AUSTIN, Texas – A pair of Kentucky lawmakers are weighing in on whether or not they should be allowed to take martial law action in the state, as lawmakers prepare to discuss a bill that would give local police the power to seize guns and other items from people without a court order.
Kentucky State Senator Robert Ritchie said on Tuesday that if he is elected, he would push for a bill allowing law enforcement to seize weapons and other property from people who have been convicted of serious crimes.
He said he believes police should have the ability to use martial law if they feel that a person poses a danger to the public or if they have committed a felony.
He told the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper that the law should not be applied retroactively, and he believes martial law should only be used when it is necessary.
But he also suggested the state should consider taking legal action against people who break the law.
“I think that is the right thing to do,” Ritchie told the newspaper.
“We don’t need a law in Kentucky to protect people who are breaking the law, but it’s the right way to do it,” he said.
He is a Democrat, and the state’s Republican Governor, Steve Beshear, has opposed any change to the state constitution.
“That’s the problem, it’s a constitutional problem, not a state problem,” he told reporters.
In 2016, a similar bill passed the Kentucky House of Representatives but was defeated by Republican lawmakers.
The bill was later signed into law by then-President Donald Trump.
A similar bill was reintroduced in the Kentucky legislature last year.
The bill introduced last year was designed to allow law enforcement officers to seize firearms, cash and other valuables that have been linked to crimes.
A law enforcement officer can also use a warrant to seize property if he or she believes a person is in danger and has committed a crime, or is suspected of committing a crime.
The legislation, however, has been challenged by the National Rifle Association and the Kentucky ACLU.
Ritchie told reporters on Tuesday he was looking forward to the possibility of the bill being voted on by the Kentucky state legislature, and that he would introduce legislation to give police the authority to seize the property if necessary.
Kentuckians have the right to self-defense, he said, and there should be no restriction on that right.
Ricky also said that while he did not want to be the person who actually decided whether or when martial law would be applied in Kentucky, he is confident that he will be able to get a bill through the legislature.
“This is a fight that has to be fought on both sides,” he added.
The Lexington Herald Leader reported that the bill was approved by the House of Delegates, where Ritchie is a Republican, on Tuesday.