FRANKFORT — Lawmakers are pushing three identical bills to exempt Kentucky-made guns and ammunition from federal background checks, dealer licenses and other national regulations if the items remain in the state.
The effort comes as a recent report shows Kentucky is one of the nation's biggest exporters of guns that cross state lines legally or illegally and end up at crime scenes in other states, often in cities with tight gun ownership restrictions.
At the same time, one lawmaker who opposes the proposed legislation is pointing to Saturday's mass shooting in Arizona, which left six dead and wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and many others, as evidence Kentucky's guns laws should be strengthened, not weakened.
"This is just an effort to pander to the National Rifle Association and the Tea Party movement, which is shameful given the attempted assassination of a congresswoman over the weekend," said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville.
Supporters of the proposal said they don't object to any federal gun law in particular. But they want to send a message about states' rights. Congress does not have the authority under the U.S. Constitution to regulate business within a state's borders, they said.
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