A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers has proposed a bill that would allow police or family members to ask a court to temporarily take guns away from people if they present a danger to themselves or others.
So-called “red flag laws” exist in at least 17 other states, including neighboring Indiana, and President Donald Trump recently signaled he might support a federal version of the policy.
Sen. Paul Hornback, a Republican from Shelbyville, said the law is necessary in a “strange new world.”
“I don’t look at this as gun control at all. I just don’t look at this that way. I look at it as public safety,” Hornback said. “I think the societal changes we have forces us to enact some good, common-sense type of laws out there to protect people.”
The bill — which hasn’t been finalized yet — is sponsored by Hornback, Senate Republican Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams and Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, a Democrat.
Democrats proposed similar bills during this year’s legislative session, but they failed without receiving a committee vote.
Raque Adams said she was optimistic about the bill’s chances during next year’s session, but that some lawmakers in the Republican-led legislature will need to be convinced.
“It’s going to require one-on-one, myself and Sen. Hornback reaching out. Not only educating, but also asking for their input. A lot of these bills are a collaborative process,” Raque Adams said.
The lawmakers said that they had been discussing the proposal before last week’s deadly shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
Gov. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, is calling for a version of the "red flag" law, expanded background checks, and other gun control proposals in response to the mass shooting in Dayton over the weekend that left nine people dead. These proposals represent a dramatic shift in the way Ohio's state leadership has handled gun policies for most of the decade.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ignoring Democrats' efforts to pressure him into calling the Senate back from recess to vote on gun legislation to expand background checks following back to back mass shootings.
But there is movement among some Republican lawmakers, who are calling for action on some gun control measures.