Kentucky Fourth District Congressman Thomas Massie introduced his first bill in Congress on Friday that would repeal the federal ban on guns in school zones.
The measure is dubbed the Citizens Protection Act of 2013, which was initially proposed by former Congressman Ron Paul six years ago. It would repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 and comes in the midst of the gun control debate sparked by the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Connecticut.
In a statement, Massie, who is a Republican, says further regulations cannot solve the problem of mass shootings and that bans on firearms are unconstitutional.
“Gun-free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals to a target-rich, no-risk environments. Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals,” he says.
Massie’s office points out that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the gun free zones regulations violated the Constitution and lawmakers amended the bill in 1996.
The fourth district stretches from the state’s West Virginia border through northern Kentucky, and includes Louisville’s East End.
Democratic Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, who represents the bulk of Louisville, issued the following statement in response to his Kentucky colleagues measure.
“The Gun-Free School Zones law is designed to keep students from bringing guns to school and to ensure that there are serious consequences for those who do. Repealing the law would make it more difficult to hold offenders accountable,” he says.
Yarmuth was an outspoken proponent of comprehensive gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. In the new congressional district lines drawn by the state legislature last year, Yarmuth and Massie’s district border each other.