Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed Senate Bill 150 into law, making the state the 16th to allow permitless gun carry, known as “constitutional carry,” for those over the age of 21.
The state of Kentucky had already made it law for a resident to carry a firearm openly without a permit, however, a state-issued permit was required for those individuals who wanted to carry their gun concealed. Starting in July that permit will no longer be required, Wave 3 reported.
Kentucky will now join Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming in allowing constitutional carry, WCPO News reported.
Further, the reciprocity agreements that Kentucky has with other states will still be honored for those who do acquire permits.
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There is both support and criticism for the law. Supporters say that it is a person’s constitutional right to bear arms, while critics say they worry about guns being carried by those that lack training on how to properly handle one.
Earlier this month, the bill was passed by the State House of Representatives and Bevin vowed to sign it, WFLA News reported.
He said, “It doesn’t break new ground, but I think it’s good actually and I’ll sign it. It recognizes the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. That’s really it. It doesn’t break any ground.”
To those who oppose the bill, Bevin said, “This is America not everybody agrees on everything. That’s the beauty of America. For those people who are offended at this idea and don’t like it, there are other places in America where they could live and/or they can learn to live with what they don’t like in their own immediate state.”
A statement from The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action highly praised Bevin for recognizing the right of citizens to carry a concealed gun.
Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said, “On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we would like to thank Governor Bevin for his leadership on this critical issue. This law is a common-sense measure that allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right of self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”
Cox added, “NRA members and Kentucky’s law-abiding gun owners also appreciate the hard work and leadership of the bill sponsors, Senators Damon Thayer, Brandon Smith, and Representative Savannah Maddox. Without their efforts, this bill would not have become law.”