(CNSNews.com) -- On March 11, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed into law a bill that will allow law-abiding citizens in his state to carry firearms concealed (concealed carry) without a permit. The law goes into effect in July.
The law says, "Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses."
The National Rifle Association (NRA) supported the measure. (In Kentucky, people are already allowed to open carry a firearm.)
“On behalf of the NRA's five million members, we would like to thank Governor Bevin for his leadership on this critical issue," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right of self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs."
"NRA members and Kentucky’s law-abiding gun owners also appreciate the hard work and leadership of the bill sponsors, Senators Damon Thayer, Brandon Smith and Representative Savannah Maddox," said Cox. "Without their efforts, this bill would not have become law."
According to the NRA, Kenucky is now the the 16th state to recognize constitutional carry. The other 15 states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Connie Coartney, a volunteer leader with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in a March 11 statement, “Our lawmakers proved they are willing to put our families at risk. We hear them loud and clear and intend to work tirelessly to elect leaders who will actually stand up for public safety in 2019. Moms Demand Action is more determined than ever to keep going and ensure next session we pass common-sense gun legislation.”
"The signing of this bill puts Kentucky at odds with a clear majority of states that require people to obtain a permit before carrying hidden, loaded guns in public in order to protect public safety," she said.