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Kentucky Legislature Passes Dangerous Legislation to Nullify Federal Gun Laws and Punish Law Enforcement 


 Earlier This Month, a Federal Court struck down Missouri’s dangerous “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which Prohibits State and Local Officials from Assisting with the Enforcement of Federal Gun Laws and Fines Local Law Enforcement Agencies up to $50,000 for any Violations

The Kentucky chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the Kentucky Senate passing  HB 153 yesterday evening, which seeks to undermine federal firearm laws and would make it illegal for any public officer or employee of the state, including state and local law enforcement officers, to assist with the enforcement of federal gun laws that help keep Kentucky safe. The House passed the bill last month, and will now go to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s desk. The legislature has secured enough votes to override a veto by Governor Beshear. 

“Our lawmakers have demonstrated that they have no respect for our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” said Connie Coartney, a volunteer with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are especially disappointed as this bill was proposed last year, and the Senate demonstrated the necessary leadership to reject this dangerous legislation. The majority of Republican lawmakers are gambling with our lives by passing this bill and they should be ashamed that they are letting politics get in the way of public safety.”

This law would handcuff state law enforcement officials and hinder their vital work of enforcing the law—including in cooperation with their federal counterparts— and protecting communities from gun violence. Missouri faced severe backlash from law enforcement after passing a similar nullification law that immediately hampered their ability to maintain public safety. Earlier this month, a Federal Court struck down Missouri’s dangerous “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which prohibits state and local officials from assisting with the enforcement of federal gun laws and fines local law enforcement agencies up to $50,000 for any violations. After Kansas passed a nullification bill, two Kansas men were prosecuted for illegally making and possessing firearm accessories they falsely believed were exempt from federal regulation. An appeals court rejected their argument that they were protected under Kansas’ nullification law. 

In an average year in Kentucky, 823 people die by guns. Gun violence costs Kentucky $9.6 billion each year. According to Everytown’s new gun law rankings report, Kentucky has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. More information on gun violence in Kentucky is available here.

To speak to a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.