For years, Kentucky has allowed its citizens to practice “open carry” of firearms in that weapons must be clearly visible.

Several years ago the state legislature changed the law to allow individuals to carry concealed weapons if they had clean records and would complete required training in the use of their firearm.

Those permits are called CCDW for concealed carry deadly weapon.

Note that the third letter stands for “deadly”, a fact often lost on those in the NRA and other “gun groups” who campaign incessantly for no restrictions on who owns and/or uses firearms.

As it has done in 15 other states, the NRA is halfway to its goal of adding Kentucky to the list which allow virtually anyone 21 or older to carry a concealed deadly weapon.

That happened last week when the Kentucky Senate voted 29-8 in favor of a bill that would allow someone to carry a concealed firearm without a CCDW permit or the required safety training.

Senate Bill 150, dubbed the permit-less carry bill, states that people 21 or older who are able to lawfully possess a firearm may carry a concealed weapon without a license in the same locations as people with valid state-issued licenses.

Another provision states no one would be allowed to carry or possess any deadly weapon where it is already prohibited by federal law.

Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, told the Senate that his intention was to stop making criminals out of otherwise solid citizens who happen to slip a gun into their pocket when leaving home.

Smith and his pals in the NRA who provide campaign donations apparently prefer that we return to the days of the Old West, when everyone carried a weapon.

Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, a former law enforcement officer, opposed SB 150 on the grounds that it doesn’t require gun training and safety classes.

Carroll understands that persons untrained in firearms are more likely to hurt themselves or bystanders when the shooting starts.

In our view, if SB150 becomes law, the state should provide all of us with body armor.

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