A Senate committee advanced a bill Thursday morning that would no longer require Kentuckians over the age of 20 to undergo training and obtain a permit before they can carry a concealed deadly weapon.
The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection passed Senate Bill 150 by an 11-1 vote, with only Sen. Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, voting against it.
The current statutes and regulations in Kentucky require residents to take a firearms safety course and marksmanship test before obtaining a permit. Only 10 states currently allow concealed carry without requiring any training, permit or notification of carrying such a weapon.
Senate Bill 150 sponsor Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, testified that the legislation is necessary because the state currently criminalizes citizens who need to carry a gun for their safety but don’t have the time or money to obtain a permit. He added that the bill continues to restrict those convicted of a felony from carrying a gun.
Explaining her vote against the bill, Harper Angel noted that she has had a concealed carry permit for 20 years and said that ending the training requirement for a permit would put people’s safety at risk.
“The basic fundamental instructions that I underwent to receive that card gave me the confidence that I could handle that weapon, not only to protect myself but to not hurt myself,” Harper Angel said. “And I think taking away that training is certainly going in the wrong direction.”
The bill is expected to pass the full Senate by the end of this week.