Area activists, business owners react to New York’s sweeping gun reform measures

Monday, the state's governor signed a 10-bill package aimed to tighten gun laws

MT. STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) – Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, and more. As gun violence across the country doesn’t seem to be slowing down, some states are enacting tighter gun laws.

The most recent state to do so is New York, raising the age Monday for the purchase of assault rifles from 18 to 21 as part of a sweeping 10-bill public safety package, according to ABC News.

In Kentucky, conversations are growing around the state’s own gun laws. Kathi Crowe, Legislative Lead for Moms Demand Action, says she wants to see more “common sense” gun laws in Kentucky similar to New York’s, like “red flag” laws and raising the age to buy an assault rifle, like the AR-15, from 18 to 21.

“We’d like to see something happen on assault weapons. We’d like to see the age to purchase a gun raised to 21. Right now, nationally, federally, it’s 21 years old to get a handgun. We’d like to see the same thing happen with all guns,” said Crowe.

Kentucky’s current gun laws do not require background checks for all gun purchases, requiring only licensed dealers to provide a background check, but not private sellers. Crowe says she wants to see changes to this.

“People can purchase a gun online from an unlicensed dealer at a flea market. Those people who get the gun can have felonies, domestic abuse violations. Every single purchase needs a background check. That would definitely keep our communities safer,” said Crowe.

Michael Snedegar owns Shade Tree Hunting and Pawn in Mount Sterling, and says he emphasizes safety and education for gun owners.

“Obviously, we like people to have their conceal-carry license. It does make the sale more comfortable. We know, hey, we’re selling this to someone that does have some training. I would advise anyone to get some training like that,” said Snedegar.

However, he says he would be hesitant about major changes made to Kentucky’s current laws.

“I understand that the world is full of issues right now and a lot of evil people are using firearms to do some evil acts. But I don’t think the only answer is to change these gun laws, make them stricter and harder on our civilians…we have fought for these rights. Many people have died for these rights. And I’m not real quick to have any of these rights taken away,” said Snedegar.

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