FRANKFORT, Ky. — As President Joe Biden calls on Congress to move on gun reform legislation in the wake of recent deadly shootings, State Rep. Keturah Herron (D, Louisville) says the commonwealth needs to do more to address gun violence.
She plans to re-file a bill that would create the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
“The biggest thing that I want that office to do is to first off, look at gun violence through a public health lens, to not just look at gun violence from a mass shooting or big casualty situation, but also look at it from the day-to-day situations that we see in our communities,” she said.
According to the CDC, guns were involved in the deaths of over 5,000 people in Kentucky between 2014 and 2020.
Under a bill Herron filed this year when she was first elected, the office would be part of the Department of Public Health and would “oversee the collection of information and resources related to gun violence policy prevention and services.”
“Our communities have been hurting,” said Herron. “Kentuckians have been hurting and impacted by gun violence, whether it’s been suicide, child abuse, domestic violence, all of those things are present when you look at casualties where guns have been present.”
Gov. Andy Beshear commented on the recent mass shootings during his briefing on Thursday.
“Any time these happen, it tears at the very fabric of who we are,” he said. “When the General Assembly meets, I hope they will at least have a real discussion and that discussion could touch on a lot of topics, but ... any policy change will take ultimate agreement between leadership.”
Herron’s bill was never assigned to a committee this year, but she plans to try again when lawmakers return in January and wants to work with Democrats and Republicans to come up with legislation to address gun violence, she said.