KENTUCKY GUN LAWS

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
0
licenses in Kentucky

Gun Laws

State rating
Good
states that honor
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a kentucky license
state licenses
0
kentucky honors
states not
0
honoring license

Kentucky Dashboard

total active CCW
0
licenses in kentucky

Gun Laws

State Rating
Good
states Permit
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honored in

Permits
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KY Honors

states permit
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not honored
population
0%
with permit

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

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STATES

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

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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

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states

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.

REQUIREMENTS

  • 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
$0
Cww permit
Years Permit
0
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/YES

“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)

YES

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

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.

NO
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

Hours


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 919 Versailles Rd.

CityFrankfort, KY 40601

Phone 502-782-9781

 

Updates & Data Sources

Disclaimer

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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NavtrtlMelody VaughtMelody VaughtMelody VaughtJerome West Recent comment authors
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Jerome West
Guest
Jerome West

I moved here to Henderson Ky. from Evansville indiana. I have a lifetime permit from indiana. the internet says that Kentucky honors permits from indiana. Am i ok to carry living here in Kentucky?

Melody Vaught
Guest
Melody Vaught

You do not have to have a concealed permit in Ky now. Passed last year. So you can still carry.

Navtrtl
Guest
Navtrtl

As stated by Melody, you should be fine as no permit is needed. Although KY no longer requires a permit, reciprocity in other states is based on having a CCDW in your state of residence. This means that if you travel, to Evansville for instance, you may have to have a KY CCDW in order to conceal carry. Is your Indiana lifetime permit still active if you are no longer a resident of IN? I know it says lifetime, but moving could change things. As a KY resident, I still maintain a permit because I travel a lot.

Josh burks
Guest
Josh burks

Can I open carry my pistol if I am 18

Melody Vaught
Guest
Melody Vaught

Yes

Derek Basham
Guest
Derek Basham

Got a handgun for Christmas from a cousin. My cousins wife’s dad passed and he owned the gun. Do I need to transfer the gun into my name?

Derek Basham
Guest
Derek Basham

No you would not have to

William Marzano
Guest
William Marzano

I am a Retired Police Officer, from Illinois & have a Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry Permit,& I am thinking of moving to Kentucky.Can I renew I there or would I have to go back ,to Illinois, every year to requallify?

Derek Basham
Guest
Derek Basham

You would have to register here in Ky again. They don’t accept out of state license just yet. Take the course and send the paperwork off to Frankfort.

Melody Vaught
Guest
Melody Vaught

You are not required to have a concealed carrying permit in ky now to carry. It makes it faster to purchase one but what a few minutes to fill out a few questions.

Melody Vaught
Guest
Melody Vaught

You are not required to have a concealed carrying permit in ky now to carry. It makes it faster to purchase one but what a few minutes to fill out a few questions.

Cooper Stewart
Guest
Cooper Stewart

I’m 19. Getting a handgun to open carry for my protection. Perfectly legal, correct?

N. Smith
Guest
N. Smith

Yep, as long as you are not prohibited from owning a firearm you can open carry in Kentucky. However, it is not legal for an FFL (gun store) to sell a handgun to anyone under 21. You can buy one from a private seller legally though.

Melody Vaught
Guest
Melody Vaught

Yes if you not a convicted felon.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

can I open carry in my vehicle? Can the handgun be loaded? I’m 19

Garrett
Guest
Garrett

No. Open carry is concealed carry in a car since it is not clearly visible. Put it in the center console or glove box until you’re 21 and fall under constitutional carry laws.

Melody Vaught
Guest
Melody Vaught

Yes and can also be stored in any storage are that came on the auto.

ky slim
Guest
ky slim

as of July 1, 2019 Kentucky has Constitutional Carry.

Nickie
Guest
Nickie

I work with a security company as an armed guard trainer. I live in Alabama, i wanted to know if someone could give me some information before i travel if there is a certain permit that i will need or can give me a run down of the states requirements?

Zach Tomlinson
Guest
Zach Tomlinson

I recently got an offer about purchasing a pistol from a private seller. I am 18 and have no convicted felonies or anything. Since it’s from a private seller am I legally allowed to purchase the handgun since it’s from a private seller, and also can I keep this gun in my vehicle? Please help

Clayton Turnbo
Guest
Clayton Turnbo

You can keep it in you’re vehicle if you are allowed to possess the handgun. Doesn’t matter if it’s loaded, unloaded, concealed or not concealed when in a vehicle.

Tonto
Guest
Tonto

No, private sales in Kentucky must also follow that same as store purchases 18 for long gun and 21 for handguns. However you can open carry at the age of 18 and having firearms in your vehicle is legal and no permit needed so long as you’re legally allowed to own/be in possession of firearms.

Biscuit
Guest
Biscuit

I’m from Illinois and I’ll be spending a week camping on the red river in 2 weeks. I saw that your state has out door park shooting ranges. Since Kentucky doesn’t recognize/honor Illinois conceal carry.

I was wondering if Kentucky honors the Illinois foid card and federal transportation regulation ?
so I can bring my firearms and enjoy your state park shooting ranges.

BJR
Guest
BJR

KY does honor ccdw from Illinois.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Kentucky recently passed Constitutional carry which takes affect in June 2019. You will no longer need a permit to carry concealed.

TJ Rf
Guest
TJ Rf

Does this apply to any 18 and over who can already legally open carry a firearm, or only for people 21 and over. Asking for a competent teen.

Tonto
Guest
Tonto

TJ Rf, Constitutional Carry in KY is only allowed to those of the age 21 and older who can legally own/be in possession of firearms to carry concealed without a permit within the state of Kentucky. 18 year olds have to carry openly.

Victoria Lynne Tidwell
Guest
Victoria Lynne Tidwell

I need to know the laws regarding pulling a gun on a minor child and adult if your life isn’t in danger. A neighbor pulled and cocked a gun on my daughter and husband and the officer at the scene did not arrest him for pulling the gun nor asking them if they were ready to die. The officer refused to take official reports or to allow me to press charges on the man. I know several laws were broken here. I need to know which ones. I feel I have a lawsuit.

Steven H.
Guest
Steven H.

The neighbor could be charged with wanton endangerment because he/she, manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, wantonly engaged in conduct which created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another. This is a class D felony.
They could also be charged with Terroristic Threatening in the third degree (Class A Misdemeanor) or at the least Menacing (Class B misdemeanor) for the “ready to die” comment.

Go to the county attorney and press charges immediately.

Joe Welch
Guest
Joe Welch

Thanks for info

Biljac
Guest
Biljac

Question: What ammunition is legal; Hollow point?, soft point?, or only Full Metal Jacket?

Steven H.
Guest
Steven H.

The only ammunition that I am aware of that prohibited is Armor piercing ammunition. Armor piercing ammunition is defined by KRS 237.060 as “. . .a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one (1) or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium. “Armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by federal or state environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Secretary… Read more »

Cassandra Haney
Guest
Cassandra Haney

You need to update your Kentucky laws on the conceal carry. They passed the bill now allowing us to conceal carry without a permit. The bill goes into effect June 26, 2019.

DebbieM
Guest
DebbieM

What if someone was charged on their parents property with carrying g a concealed deadly weapon and they are currently awaiting hearing for it in court? Does new law apply ???

Steven H.
Guest
Steven H.

No. The new law is not in effect so it does not apply.

DebbieM
Guest
DebbieM

If I’m at my parents home is my gun considered a concealed deadly weapon in Kentucky???

Tonto
Guest
Tonto

DebbieM, if you have any firearm concealed by clothing or a purse on your body within KY it’s a concealed deadly weapon no matter where you are.

Alita
Guest
Alita

Where in Kentucky does a girl not have to have a gun permit to carry a gun?

John Campbell
Guest
John Campbell

June 26, Kentucky will be a constitutional carry state.
No permit required for open or concealed carry. Right now you can open carry without a permit

Kenny
Guest
Kenny

You can now add Kentucky to permitless carry. Gov. Bevins is going to sign the bill into law, not sure when it will take effect.
https://www.wbko.com/content/news/Permitless-concealed-carry-bill-signed-by-Governor-Matt-Bevin-507004441.html?fbclid=IwAR2bBMka-v6h4J1q5ASjMhqvjxEovb1RD175JndAWIelzQFzV2M5gD7UWFk

Steve
Guest
Steve

June 26th, I think.

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

It’s now time to change this site to update Kentucky to a “Constitutional Carry State”. Well done Kentucky. The constitution lovers are happy.