture of violence, like zombie shows, cause mass shootings

Gun regulation isn't the solution to mass shootings in the U.S., Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said, and America's culture of death, illustrated by Americans' obsession with zombie television shows, is more to blame.

In a radio interview, the Kentucky Republican said new laws aren't the solution to violence, but addressing a "culture of death" in media is the start. "It starts with everything from the type of entertainment that we focus on," Bevin said. "What's the most popular topic that seems to be in every cable television network. Television shows are all about, what? Zombies! I don't get it ... that's what we are."

Bevin added that violent shows are morphing the minds of young, impressionable children. "When a culture is surrounded by, inundated by, rewards things that celebrate death, whether it is zombies in television shows, the number of abortions ... there's a thousand justifications for why we do this," Bevin said.

Source: USA Today on 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial race Nov 13, 2018

Matt Bevin: School shootings caused by "culture of death" in media

In 2018, two deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. Little action has been taken to address the issue of school shootings on a state level. The legislature established a study group on school safety after the legislative session wrapped up and a bill that would have required mental health counselors in schools, HB 604, died in the Senate.

For his part, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has focused on the "culture" around gun violence. In a video after the Marshall County shooting, he blamed a "culture of death" in America and attributed the violence to video games, films, television and social media.

In a meeting with the Federal Commission on School Safety last week, Bevin brought up the impact of smart phones on students' mental health "We need to start being very very intentional and thoughtful and data driven as it relates to the impact of these devices in the hands of young people," Bevin said.

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader on 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial race Jul 3, 2018

Mitch McConnell: Congress cannot fix school shootings; must act locally

In 2018, two deaths came in a shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he doesn't think Congress can do much to address the issue. "I don't think at the federal level there's much that we can do other than appropriate funds," McConnell told a group of community leaders.

McConnell is not in favor of gun control laws. He pointed out that Congress appropriated money for school counseling and school safety in its appropriations bill and said he thinks school security is the most likely way that schools can stop shootings. "You would think, given how much it takes to get on an American plane or given how much it takes to get into courthouses, that this might be something that we could achieve, but I don't think we could do that from Washington, I think it's basically a local decision."

He added: "It's a darn shame that's where we are, but this epidemic is something that's got all of our attention."

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader on 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial race Jul 3, 2018

James Comer: Unwavering support of 2nd Amendment

I am unwavering in my support of our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. During my time in the Kentucky General Assembly, I voted unfailingly to support gun rights and protect the 2nd Amendment. I am also a hunter and lifelong gun owner and advocate.
Source: 2016 Kentucky House campaign website JamesComer.com Nov 8, 2016

C. Wesley Morgan: No background checks; yes concealed carry

Q: Do you generally support gun-control legislation?

A: No.

Q: Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?

A: No.

Q: Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a license be required for gun possession?

A: No. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand? You shouldn't have to ask the government for permission to carry a gun.

Source: Kentucky State Legislative 2016 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2016

Jim Gray: Ban gun purchases by people on FBI terrorist watch list

Waving a newspaper story about last weekend's shooting rampage in Orlando that killed 49 people, Jim Gray criticized Sen. Rand Paul for opposing a bill that would ban gun purchases by people on the FBI's terrorist watch list. "How many headlines like this do we need to see before Congress does something?" asked Gray. "Senator Paul voted to let potential terrorists buy guns. He chose to protect the rights of radical Islam over the safety of innocent Americans. What was Rand Paul thinking? Where is his common sense? Where's the backbone?"

In December, the day after an extremist couple shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Paul voted against a Democrat-backed bill that would have blocked the sale of guns through licensed firearms dealers to roughly 10,000 Americans whose names are reported to be on the secret watch list, indicating that federal law-enforcement officials suspect them of possible terrorist activity. The legislation failed by a 54-to-45 vote.

Source: Herald-Leader on 2016 Kentucky Senate race Jun 15, 2016

Jim Gray: Ok to delay gun sales for 72 hours, but no secret lists

Jim Gray criticized Sen. Rand Paul for opposing a bill that would ban gun purchases by people on the FBI's terrorist watch list. In December, the day after an extremist couple shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Paul voted against a Democrat-backed bill that would have blocked the sale of guns through licensed firearms dealers to roughly 10,000 Americans whose names are reported to be on the secret watch list, indicating that federal law-enforcement officials suspect them of possible terrorist activity. The legislation failed by a 54-to-45 vote.

Responding to Gray's criticism, Paul said he voted for an alternative bill last December, one backed by Republicans, to let federal law-enforcement officials delay gun sales to suspected terrorists for up to 72 hours. "The legislation I supported prevented the Obama administration from drawing up a secret list of Americans who, through no judicial process, are stripped of their rights," Paul said.

Source: Herald-Leader on 2016 Kentucky Senate race Jun 15, 2016

Jack Conway: Believes in right to bear arms and self-protection

Jack Conway is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He received an A rating from the National Rifle Association and was one of the only Democrats the NRA endorsed during his race for Attorney General. As Attorney General, Jack has always supported the rights of gun owners.

The NRA has praised Jack's efforts to protect the rights of gun owners. In joining the NRA's Amicus Brief to the United States Supreme Court, Jack asked the Court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the 14th Amendment. As Attorney General, Jack has also joined an Amicus Brief in Kolbe v. O'Malley and Jackson, et al. v. San Francisco, et al, cases related to the Second Amendment. Jack believes in the right to bear arms and the rights of our citizens to protect themselves.

Source: 2015 Kentucky Governor campaign website, ConwayOverly.com Aug 11, 2015

Alison Grimes: Same background-check standards at gun store versus gun show

Grimes mentioned her longstanding invitation to meet McConnell at a gun range, before saying she opposes banning assault weapons but is open to considering changes to how guns are purchased at gun shows. "You shouldn't have different standards when you go to a gun store versus a gun show," Grimes said.

Grimes said she is a "big supporter" of the 2nd Amendment and does not believe that banning weapons "is the way to actually reduce the violence that we see here in the US." Instead, she said, the government should work harder "to make sure we educate people and that we enforce the law."

When the Herald-Leader submitted a questionnaire to the Senate campaigns in May, Grimes responded to a question about requiring background checks at gun shows by saying that she supports "reasonable background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill." She said at the time, "However, these efforts should not infringe upon the right of law-abiding Americans to possess firearms."

Source: Lexington Herald Leader on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Sep 25, 2014

Alison Grimes: Proud of long-held sporting & hunting traditions

Today Alison Lundergan Grimes released the following statement: "As an NRA member, my strong support for the Second Amendment is unquestioned. I am proud of Kentucky's long-held gun ownership, sporting and hunting traditions. It is unfortunate that Senator McConnell is desperate to mislead Kentucky voters about my strong support for the Second Amendment.

As an NRA member, my strong support for the Second Amendment is unquestioned. I am proud of Kentucky's long-held gun ownership, sporting and hunting traditions. It is unfortunate that Senator McConnell is desperate to mislead Kentucky voters about my strong support for the Second Amendment. In the Senate, I will protect my fellow Kentuckians' right to keep and bear arms. Whenever he's not busy pandering to Washington lobbyists, I welcome Senator McConnell to come shoot with me at the range any day."

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, AlisonForKentucky.com, P/R Nov 8, 2013

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Kentucky Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Gun Control.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Gun Control:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 28, 2021