Kentucky Gun Laws
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph 7.
“All men are by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned: ... 7) the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state, subject to the power of the general assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.”
Gun Laws Overview
|RIFLES & SHOTGUNS||HANDGUNS|
|Permit to Purchase||No||No|
|Registration of Firearms||No||No|
|Licensing of Owners||No||No|
|Permit to Carry||No||No|
The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information. We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change. The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include: restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation. YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.
Kentucky only honors permits or licenses from individuals 21 years of age or older.
|Right to Carry Confidentiality||Provisions Enacted|
|Right to Carry in Restaurants||Partial Ban|
|Right To Carry Laws||No Permit Required|
|Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition||Outright Recognition|
|Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions||With Provisions|
Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms
Antiques and Replicas
Kentucky statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.
The open carry of a handgun is lawful except in certain restricted areas.MORE
The Department of Kentucky State Police shall issue a license to carry concealed firearms if the applicant:
The application shall be obtained from and submitted to the office of the sheriff in the county in which the applicant resides. The application fee is $60. The license is valid statewide for 5 years. The applicant shall submit a recent color photograph and a photocopy of a certificate of completion of a course that demonstrates competence with a firearm. The application will be sent to the Kentucky State Police within five working days.
The Department of Kentucky State Police shall, within 90 days, either issue a license or deny the application, in which case the applicant shall be informed in writing of the grounds for denial and his right to submit, within 30 days, documentation relating to the denial. The applicant shall also be informed of the right to seek review of the denial in the District Court of his place of residence. The applicant shall further be informed of their right to seek de novo review of the denial in the District Court of his or her place of residence.
Military Personnel are not provided with an extension but may renew concealed weapons licenses early and by mail. If military personnel are on active duty when the license expires, they are allowed to renew the license within 90 days after the end of deployment with no late fees or penalties.
The certification and recertification of active and retired peace officers permits any peace officer that has successfully completed a Kentucky Law Enforcement Council approved firearms instructor course to carry firearms.
A license to carry concealed firearms does not authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into:
Right of employees and other persons to possess firearms in a vehicle--No person, including but not limited to an employer, who is the owner, lessee, or occupant of real property shall prohibit any person who is legally entitled to posses a firearm from possessing a firearm, part of a firearm, ammunition, or ammunition component in a vehicle on the property. This does not apply to any real property owned, leased or occupied by the United States government, upon which the possession or carrying of firearms is prohibited or controlled, detention facilities, or where Kentucky Revised Statutes specifically prohibits possession or carrying of firearms on the property.
Kentucky will allow a loaded handgun to be carried in a motor vehicle provided that the firearm is stored in any container, compartment, or storage space originally installed in the motor vehicle by its manufacturer.
Kentucky honors valid licenses and permits issued by other state.LESS
It is lawful to possess, purchase, or sell a machine gun that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.
It is unlawful to remove, deface, cover, alter or destroy the manufacturer’s serial number or other mark of identification on any firearm.MORE
It is unlawful to possess a firearm that has been defaced. To avoid prosecution, this offense must be reported to the police immediately.
It is unlawful to shoot any wild animal, protected or unprotected, from an automobile or any vehicle at any time or place. Boats may be used except as prohibited by state or federal regulations.
It is unlawful to shoot across a highway.
No city, county or urban-county government may occupy any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or combination thereof.
No person or entity is liable for damages of any kind resulting from injuries to another person sustained as a result of the criminal use of a firearm by a third person, unless the person or entity conspired with, aided, or caused the third person to commit the criminal act.
The Commonwealth reserves the exclusive authority to bring suit against firearms manufacturers or dealers relating to the lawful manufacture and sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.
During bow-hunting season, any person who is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm may carry a firearm for protection of persons and property or self-defense. This applies to all lands controlled by the department, public or private, and also on private lands that the owner has not posted a notice prohibiting concealed deadly weapons.LESS
No state permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.
The regulation of firearms and ammunition is completely reserved to the state legislature.MORE
KY REV. STAT. § 65.870 Local firearms control ordinances prohibited
No city, county or urban-county government may occupy any part of the field of regulation of the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying or transportation of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or combination thereof.LESS
No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.MORE
Residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky who are citizens of the United States shall have the right to purchase or otherwise acquire rifles, shotguns, handguns, and any other firearms which they are permitted to purchase or otherwise acquire under federal law and the Kentucky Revised Statutes from properly licensed dealers, manufacturers, importers, or collectors, and unlicensed individual person in Kentucky or in any other state or nation outside of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.LESS
No shooting range shall be or shall become a nuisance, either public or private, solely as a result of changed conditions in or around the locality of the range if the range has been in operation for one (1) year...MORE
KY. REV. STAT. § 237.210 Effect of changed conditions on nuisance actions involving shooting ranges; standing to sue; limitation of liability; prohibition against retroactive application of laws
(1) No shooting range shall be or shall become a nuisance, either public or private, solely as a result of changed conditions in or around the locality of the range if the range has been in operation for one (1) year since the date on which it commenced operation as a shooting range. Subsequent physical expansion of the range or expansion of the types of firearms in use at the range shall not establish a new date of commencement of operations for purposes of this section unless the change triples the amount of the noise produced by the shooting range. The increase in the noise level at the shooting range shall be measured by an independent testing agency or a unit of government and shall compare the highest noise levels during any one (1) month during which the range is in full operation with a subsequent month in which the range is in full operation and conducting a comparable level of shooting activities. Only a person who lives adjacent to the shooting range shall have standing to bring an action under this section.
(2) No shooting range or unit of government or person owning, operating, or using a shooting range for the shooting of firearms shall be subject to any action for civil or criminal liability, damages, abatement, or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to noise generated by the operation of the range if the range remains in compliance with noise control or nuisance abatement administrative regulations, statutes, or ordinances applicable to the range on the date on which it commenced operation.
(3) No administrative regulations, statutes, or ordinances relating to noise control, noise pollution, or noise abatement adopted or enacted by a unit of government shall be applied retroactively to prohibit conduct at a shooting range, which conduct was lawful and being engaged in prior to the adoption or enactment of the administrative regulations, statutes, or ordinances.LESS
Sources: Ky.Rev.Stat §§ 65.045; 237.020 et seq.; 411.155; 527.010 et seq
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Today, the House Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection voted 16-3 to pass House Bill 542 with a ...
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Today, January 3rd, the Kentucky General Assembly begins the 2023 legislative session. As in 2022, the General Assembly can expect to see both pro and ...
Friday, April 15, 2022
Last night, the General Assembly adjourned sine die from its 2022 legislative session.
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
No summary available
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Late last month, President Joe Biden used his first address to a joint session of Congress to push ...
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Yesterday, the General Assembly adjourned sine die from its 2021 legislative session. During this session, the House passed House ...
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Today, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 175 by a vote of 73-21. It prevents discrimination against ...
Thursday, February 25, 2021
The House Judiciary Committee issued a favorable report to House Bill 175, to prevent discrimination against firearm businesses. ...
Monday, February 15, 2021
The Kentucky 2021 legislative session is under way and these two bills in the General Assembly are of ...
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
After spotting a lone man washing his vehicle at a St. Louis-area car wash, two armed men reportedly ...