FRANKFORT, Ky.– Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released a new poll showing that 88 percent of likely voters in Kentucky – including 88 percent of gun owners – favor requiring permits to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public in Kentucky. Legislation currently in Senate and House committees would dismantle the state’s current handgun permitting system and allow dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public with no training or permit.
“Overwhelming majorities of Kentuckians have no appetite for dismantling our strong public safety standards about who can carry a concealed handgun in public,” said Connie Coartney, the volunteer leader of the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As a mom I wouldn’t want to take my family to places where someone who has a criminal record and has had no safety training could be carrying a hidden, loaded handgun. Kentuckians are proud of our sporting heritage and we respect the Second Amendment – but allowing dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded weapons in public is just dangerous. Lawmakers in Frankfort should reject this risky legislation.”
The poll, conducted by Survey USA also found that:
- 95 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Republicans (including 79 percent of those who identify as “strong Republicans”) favor requiring a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public in Kentucky.
- 88 percent of gun owners favor requiring permits to carry a concealed handgun in public in Kentucky.
- 85 percent of likely voters, including 84 percent of gun owners, support Kentucky’s existing law that requires monthly background checks on everyone who has a concealed carry permit to ensure that they are not felons, domestic abusers or otherwise disqualified from having a permit.
SB 257 and HB 531 would lower the bar for who can carry a hidden, loaded gun in Kentucky. Currently, several categories of people are prohibited from carrying in public under the state’s concealed carry permitting system, including:
- People with multiple, recent drunk driving convictions;
- People recently convicted of violent assaults;
- People recently convicted of “terroristic threatening”; and
- People with no safety training.
SB 257 and HB 531 would dismantle the current permitting system and allow many of these individuals to carry a concealed handgun without safety training or a permit. If this legislation passes, Kentucky would join only a handful of states in abandoning core public safety standards by allowing people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public with no permit.