New Law in Kentucky Law Allows Openly Carried Guns in City Buildings

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 11.20.14 PMPeople can now openly carry a firearm in any city-owned facility in Kentucky — including libraries, parks, the zoo, city council chambers and city hall — thanks to a revision made to state law last year.

The law, which applies to any legal firearm, also states that in some places, like suburban firehouses run by special districts, people with the appropriate permit may carry concealed weapons.

The revision, which became subject to enforcement this month, clarifies that firearms may only be regulated by the state, voiding all local ordinances and restrictions.

“Local governments can’t regulate firearms,” said Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, who sponsored the bill, which was passed in 2012.

State law prohibits firearms in schools, jails and prisons. Colleges and universities are allowed to prohibit guns under state law, and restrictions in court buildings are set by the judicial branch. Private businesses may still prohibit guns, and a separate state statute allows cities to ban people from carrying concealed firearms into their facilities.

But with few state regulations specifically addressing guns on property owned by local governments and special districts, signs prohibiting people from openly carrying firearms have started coming down. Read more here.

You can see who voted for it and download the Bill here.

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The wording of the entire Bill is below:

AN ACT relating to the regulation of firearms, firearms parts and accessories, ammunition, and ammunition components.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

âSection 1. KRS 65.870 is amended to read as follows:

(1) No existing or future city, county,urban-county government, charter county, consolidated local government, unified local government, special district, local or regional public or quasi-public agency, board, commission, department, public corporation, or any person acting under the authority of any of these organizations may occupy any part of the field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, taxation, transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, storage, or transportation of firearms, ammunition,[ or] components of firearms, components of ammunition, firearms accessories, or combination thereof.

(2) Any existing or future ordinance, executive order, administrative regulation, policy, procedure, rule, or any other form of executive or legislative action in violation of this section or the spirit thereof is hereby declared null, void, and unenforceable.

(3) Any person or organization specified in subsection (1) of this section shall repeal, rescind, or amend to conform, any ordinance, administrative regulation, executive order, policy, procedure, rule, or other form of executive or legislative action in violation of this section or the spirit thereof within six (6) months after the effective date of this Act.

(4) Pursuant to Section 231 of the Constitution of Kentucky insofar as any person or organization specified in subsection (1) of this section is considered an agent of the Commonwealth, it is the intent of the General Assembly to exempt them from any immunity provided in Section 231 of the Constitution of Kentucky to the extent provided in this section. A person or an organization whose membership is adversely affected by any ordinance, administrative regulation, executive order, policy, procedure, rule or any other form of executive or legislative action promulgated or caused to be enforced in violation of this section or the spirit thereof may file suit against any person or organization specified in subsection (1) of this section in any court of this state having jurisdiction over any defendant to the suit for declaratory and injunctive relief. A court shall award the prevailing party in any such suit:

(a) Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in accordance with the laws of this state; and

(b) Expert witness fees and expenses.

(5) If any person or organization specified in subsection (1) of this section violates this section or the spirit thereof, the court shall declare the improper ordinance, administrative regulation, executive order, policy, procedure, rule, or other form of executive or legislative action specified in subsection (1) of this section null, void, and unenforceable, and issue a permanent injunction against the person or organization specified in subsection (1) of this section prohibiting the enforcement of such ordinance, administrative regulation, executive order, policy, procedure, rule, or any other form of executive or legislative action specified in subsection (1) of this section.

(6) A violation of this section by a public servant shall be a violation of either KRS 522.020 or 522.030 depending on the circumstances of the violation.

(7) The provisions of this section shall not apply where a statute specifically authorizes or directs an agency or person specified in subsection (1) of this section to regulate a subject specified in subsection (1) of this section.
Update: A knowledgable reader of this blog, Shawn, let me know some additional information regarding KY Carry Laws:
He said, regarding the statement that college and universities can prohibit guns as can a private business. They can say “no guns”, but it is NOT illegal to carry in those places. No law says you can not. If they find out you carry, they can ONLY ask you to leave. Now, you have to leave or they can call the police and you face trespassing, but there is no law concerning the firearm, even if you refuse to leave. You cannot be punished for carrying a fire arm in those places. Of course, concealed means concealed and what they dont know, wont hurt them. Same goes with Banks and Hospitals in KY, there is no law prohibiting you from doing it. All they can do is ask you to leave.

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One thought on “New Law in Kentucky Law Allows Openly Carried Guns in City Buildings

  1. Technically speaking, this was already legal, they just made the wording more explicit, and gave the preemption statute some teeth by specifying that those violating it do not have immunity from prosecution. This was unfortunately necessary because several cities were violating the existing statutes and basically responding to complaint with “So? Sue us”, knowing that their city funds could fund more lawyers than the average citizen. It’s nice to see some positive change anywhere at the moment though.

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