Lawmaker wants concealed guns in KY schools, colleges, bars and other banned places

Kentuckians who are licensed to carry concealed firearms could take them into places currently off-limits, including day-care centers, schools, universities, bars, government meetings and businesses that post “no guns” signs, under a bill pre-filed for the 2019 General Assembly.

State Rep. Robert Goforth, R-East Bernstadt, said his bill would eliminate most of the prohibited locations in the state law allowing “concealed carry” because armed Kentuckians should be allowed to defend themselves and others in this era of mass shootings. It serves no one’s safety to declare so many gun-free zones that criminals won’t respect, Goforth said in a recent interview.

“This is a public protection bill,” said Goforth, a farmer and former pharmacist who first was elected to the House in a special election in February. “After everything we’ve seen going on, I think our citizens need to be able to protect themselves. Without the right to bear arms, you’ll continue to see violence like we did in Louisville the other day. The violence is just continually growing in our society.”

Not everyone agrees with Goforth’s proposal. Anita Rowe Franklin, a Lexington woman whose 21-year-old son Antonio was an innocent bystander caught in fatal gunfire four years ago in a public park, said “the answer isn’t putting more guns out there.”

“It’s just too dangerous for the rest of us,” said Franklin, who is active at the state Capitol as a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “You tell me these people have permits. We have a lot of people who have a driver’s license, and it’s clear they don’t all know how to operate a motor vehicle safely. I’m pretty sure the same is true for some of the people with concealed carry permits.”

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