The Lexington council has joined several other groups in its condemnation of a state Senate bill that would allow people as young as 18 to carry a concealed weapon without training or a permit.
The Urban County Council voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a resolution opposing the passage of Senate Bill 7. Under the proposed bill, only felons would be prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon. Some in law enforcement — including Lexington police Chief Mark Barnard — have opposed the bill, saying background checks and training are needed. Some police officials and gun-safety trainers have said they favor the current law that requires Kentuckians to be at least 21 to get a permit to carry a concealed deadly weapon after completing a training course.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Tuesday that he expects the bill to be amended. Proposed changes include keeping the age at 21. It’s not clear when the bill will be heard by a state Senate committee.
Several people spoke in favor of the resolution on Thursday night.
“We have a gun access problem in Fayette County,” said Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington. “We had 24 murders last year.”
“What SB 7 does is do away with concealed-carry laws,” Thomas said. “Given what we have seen in this city, we can’t allow that.”
Anita Franklin, whose son Antonio was killed in Duncan Park in 2014, said guns have become prolific. Franklin asked the council to pass the resolution.
“We have an epidemic,” Franklin said. “Guns are getting into the hands of the wrong people.”
Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti, who sponsored the resolution, said she felt “that we have to set an example even if it’s not our jurisdiction. ... This is a poorly written law. It sends a message that we care about our citizens and about public safety.”