Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 11, 2012

Greenup repeals firearms rules

Judge-exec calls move 'crazy'

GREENUP — Even though Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter deemed the move “crazy” and expressed serious concerns about it, the Greenup County Fiscal Court on Tuesday voted to void legislation the county might have on the books aimed at keeping people from bringing firearms into the courthouse.

It was necessary for the fiscal court to do so to keep the county in compliance with a new state law, Carpenter said.

The law, House Bill 500, prohibits city and county governments from passing firearms regulations that are more stringent than state laws. In effect, what that means is the county cannot prohibit people from bringing weapons into the courthouse, Carpenter said.

“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of (the General Assembly) doing, but they did it,” he said. “So, we’re going to do this, even though we don’t agree with it. “

People who bring guns into the courthouse will still be subject to the restrictions of state law, Carpenter said. For example, a person carrying a concealed weapon without a permit to do could still be charged with a crime for doing so. However, people can carry openly without any sort of restrictions, he said.

Carpenter said it wasn’t even clear whether the county had an official ordinance on the books dealing with guns in the courthouse.

“It’s just been a standing rule that if you come in here with a gun, the sheriff’s going to take you out,” he said.

Further complicating matters, Carpenter said, is the fact Kentucky law still gives judges the power to set firearms regulations for areas of the courthouse that house offices of the state judiciary. That means, theoretically, someone could walk into the office of the sheriff or the judge-executive without running afoul of the law, but not into Family Court Judge Jeff Preston’s courtroom, which is on the third floor of the courthouse.

Guns also will remain off-limits in the county courthouse annex, which houses the district and circuit courts, along with the office of Circuit Court Clerk Allen Reed.

House Bill 500, sponsored by Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, was approved by the House and Senate in March, and signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear the following month. The legislation was supported by the National Rifle Association.

“HB 500 mandates consistent statewide regulations pertaining to firearms and ammunition and prevents a rights-infringing patchwork of local ordinances,” an article on the NRA’s website states.

But Carpenter said he said he had serious misgivings about the county having to give up its right to restrict fireams in the courthouse.

“Hopefully, it won’t be a problem,” he said.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Kentucky gets driver’s license extension

    Kentuckians don’t have to worry about their driver’s licenses for another year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Local entrepreneurs learning to thrive

    Local business owners and entrepreneurs sat down together with community leaders to share ideas for how to help each other thrive in eastern Kentucky’s economic climate.

    August 1, 2014

  • RONNIE ELLIS: Truth and politics don’t always mix

    On this, the most political weekend of the year in Kentucky, the weekend of the wonderfully unique Fancy Farm Picnic, it’s hard to write a column on politics.

    August 1, 2014

  • In Kentucky, execution debate finds new footing

    With a spate of botched executions across the country this year looming over their discussion, Kentucky lawmakers are revisiting some fundamental questions about the death penalty, including whether the state should keep it on the books.

    August 1, 2014

  • Families invited for Fun in the Park

     Free cotton candy, hot dogs and entertainment for an entire day is what Bridges Christian Church in Russell is offering local families during Fun in the Park this weekend.
     

    August 1, 2014

  • AEP reports stolen copper, fence damage

     All that glitters is not gold — sometimes, it's also copper.
     

    August 1, 2014

  • Probe of Fairview begins

    Four investigators from the state Office of Education Accountability spent much of Thursday interviewing school officials in a probe of alleged school law violations in the Fairview Independent School District.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grant helps Elliott County High School with $1.7 million geothermal renovation

    Elliott County School District Superintendent Dr. Carl Potter II remembers the night a few years ago when the lights went out in the middle of an Elliott County boys basketball game and interrupted it for some 20 minutes while the lights powered up.

    July 31, 2014

  • Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

    The Kentucky state legislature passed a sweeping overhaul to its prescription drug law in the summer of 2012 after a flood of overdose deaths, making it significantly harder for people to access dangerous addictive drugs from doctors.

    July 31, 2014

  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014