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January 17, 2008

Kentucky campus gun bill stirs stink

(Read the entire article here)

Rep. Bob Damron's House Bill 114, which would allow university students, employees and visitors to  carry a firearm in their vehicle, has generated resistance from Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Kathy Stein (D, District 75, People's Republic of LFCUG*).

In Frankfort, state Rep. Kathy Stein, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the bill amounts to "micromanaging" institutions of higher education, and the legislation is unlikely to get out of her committee for a vote in the full House. "Meddling in the affairs of the universities and community and technical colleges is not high on our list of priority issues," Stein said.

That infuriated the bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, who said he plans to step up his work to force the bill past Stein, whom he labeled a "gun-control Sally."

Damron said he thinks he now has more than 50 co-sponsors and could win if Stein doesn't block House Bill 114.

The Jessamine County lawmaker, who is not on the Judiciary Committee, predicted his bill could get approved by 10 of the 15 committee members and would pass on the House floor 85-15. He declined to identify the members who would vote for the bill but said the list of co-sponsors gives a clear indication of overwhelming bipartisan support.

Damron said that putting a roadblock in front of his bill was "like sticking a knife in my eye."

He said Stein represents the "same old anti-gun group, the blatant gun-control mentality that doesn't sell in Kentucky."

"She's gun-control Sally up here," he said from his Frankfort office. Damron said Stein is using a "pocket veto," in which a committee chairman prevents a bill from being considered.

He said he could respond in one of several ways: having committee members ask Stein to let the panel vote on the bill; get the House leadership to ask her to let the bill proceed; gather a "discharge petition" to force the bill out of the committee; or get House leaders to assign the bill to another committee.

A lobbyist from the National Rifle Association will come to Frankfort next week to step up work on behalf of the bill, he said.

"I never imagined this was going to be a major battle," Damron said.

Kentucky's public universities do not allow firearms to be brought onto campus, with the main exception being the weapons used by campus police.

As an example of the universities' opposition, Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock said he is licensed to carry a concealed weapon but does not bring a firearm to the Richmond campus because it is against university policy.

Now, why are responsible, law-abiding adults denied the right to have the means to protect themselves on university campuses? Must be because campuses are so safe, right? Of course, I don't think you'd find many people to listen to that nonsense at Virginia Tech.

Representative Stein is a member of the Appalachian School of Law Advisory Committee. She must not remember the January 16, 2002 shooting which was ended by students retrieving personal firearms from their vehicles.

I urge Representative Stein to overcome her natural Liberal bias and give her fellow Representatives the opportunity to vote it up or down on its merits.

Readers, now would be a good time to contact your State Representative.

(*Lexington Fayette County Urban Government)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a student at UK, and a military police in the army reserves...

I would very much like to be able to keep my firearm in my glovebox, instead of having to take it out before driving to campus--leaving it at my house.

I mean, if I qualify to defend--and am very proficient in handguns, why am I not allowed to have mine within reasonable reach?