LOUISVILLE, Ky. (FOX 56) — As a clearer view emerges of what happened in Louisville the calls are growing for action on gun reform. Louisville officials gave emotional pleas that red flag laws could be something that may have stopped the, and the fury from that pro-gun control side only grows over the law directing the gun involved in this crime to be resold to the public, pro-gun advocates, however, believe enough laws are there and the real debate is on mental health.
“We need to take this grief and turn it into action,” Rep. Morgan McGarvey (D-Kentucky) said in a briefing Tuesday.
To pro-gun advocates like Walter Starosciak it’s a knee-jerk reaction that’s been part of the same playbook for some time.
“You know, take away guns, take away guns. And nothing is ever addressed on mental illness,” he told FOX 56.
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The back and forth is beginning on what the government can do to prevent future mass shootings — Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg asked in the same briefing the state repeal a law directing the weapon used in the shooting back to a public auction.
“Think about that. That murder weapon will be back on the streets one day under Kentucky’s current law,” he said.
Rep. McGarvey called out a lack of “red flag” laws he believes could have made a difference in stopping the shooter from legally obtaining a weapon.
“We know this shooter purchased an AR-15 rifle on April 4. We know he left a note. We know he texted or called at least one person to let them know he was suicidal and contemplating harm. But we don’t have the tools on the books to deal with someone who is in imminent danger to themselves or to others. We can do this,” he said.
But pro-gun advocates say the law could have done something to stop this had others acted sooner
“There are enough gun laws on the books. These gun laws have to be enforced to the maximum extent of the law,” Starosciak said.
Starosciak is an NRA-ILA activist leader in northern Kentucky. He believes the timeline could reveal more about if the crime could have been stopped, such as if the individuals the shooter expressed he was contemplating harm to were able to tell police before the shooting. As far the weapon being resold, he said he understands moral concerns — but believes objectively there’s no reason it shouldn’t be resold to someone who is competent and passed the background prerequisites to buy it.
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“It’s the individual that used that weapon and the weapon itself just didn’t get up, walk on its own and go ahead and start doing the shooting,” he said.
Starosciak also added that ending the auctions would remove a big funding source for local police departments.
Spokespeople for GOP leadership in the House and Senate were contacted to provide an updated response to the requests made of lawmakers Tuesday and have not responded as of this publishing.
Additionally, spokespeople for Gov. Andy Beshear have not responded to inquiries about if the governor is in discussion or planning any executive order related to gun reform, as was just announced in Tennessee.