JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Republican Party of Jessamine County is not happy with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The group recently censured McConnell for his support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act - the most significant gun measure passed in the United States in nearly 30 years.
"We had an allergic reaction to Senator McConnell siding with the Democrats on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act," said Robert Barney, the censure spokesperson.
"Our leader has gone off the rails and supported this anti-gun bill," added Barney.
In the censure document, the county group says McConnell "was the only Republican member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation to support this dangerous and unconstitutional gun control." The group also blames McConnell for leading a group of 15 Republican Senators to support the measure.
In addition to stopping "any and all support" of McConnell, the group is calling on McConnell to resign as Senate Republican leader.
"It's clear that Senator McConnell no longer represents the majority view of the Republicans in the Senate on a very important issue - the Second Amendment," Barney told LEX 18. "So why would he be the leader anymore?"
"I think his time has come and gone," Barney added. "I think if he cannot see clearly that the Second Amendment is something that needs to be defended very, very strongly - then he's probably - it's probably time to move on."
McConnell's support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was significant because he has strongly opposed gun control measures in the past. However, in June, McConnell explained that he backed the bill because it did not violate Second Amendment rights.
“This a commonsense package," McConnell said on the Senate floor on June 23rd. "Its provisions are very popular. It contains zero new restrictions, zero new waiting periods, zero mandates, and zero bans of any kind for law-abiding gun owners."
McConnell said the measure "can make schools and communities safer without impeding on the Second Amendment." McConnell's office says groups, including the National Association of Police Organizations and the Fraternal Order of Police/International Association of Chiefs of Police (FOP/IACP), supported the legislation.
But Barney and the Republican Party of Jessamine County disagree.
"There are some things you try to find middle ground on," said Barney. "I don't believe you compromise on the Second Amendment."
So, what happens now? The group says its censure decision will stand. It's also calling on other republican groups to censure McConnell as well.
"When one of your key leaders wanders that far off the track, something needs to be said and something needs to be done," said Barney.