Concealed Carry Info

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Kentucky gun laws.
We have you covered on laws, reciprocity and CCDW licenses.
Keep reading...

kentucky state seal

The gun laws in Kentucky are fairly liberal and do not require the registration of firearms. The state operates on a "Shall Issue" policy with applicants for a concealed carry license required to complete and pass a firearms safety course. Part of the course includes a marksmanship test which requires 11 hits out of 20 rounds. Carry Concealed Deadly Weapons (CCDW) licenses are only issued to Kentucky residents.

Kentucky CCDW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle YES
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Gun Signs Enforced DETAILS
Open Carry Permitted YES
Carry In Restaurant YES
Constitutional Carry NO
total active ccw
licenses in Kentucky

Gun Laws

State rating
states that honor
a kentucky license
state licenses
kentucky honors
states not
honoring license

Kentucky Dashboard

total active CCW
licenses in kentucky

Gun Laws

State Rating
states Permit
honored in

KY Honors

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not honored
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Kentucky CCDW Reciprocity

Kentucky 2018
  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in Kentucky

Kentucky honors all other states concealed carry licenses including non-resident licenses issued by other states. The state website has more information on reciprocity.

Kentucky Reciprocity State's


Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

states & Districts

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia

Kentucky CCDW License

Kentucky Issue Policy

Shall Issue

License Issued To

Residents, Military

CCDW License Overview

The Kentucky CCDW license allows for the concealed carry of handguns and a wide range of other weapons such as knives, brass knuckles, blackjacks, shuriken, nunchaku,  and clubs .

The license is only issued to residents or military personnel if they are stationed in Kentucky and applicants will need to complete a firearms safety course and meet other criteria to obtain a license to carry.

Non-Resident Licenses

Non-resident licenses are only issued to military personnel if they are stationed in Kentucky.

Moving to Kentucky

If a person from another state becomes a resident of Kentucky their out-of-state licence is valid for 120 days if they complete a form (Out-of-State license validation) within 60 days of moving to Kentucky and deliver that form to the State Police by registered or certified mail.

The Law
KRS 237.110

Handgun Training

All new applicants for a CCDW license are required to take and pass a firearms safety course from an approved instructor. The State has set the fee for the training course at $75 and by law the fee is not allowed to be any more than $75 although an additional $10 can be charged for such things as targets, range fees and rentals. The instructor will submit your results PASS/FAIL to the DOCJT  and you will receive a class completion certificate the same day you take the class.

The course includes a mandatory marksmanship test. To pass this test the applicant must hit a full sized target 11 times from firing 20 rounds, the distance to the target is set at 7 yards.  The law also states that firearm safety courses can be no longer than 8 hours.


  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Demonstrate competence with a firearm.
  • Resident of Kentucky for at least six months prior to application.
  • Are a US citizen or legal resident.
  • Not have been committed to a state or federal facility for abuse of a controlled substance or convicted of a misdemeanor relating to a controlled substance within the last three years prior to application.
  • Not have two or more convictions for Operating motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substance which impairs driving ability within the last three years prior to application.
  • Not have been committed as an alcoholic within the last three years.
  • Not owe a child support arrearage which equals or exceeds the cumulative amount which would be owed after one year of nonpayment.
  • Have complied with any subpoena or warrant relating to child support or paternity proceedings.
  • Have not been convicted of Assault in the fourth degree or (Terroristic Threatening in the third degree within the three years immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted.
  • Federal Law – Prohibits the following persons
cost of
Cww permit
Years Permit
is valid

Kentucky: Places Off-Limits for CCDW

kentucky state flag
Kentucky state flag

Places Off-Limits in Kentucky

  • Any police station or sheriff's office
  • Any detention facility, prison, or jail
  • Any courthouse, courtroom, or court proceeding
  • Any meeting of the governing body of a county, municipality, or special district
  • Any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense beer or alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to that purpose
  • Any elementary or secondary school facility
  • Any child-caring facility, day-care center, or certified family child-care home
  • State and local governments have the authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them
  • Colleges, universities, technical schools and community colleges have the authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them
  • An area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Places Allowed in Kentucky

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state - except those listed as off limits

Pointers: Kentucky Gun Laws

Firearms course info

Kentucky Governor on gun laws

Kentucky Concealed Carry Laws

kentucky state capitol building
Kentucky state capitol building

Kentucky Gun Laws To Know

YES - Without a permit

Kentucky allows any person not prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a loaded or unloaded firearm in a vehicle in any closed container, compartment, or storage space installed as original equipment in a motor vehicle by its manufacturer, including but not limited to a glove compartment, center console, or seat pocket, regardless of whether the enclosed container, storage space, or compartment is locked, unlocked or does not have a locking mechanism.

The Law
KRS 27.020

NO - Must Inform Officer

There is nothing in Kentucky gun laws that states you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are required by law to carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

The Law
KRS 237.110

YES - Without a license

Kentucky has no laws prohibiting open carry. When open carrying you should be prepared for Police Officers to question you as open carrying a firearm will attract their attention.

The minimum age to open carry is 18 years. Kentucky has released a white paper on open carry which can be viewed by clicking on the link.


“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Kentucky gun laws. However, the law does authorize any private business to ban concealed carry on their premises, this does not include open carry though. Facilities that lease or rent housing are not permitted to restrict concealed carry. Private employers can prohibit their own employees from concealing a handgun or other weapons in company owned vehicles but not vehicles that are owned by an individual. State and local government employers can ban the carry of weapons within their buildings but not in vehicles.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons" sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

The Law
KRS 237.110

KRS 237.110(17)


You are permitted to carry in the following areas;

  • State Parks:       YES
  • State/National Forests:     YES
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YES - 301 KAR 3:010
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES

In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

You are not permitted to carry in an establishment that's primary business is to serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant but not in the bar area as long as the restaurant is not posted with a "No Weapons" sign.

The Law
KRS 237.110
KRS 244.125 - prohibits loaded firearms (concealed or otherwise) in places where alcohol is sold by the drink, except for certain specified exceptions.

There is no constitutional carry in Kentucky.
"...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."
(Art. I, Section 1)
no weapons sign in kentucky

Kentucky Off-Limit Statutes

Other Kentucky Statutes

For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

Other Gun Laws in Kentucky

Kentucky does no require registration of firearms or background checks on private sales.

Kentucky CCDW FAQ's

frequently asked questions on kentucky gun laws

Kentucky CCDW Contact

Kentucky State Police


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 919 Versailles Rd.

CityFrankfort, KY 40601

Phone 502-782-9781


Updates & Data Sources


The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research. It is up to you to decide what the best course of action is for your circumstances. We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some law practices with known firearm specializations. It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm. Also, remember that just because a statute may clearly say one thing or another, that doesn't mean all members of law enforcement know it. That also goes for lawyers and even judges too.

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james harperKentucky JeffMary Annette WimsattJamesTony Recent comment authors
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james harper
james harper

where would i go for training i need before going to the sherriffs office. or do i go to the sherriffs office first.

james harper
james harper

can not find current info on stand your ground laws in KY. Any help here?


Can you get your permit if you had a felony over 30 years ago in a different state.

Kentucky Jeff
Kentucky Jeff

Short answer = No, as convicted felon you are not allowed to possess much less carry a firearm.

Longer answer = No. A felony conviction is a felony conviction regardless of state or time passed. Now if you could get your criminal record fully expunged and your gun rights restored then maybe, a slim maybe. If you’ve been an angel ever since and this was your only screw up (say a non-violent young-n-dumb sort of offense) then it might be worth seeking the advice of an attorney that specializes in expungements.


Legal age of using a airsoft BB gun

Jennifer Taylor
Jennifer Taylor

Are these online ccdw classes legitimate classes?


You actually need to do a marksmanship test firing live rounds. No online course can accomplish that, you may be able to do the written part online.


what is the law about firing a firearm around a home

Sean Mallory
Sean Mallory

For the most part will be a local matter. Most cities will ban firing a firearm within city limits. I had the sheriff called on me once. They came out, looked at the direction I was shooting and my backstop and said “Have fun”. Then they went and told the complainant that I wasn’t doing any thing illegal.

Mary Annette Wimsatt
Mary Annette Wimsatt

If a subdivision is listed as agricultural, is made up of 5 acre lots, each with a home, can a person shoot skeet on there property? Mary

Kentucky Jeff
Kentucky Jeff

On a lot that small can you demonstrate that what you are doing is safe with enough safety margins in the backstop area and sides of the shooting zones? I can’t visualize how that could be done safely.


How dose 53 states honor a KY permint when there’s only 50 states.?


you also have to include districts and territories which honor ky ccdw. They are District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands

Kentucky Jeff
Kentucky Jeff

Few corrections/points. KY has no requirement that the other state honors KY permits. Kentucky’s reciprocity law states “A person who is not a resident of Kentucky and who has a valid license issued by another state of the United States to carry a concealed deadly weapon in that state may, subject to provisions of Kentucky law, carry a concealed deadly weapon in Kentucky, and his or her license shall be considered as valid in Kentucky.” Pay particular attention to those words “valid license issued by another state.” I think 50 is more accurate. Guam, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands are… Read more »

AJ Johnson
AJ Johnson

What is the minimum legal age to own an airsoft gun in Kentucky?

Jacob Barrett
Jacob Barrett

18 to purchase

Jeremiah Payne
Jeremiah Payne

I Have opened carried everywhere almost in Kentucky and have yet to have a problem, love that they do not make you have a permit to open carry, I believe you shouldn’t have to pay the government for the right to carry your gun, because they can’t give a right that you have no matter what.