FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Kentucky is now a 2nd amendment sanctuary state after a new law took effect Tuesday morning without the governor’s signature.
It comes just 24 hours after the latest mass shooting. This time at an elementary school in Nashville.
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The law requires local and state police officers to not enforce any future gun regulations that come from the federal level. This kind of shooting typically brings a debate on gun control.
“I got into this movement because I wanted my grandchildren to live in a safer world than my daughters did when they were growing up. And yet we’re not in that place right now,” Cathy Mekus with Moms Demand Action Kentucky told FOX 56.
Cathy Mekus is one of many Kentuckians that are pushing for laws to prevent gun violence like safe storage and expanded background checks. She believes making Kentucky a 2nd amendment sanctuary state is a step backward in safety.
“If the federal government passes a ban, we’re not going to use our taxpayer dollars to help them enforce that,” Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) said describing the bill on the House floor when it was first passed. As FOX 56 Political Analyst Jonathan Miller puts it, it’s the ultimate messaging law that Kentucky is a pro-gun state, but its effects may not go far.
“Remember that this only prevents state and local law enforcement officials from enforcing these federal laws. It doesn’t prevent the ATW or federal agents from enforcing them. So the impact of this would be limited. And that’s if it’s constitutional,” Miller said.
Miller said the new law could come to the courtroom to work out the debate over whether federal law is supreme to state law and how it’s enforced. A similar law was ruled unconstitutional this year in Missouri. The Nashville shooting could fuel that first lawsuit.
“Law enforcement has come out and said it’s dangerous for them. It puts their lives at risk because it interferes with their ability to cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies,” Mekus said.
But to be clear this bill doesn’t stop all federal gun regulations, just ones made by the Biden administration and beyond.
“This federal ban becomes effective Jan. 1, 2021. Any previous federal laws regarding firearms will be upheld in the state of Kentucky. Right now, we have a president in the Oval Office who is executive order happy,” Sen. Lindsey Tichenor (R-Oldham) said on the Senate floor. The new law also calls for local police officers to be charged if they enforce future federal gun laws.
Lawmakers can also come back to amend the law should the political tide shift at the federal level.