Politics

A state lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow Kentuckians to carry concealed firearms without a license.

The legislation would allow people aged 21 or older to carry concealed deadly weapons anywhere already allowed for license-holders.

Rep. Wesley Morgan, a Republican from Richmond and former agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he proposed the bill because he thinks it would bring state law more in line with the Second Amendment.

“Basically what we’re saying is you don’t have to have a concealed carry license, but it never was a requirement in the Second Amendment,” Morgan said. “The government does not have the right to tell you to get a license to carry something that the constitution gives you the right to do.”

A similar proposal was introduced during the legislative session earlier this year. That bill, proposed by London Republican Sen. Albert Robinson, never made it out of committee despite a long list of top supporters in the Senate.

Last year, the legislature approved a bill allowing off-duty police officers to carry concealed firearms without a license.

Under current law, Kentuckians have to pass a training class to receive a concealed carry permit. The licensing process also requires a criminal background check; people with felony convictions, recent drug convictions and multiple DUIs are blocked from getting a license.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 12 states allow people to carry guns without a permit. That number has increased in recent years, and the Wisconsin legislature is currently considering a similar proposal.

Kentuckians are already allowed to openly carry firearms without a permit.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.