FRANKFORT — State Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, prefiled a bill Tuesday that would delete a ban on dueling in the state oath of office.
Owens said the dueling language in the state oath takes away the dignity of public swearing-in ceremonies for new state officeholders.
The oath in the state Constitution says, "...I, being a citizen of this state, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God."
When this part of the oath is read publicly, Owens said, the audience usually breaks into laughter, marring the solemn occasion.
"Every member of the General Assembly, all officeholders and every member of the bar must take this oath," Owens said. "I think that it is time we jump into the 21st century and delete this archaic language so the oath of office can be administered in a serious and respectful manner."
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