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Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Reduce Gun Violence in Kentucky


Hoping to reduce gun violence in Kentucky, a group of Democratic lawmakers have filed a bill that would allow Kentucky State Police to set regulations banning certain firearms or high-capacity magazines.

The bill, which state Sen. Kathy Stein plans to file in the Senate on Thursday, would also allow cities and colleges to ban guns and would require private background checks for every gun sale in Kentucky.

Stein, a Democrat from Lexington, said she's not seeking to infringe on Second Amendment rights from the U.S. Constitution.

"We value the Second Amendment," Stein said. "We recognize that there are very legitimate uses people have for guns, for sporting, for hunting and yes, for self-protection."

The bill's supporters say they are optimistic for a hearing in the short 2013 General Assembly session.

"I think folks are tired of turning on their television and seeing the crawl across the bottom, the news on CNN and the news stations that there has been yet another tragedy, another shooting," said State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Democrat from Louisville who is sponsoring the bill in the House

They want changes, Marzian said.

The bill has the support of Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer, Marzian said. But the bill's supporters are unsure of the issue's fate this legislation session.

If approved, the new regulations would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The bill would also allow judges to make those deemed mentally ill legally to forfeit any firearms they have, as well as requires firearms to be safely stored in homes.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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