New Kentucky Law Nullifies Some Federal Gun Control Measures

On March 28, 2023, a Kentucky bill that effectively nullifies several federal gun control measures became law after Secretary of State Michael Adams confirmed he received the legislation earlier that morning without Governor Andy Beshear’s signature. 

According to Kentucky law, if the governor does not sign or successfully vetoes a bill, it automatically becomes law of the land. 

The bill was filed by State Representative Josh Bray. House Bill 153 effectively bans the feds from implementing gun control measures passed after January 1, 2021  in Kentucky. 

On top of that, the the bill would bar civil liabilities if an individual violated the federal prohibition.

“In short, what it does is it prohibits local law enforcement from using tax dollars to implement a federal firearms and ammunition ban,” Bray noted. Bray called attention to how relevant this legislation is due to the ATF’s recent decision to impose bans on pistol braces. 

The ATF’s ban on pistol braces went into effect on January 31. Before this ATF measure was issued, guns with 16-inch barrels or less with a stabilizing brace were categorized as pistols. Under the ATF’s new regulation, those firearms now fall under the category of short-barreled rifles, which require a license to possess. 

Bray firmly opposed the ATF’s measure. 

“It’s a firearm accessory that might help somebody with a disability shoot a pistol if they don’t have a lot of hand stability,” Bray declared. 

“What the ATF has decided is that you can either register your firearm, or you can destroy it, or … it’s a felony,” Bray declared. “…I know a bunch of people have contacted me about this, and you know, I think it’s important that we can give Kentuckians peace of mind that the sheriff’s department or the city police isn’t just going to roll up and start enforcing this.”

State Representative Savannah Maddox, a known pro-gun champion in the Kentucky State Legislature, believes the passage of this legislation is a good first step in restoring gun states.

“HB 153 is a step in the right direction as it makes clear that Kentucky’s law enforcement officers shall not violate their oath to uphold the Constitution by enforcing unconstitutional gun control initiated the federal level,” Maddox proclaimed. “However, there is more work that needs to be done by our Republican Supermajority to protect the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”

Since Kentucky passed Constitutional Carry  in 2019, it has been on a pro-gun surge. It is currently ranked in 14th place for Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owners.  Passing this pro-nullification bill, Kentucky will continue boosting its pro-gun image. 

Due to the federal government’s inaction on gun policy, more red states should follow in Kentucky’s footsteps to resist DC’s gun control tyranny.  

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