FRANKFORT, Ky - Gov. Matt Bevin was recognized for signing a controversial gun law Wednesday.
The National Association for Gun Rights presented Bevin and Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, the .50 Caliber Freedom Award for their work passing Senate Bill 150, which allowed constitutional carry in Kentucky. Constitutional carry means no separate permit or training is required for legal gun owners to conceal carry a gun .
Bevin was the first governor to receive the award from the group.
“I think we have given 15 of these awards around the country and it’s even more rare, in fact it’s never happened that we have given an award to a member of the executive branch,” Dudley Brown, President of NAGR said.
After accepting the award Bevin said he was just protecting the constitution.
“The 27 simple words of the second amendment are as clear as they can possibly be that our rights to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This is why I fight for this,” he said. “I don’t make decisions based on the political calculus.”
Rep. Maddox carried the legislation in the House and spoke of the importance of making sure Kentuckians aren’t face extra burdens to carry arms.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the fact that in Kentucky now as a result of having passed constitutional carry law abiding citizens no longer have to ask permission or pay recurring fees to be able to exercise their second amendment rights,” Maddox said. “I’m grateful to you Dudley, and to the National Association for Gun Rights for giving me this award.”
Many opposed to the law were concerned removing training requirements to conceal and carry a gun would result in untrained people carry around fire arms. Bevin says he believes everyone needs to be trained on how to use a firearm before they carry one.
“Nobody should be firing a firearm of any kind from a 22 caliber on up to a 50 caliber to a Howitzer, for that matter, without very specific training,” Bevin said. “It is incumbent upon those of us as responsible gun owners to make sure that we understand how to handle any firearms that we are in possession of to make sure anyone in our homes have the same type of training and awareness to be familiar on how to safely handle a firearm.”
Senate Bill 150 can be found here.