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Louisville Mayor Calls Out Kentucky Law Requiring Police To Auction Off Shooter's Gun For Profit

Mayor Craig Greenberg called on state legislature to change Kentucky law requiring assault weapon used in Louisville shooting to 'auctioned off' and sent 'back to the street.'

MSNBC screenshot of Craig Greenberg

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg announced during a news conference that the AR-15-style rifle used in Monday’s shooting at Old National Bank, which left five people dead and eight others injured, will be auctioned off as Kentucky State law prohibits law enforcement from destroying confiscated firearms.

Despite Kentucky State Police being responsible for the auctioning of confiscated firearms, Greenberg argued that the current state law that requires these firearms to be sold instead of destroyed ultimately supports violence and mass murder.

Greenberg, who himself survived a shooting at his campaign office in February 2022, called for Kentucky cities and counties to be given the autonomy to set their own gun restrictions, which includes the ability to destroy confiscated firearms. However, the bill that passed in 2012 prevents Kentucky cities and counties from doing so.

Meanwhile, some Democrats have drafted bills that would empower municipalities to enforce their own gun restrictions, but these proposals have not advanced in the state legislature.

You can hear what Greenberg said in the video below.

Greenberg said:

"To those in the national media that are joining us here today, this may be even more shocking than it is to those of us locally who know this and are dealing with this.
But under current Kentucky law, the assault rifle that was used to murder five of our neighbors and shoot at rescuing police officers will one day be auctioned off. Think about that. That murder weapon will be back on the streets one day under Kentucky's current law."
“The laws we have now are enabling violence and murder." ...
“Every member of the state legislature, like everyone else in our state and in our country, is horrified by what we saw yesterday, by what we see in other cities around the country." ...
"None of us wants this to happen again. … But it will keep happening. That’s why we have to do more than what we’ve already done. Let’s change the state laws.”

Many have echoed Greenberg's call and expressed outrage that the law exists in the first place.

The state of Kentucky has auctioned off tens of thousands of guns to the highest bidder, providing state entities millions of dollars that have helped pay for law enforcement equipment. According to the Louisville Courier Journal, 31 instances of weapons auctioned by the state were later used in crimes over about a six-year period.

Monday’s shooter had legally purchased the rifle six days earlier and killed Joshua Barrick, 40; Deana Eckert, 57; Thomas Elliott, 63; Juliana Farmer, 45; and James Tutt, 64.

As Greenberg noted (at 5:47 in the video of Greenberg's extended remarks below):

My administration has already taken action to remove the firing pin before turning confiscated guns over to the state, because that's all that the current law allows us to do.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg asks Kentucky lawmakers to let Louisville have autonomy when it

Overall, the gun laws in Kentucky continue to be a contentious issue for both political parties. The state government must decide whether they will uphold their current laws that have been in place since 1998 or make necessary changes to protect its citizens and communities.