In the wake of last week's shooting death of 26 people at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is joining a chorus of public officials who say a national debate on gun control and mental health is needed.
Beshear is typically friendly to the National Rifle Association -- and he wouldn't comment Thursday on specific proposals. But Beshear said Thursday that he's keeping an open mind about the gun control issue.
“And I think it says to all of us, whether you’re in public office or in the private sector, that we all ought to be open to looking and thinking about any and all options out there to protect our children,” he said.
The governor also says the issue must be discussed on a national level, because state-by-state regulations would have a weak effect.
An Eastern Kentucky lawmaker says the state needs to study whether it can put armed officers and metal detectors in all of Kentucky's 1,245 public schools in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings.
State Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Mount Sterling, said he will form a task force to look into the matter.
Last week, Jon Akers, director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety, which helps schools develop state-mandated safety plans, said there are 221 public schools in the state with on-site school resource officers.
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.