AR-15 used in Louisville shooting will one day be auctioned off under law
  • The Louisville bank shooter used a legally-purchased AR-15 rifle in the deadly massacre, police said.
  • That weapon could one day be auctioned off and back on the streets, thanks to a Kentucky law.
  • “It’s time to change this law,” Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said on Tuesday.

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The Louisville, Kentucky, shooter used an AR-15 rifle legally purchased last week in the Monday morning massacre that left five people dead, police said. 

But that weapon could one day be auctioned off and back on the streets, thanks to a Kentucky law — and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said Tuesday that it’s time that law be changed. 

“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,” Greenburg said during a press conference. 

The Democratic mayor continued, “Think about that — that murder weapon will be back on the streets one day under Kentucky’s current law.”

Under Kentucky law, guns and ammunition that are confiscated or turned over to law enforcement agencies in the state must be handed over to Kentucky State Police for auction to federally-licensed firearms dealers.

Proceeds from the sales are to be used to purchase equipment like police body armor and body-worn cameras. 

Kentucky is one of several states that has a law like this on the books. 

Greenburg, who said he previously survived a workplace shooting during his campaign, made a policy earlier this year to have the firing pin removed from confiscated guns before they’re turned over to the state, rendering them inoperable. 

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg speaks at a press conference on April 11, 2023.

Michael Swensen/Getty Images

“That’s all that the current law allows us to do,” Greenburg explained. “That’s not enough. It’s time to change this law and let us destroy illegal guns and destroy the guns that have been used to kill our friends and kill our neighbors.”

“Let’s change the state laws that would make me a criminal for trying too hard to stop the real evil criminals who are taking other people’s lives and who are eager to make a spectacle of mass murder,” he said, adding, “The laws we have now are enabling violence and murder.”

In addition to calling for the change of the law, Greenburg called for more gun control in the wake of the mass shooting at Old National Bank that also left nine people, including two police officers, wounded. 

The 25-year-old gunman — who was shot and killed by police — had been a current employee of the downtown bank, according to police.

“This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about life and death. This is about preventing tragedies,” said Greenburg, who added, “This is happening in America everywhere and will keep happening until we say enough and take meaningful action.”

Democratic Kentucky Rep. Morgan McGarvey echoed Greenburg’s comments, saying, “We need policies in place that will keep this from happening again so that thoughts and prayers do not have to be offered to yet another community ripped apart by the savage violence coming from guns.”

McGarvey called for universal background checks for firearm sales and “taking weapons of war off of our streets.”

“That is not a political issue,” McGarvey said. “But it becomes one when Kentucky Republicans would rather ban books and pronouns and then make Kentucky a sanctuary state for weapons.”


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