Senate Notes: Chamber passes bills aimed at ignoring new federal gun rules and changing elections

02/25/2013 07:51 PM

A bill that would allow Kentucky to disregard new federal gun laws passed the Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, passed easily by a vote of 34-3. Carpenter described his legislation as a preemptive strike against legislation Congress is debate about guns. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is taking up a bill that would ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons.

“This lean and concise bill simply protects this well defined right. If the administration tries to undermine the constitution in any way, our citizens will be protected,” Carpenter said. The measure includes an emergency clause that allows it to to take effect immediately after becoming law.

The three “no” votes were cast by Democratic Sens. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, Gerald Neal, D-Louisville and Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville on the grounds that the bill is unconstitutional.

“My solution for this body is: Don’t pass a law that we know is unconstitutional. We could pass a resolution which adequately expresses the interest of this body to tell the Federal Government to please do not take these rights away from us,” McGarvey said.

Chamber approves bill to move statewide constitutional officer elections

The upper chamber on Monday also voted 25 to 12 — mostly down party lines — to approve Senate Bill 55 that would change the constitution to move the election for the seven statewide officers to even years. It would take effect in 2016 allowing the current crop of constitutional office holders whose jobs are supposed to be on the ballot in 2015 to remain through 2016.

The bill’s sponsor, Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, estimates that moving to even numbered years would save Kentucky $1.4 million and the counties $12.6 million in 2015.

The constitutional officers include governor, lieutenant governor, auditor of public accounts, attorney general, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner and state treasurer.

The constitutional amendment, which requires approval of three-fifths of each chamber and the ratification of voters, now moves to the House. But House Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters Friday he doesn’t see a need for the change.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at


  • Bruce Layne wrote on February 26, 2013 05:56 PM :

    Senator McGarvey said, “…to tell the federal government in this instance, ‘Please do not take these rights away from us.’”

    That sounds like asking, not telling.

    We’ve asked and asked and asked, and our pleas to simply follow our US Constitution have fallen on deaf ears. There is no need for complicated legal interpretations. “The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That’s as plain and obvious as it gets, yet they constantly infringe, a new federal law here, a new executive order there… a new state law or a new local ordinance.

    Senator McGarvey seems to believe that the Supremacy Clause would make SB 129 unconstitutional if passed into law in Kentucky, apparently believing the sovereign commonwealth of Kentucky is a dependent and subservient ward of the federal government, but SB 129 clearly states that the UNCONSTITUTIONAL federal law or executive action would not be enforced in Kentucky. An unconstitutional law is null and void, and completely unenforceable.

    I see SB 129 as a joint resolution, but with more conviction than a resolution. Our fundamental and unalienable rights are a bit more important than the typical resolution that declares some date the official Blackberry Day in Kentucky.

    The real problem with SB 129 is a lot of senators voted for it knowing that it won’t pass the House, so they got credit for voting for a pro-gun bill without ever passing anything. Maybe we should have an all out push now to put pressure on our representatives in the House, and let them know that if it doesn’t come out of committee, we’re holding the committee responsible and their reelection will not be an option. If it’s not scheduled for a House floor vote, we hold Stumbo responsible and defeat him at the next opportunity, etc.

  • Brenda Black wrote on February 26, 2013 09:20 PM :

    I moved to Kentucky In the late 60s from Calif. and I thought the state was 10 years behind. Over the years I feel they are stuck in the 50s and don’t have a desire to leave it.

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