Proposed Lexington Bylaw Would Ban AR-Style Rifles

About 150 Second Amendment advocates spoke out this week against a proposal in Lexington, Kentucky, to ban certain types of semi-automatic firearms, namely AR-style rifles, calling it "an affront to the very principles on which their town and nation were founded," according to this story from The Boston Globe.

"The birthplace of American liberty is not going to be its gravesite," said Michael Barg, a lifelong Lexington resident, in the story. "This will accomplish nothing other than to glorify the proponents' phony dogma and misinformed political ideals."

The gun rights advocates appeared before the Board of Selectmen in opposition to a citizen's petition that would create a town bylaw prohibiting the manufacture, sale, ownership, or possession of specific weapons in town. The petition was filed by resident Robert Rotberg.

"It is time as citizens, and citizens of Lexington, that we attempt to remove assault weapons from the inventory of town residents," Rotberg said.

According to Rotberg, the proposed bylaw would “ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines and prohibit a list of specific weapons, including those used in mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and more recently in San Bernardino, Calif. Banning assault weapons does not infringe on the rights to own a gun in Lexington, only on the right to own a weapon capable of many killings more suitable to a war zone than to the defense of a Lexington home.”

Robert Rotberg described the need to "remove assault weapons" from Lexington. photo from The Boston Globe.

The selectmen elected not to support the resolution.

Police Chief Mark Corr said in the story, "This bylaw (is) not enforceable, and I ask you not to put me in a position to have to try. I do not want to see the irony that a law intended to save a life may actually cost a life trying to enforce it."

Rotberg said after the meeting that, in light of the decision from the selectmen, he is now considering how to proceed and may still move forward with a town meeting on April 6.

"It's my private property they want to seize and destroy," said Brian Linehan, a 30-year resident in the story. "Our town logo is Captain John Parker holding a rifle. A picture of that statue is used by gun rights groups all across the country. It's very near and dear to my heart because it's my constitutional right to own these firearms."

"One group of residents is forcing their views on their law-abiding neighbors. This is pitting neighbor against neighbor," said Kenny Jenness, whose wife is a fourth-generation Lexington resident. "For the first time in my life, I'm embarrassed to be from Lexington."