The Kentucky Senate voted Thursday to push forward a bill supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), which would allow people to carry concealed firearms without permits or training.
The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Senate on the occasion of the first anniversary of the shooting in the Parkland, Florida school, which killed 17 students and staff members.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the state Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill, also known as Bill 150, by a majority of votes. The bill is now heading to the House headed by Republicans for consideration.
When passed, the bill would allow people aged 21 and over to carry concealed firearms or other weapons concealed without a license.
State Senator Brandon Smith (R), who sponsored the legislation, and NRA State Director, Art Thomm, said during a hearing before a committee that residents of the Kentucky were already allowed to carry weapons openly without training, according to the newspaper.
But Smith noted that if a person was wearing a coat that covered their firearm, they would need a license. Smith said the distinction seemed unfair, while Thomm added that the bill would decriminalize "wearing the mantle in the state of Kentucky".
The bill sparked strong criticism from Democrats in the Legislature, including Senator Julian Carroll, who said he was worried about jeopardizing the implementation of the bill. law under the new legislation, according to the WLWT.
"I do not think it's necessary to put guns in untrained hands," said Sen. Denise Harper Angel (D), according to the newspaper.
If the bill passes, Kentucky will become the 15th state to pass a law on portering without authorization, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.