State lawmaker says line should be drawn on gun control but doesn't know if it can be done in Ky.

05/07/2013 09:58 AM

State Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, said military-style weapons have no place in civilians’ hands and that background checks need to be expanded but added that he expects no changes in Kentucky because of the influence of the NRA.

Many opponents to stricter laws on gun control say that expanding background checks to gun shows and the Internet, as proposed recently in the U.S. Senate, will not prevent criminals from getting their hands on guns because many of them get guns illegally anyway. But Owens said there’s more to it than that.

“If you prevent one, it is worth it in my view if you prevent one. Now, no one is saying it is a cure all, what we are saying is these are steps we need to take. But you know this is a country of guns, we are crazy about guns and I don’t want to infringe upon any person’s second amendment right but do I have a right to get a bazooka and walk around down town with it?” Owens said (at 1:45).

Owens represents downtown Louisville, which has seen an increase in gun homicides over the last year while many U.S. cities have seen those numbers go down, according to the FBI statistics.

Owens said changes to gun laws need to be done at the federal level because because it’s unlikely any changes will happen in the state legislature where the NRA has a “body-hold” over many lawmakers.

But Owens said he believes the NRA is becoming irrelevant because of their resistance to a “common sense approach” to reforming gun control laws.

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