A new Courier-Journal Bluegrass poll shows that a clear majority of Kentuckians believe the right to own guns is more important than the need for increased gun control measures. However, the same poll found small to large majorities favor individual parts of a gun control package championed by President Obama.
Of those surveyed, 65 percent said they believe guns protect law-abiding citizens more than make society more dangerous. Twenty-seven percent disagreed with that statement.
Despite the general support for Second Amendment rights, 56 percent said they favored stricter laws limiting access to firearms.
Other findings from the poll:
75 percent support background checks on gun buyers, even if the sale is between private parties.
65 percent would support a law that requires guns to be registered with the state.
53 percent support a law limiting how much ammunition can be purchased at one time.
51 percent support a limit on how much ammunition a gun can hold at once.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has released a robocall in Kentucky criticizing President Obama’s gun control proposals. In the pre-recorded call, McConnell accuses the President of trying to “restrict your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
The call goes on to say McConnell will do everything in his power as Senate Minority Leader to protect Second Amendment freedoms.
The robocall was first reported in the online political journal Politico.
The President announced last week a set of wide-ranging gun control proposals, including a call for Congress to improve the federal background check system used to screen gun buyers. The White House also wants a ban on military-style assault weapons and a limit on the size of gun magazines available for purchase.
The debate over gun limits and Second Amendment rights was put on the front-burner after the December school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six others were murdered.
Tennessee Rep. Joe Carr is proposing a state law to make it a crime in Tennessee for federal agents to enforce any effort to ban firearms or ammunition.
The Murfreesboro Republican said that measure would also require the state's attorney general to defend any Tennessean prosecuted for violating the potential federal gun violations.
The move comes after President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades a month after the Connecticut school shooting that left six teachers and 20 students dead.
The president called for universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Kentucky second district Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie says he thinks preventing other tragedies like the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut can best be accomplished by focusing on mental health issues. The Bowling Green Republican favors that approach instead of what he calls "infringing on the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens."
Guthrie's House Committee on Education and the Workforce will be looking into school safety and he says he plans to get input from Kentucky education officials.
Third District Congressman John Yarmuth, on the other hand, says he fully supports all of President Obama's proposals to end gun violence. The only Democrat in Kentucky's Congressional delegation is co-sponsoring a bill to ban high capacity gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he'll examine President Obama's just-announced executive orders to see if the president has overstepped his authority — and, if he believes so, will introduce legislation to overturn the orders.
“Executive orders can be overturned and cannot run afoul of legislation that is the current law, if he tries to create legislation, I will oppose him,” Paul said on Wednesday.
Obama on Wednesday announced 23 executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence, plus a push for new legislation.
Paul made his comments as the president was unveiling his plans, prefacing them by saying he wasn’t sure of all the details.
Paul said he believes if he has to submit legislation to overturn the president, he would win the support of Republicans and Democrats.
Kentucky's fourth district U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie says he wants to repeal the 1990 Gun Free School Zones Act, according to a published report.
The Lewis County Republican was sworn into office this week in Washington D.C., and receives great support from the Tea Party.
“Gun free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments,” Massie said in a statement. “Gun free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.”
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is joining calls for a nation debate about gun issues in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings, and also said that violent video games are a cause of such violence.
Stumbo says he’s a lifelong National Rifle Association member and an avid outdoorsman — and he has helped many NRA-friendly bills pass in Kentucky. But he’s joining other rural Democrats in their call for a discussion on gun control.
“But I join Sen. Joe Manchin in saying that it’s time for America to have an adult discussion about what happened and what needs to happen to keep those events from happening in the future,” Stumbo said.
Gov. Steve Beshear expressed similar sentiments after the Newtown shooting, which left 27 people dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including the shooter.
Stumbo did not go into details about what proposals he would favor.
The mass-killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut have begun a national dialogue about America’s gun laws. In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam says the killings will likely have an impact on proposed gun legislation set to be taken up next year in the Volunteer State.
Gov. Haslam says he believes schools and universities in Tennessee should be allowed to legally ban their workers from bringing guns to work. The Tennessean reports it’s a position that puts Haslam at odds with some fellow Republicans in the Tennessee legislature. Some lawmakers in the state are proposing legislation that would force employers to allow workers to have guns in workplace parking lots, as long as owners keep those firearms in their vehicles.
A poll taken for Vanderbilt University before Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown showed 53% of Tennesseans surveyed supported the so-called “guns in trunks” legislation.