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
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licenses in Kentucky

Gun Laws

State rating
Good
states that honor
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a kentucky license
state licenses
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kentucky honors
states not
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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
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with permit

Kentucky CCDW Reciprocity

Kentucky
  • 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

0
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)
 

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

 

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.

Comments

  1. Can a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence (20 years ago) own a PCP air gun in Kentucky?

  2. Can a convicted felon own a cap gun or starter pistol in the state of k.y if the barrel is plgged from the factory

  3. Starting in 2019, Kentucky is now a constitutional carry state. KRS 237.109:

    237.109 Authorization to carry concealed deadly weapons without a license.

    (1) Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses issued under KRS 237.110.

    (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the carrying or possession of any deadly weapon where it is prohibited by federal law.

    Effective: June 27, 2019

    1. Correct. It was passed in July of 2019. I think this site needs to update on that very important fact.

  4. In Kentucky you have the right to protect yourself and family if you feel your lives are in danger. Does this also apply to a stranger whose life you feel is in danger? Thanks

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  6. The above information is outdated. In 2019, the governor of Kentucky signed a bill stating citizens of KY are no longer required to attain a concealed carry permit. You may carry concealed or openly with no registration or certification required. This only applies within the limits of KY. Those traveling out of state will likely need a license to conceal, depending on your destination.

  7. O have my ky carry permit, I go to va. They do not accept your gun permit. They used to, less than a year ago, va. Changed they law. Va. Does not accept 25 states conceded carry permits. And my is one of them

    1. They’re violating the “full faith and credit” clause of the Constitution, but then, VA is run by lefties, so no surprise there.

  8. While wearing my face mask for protection against covid19 as the Governor has ask in public am I aloud to carry my gun concealed. I’m a CCDW but do not want to do anything wrong. Never thought about having a mask on while at the grocery store.
    Thank you

  9. 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?

  10. 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

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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 of the Treasury of the United States finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.”

      I am not an attorney and can not give legal advice. As always, contact an attorney for legal advice.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ???

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

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

    1. 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

  19. I am coming from indiana to visit kentucky all summer long.I do have a indiana gun permit and I know kentucky honor indiana gun permit.is the right answer placed my weapon in the glover compartment unload and the rounds in the truck or middle rest arm compartment.I just trying to do the right things also if i get stop do I informed the law enforcement officers I have a gun in my vehicle.

    1. If it is a factory-installed area of the vehicle that has a door (e.g. glove box), it is not considered concealed. You are not under any obligation to tell the officer that a firearm is in the vehicle. (Caps and spacing are wonderful things to add to sentences…)

    2. Hello, Major. As a Kentucky resident, I carry my EDC loaded and in the glove compartment, but any factory installed holding compartment of your vehicle will be fine in our state. It does NOT have to be the glove compartment. My 4″ medium frame revolver just happens to only fit in that compartment. You are not required to notify police if you have your weapon. Have your Indiana permit ready, though. I recommend placing your registration and proof of insurance in a different compartment or the visor in case you get stopped. Hope this helps!

  20. If I go to another state that requires proof of a CCW permit, What do I tell the officer or policeman or judge? My suggestion is to print up a card saying that I, before Kentucky laws were changed about CCW permitts , that I have been educated on the laws of CCW and I am lawful. To cover the cost of the card and to make it worth while for Kentucky to do this, charge a fee of $5 for this service. Thank you.

  21. Depends on how serious the charge was. If it’s a felony, then it’s a definite no. Also, if you received a domestic violence conviction, then it’s also a no. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, you will always be barred from having a ccw or owning a firearm, unless you can get the record expunged. However, if it was only a misdemeanor conviction and you did *not* get a domestic violence conviction then you generally should be able to get the CCW; assuming you arnt barred from possessing a firearm for any other reason.

    1. I’ve never committed a crime in my life. All I want is to be able to show that I am a law abiding and always will be. All I want is proof that I am law abiding and I carry concealed for my safety and defense of my person and that I have been schooled in the laws that pertain to carrying a CCW permit. Thank you.

    1. Stand your Ground and Castle Doctrine are both recognized by Kentucky law KRS 503.055 covers these laws.

  22. If my state is a stand your ground state with no need for a ccdw permit to conceal, will KY honor that or is a ccdw mandatory for KY to honor my state’s law under the reciprocity KRS 237.110 clause?

    1. It is my understanding that if carrying concealed, a CCDW from your state is required, but check and make sure KY honers your states CCDW permit first

  23. If i live in kentucky, i’m 18 and i apply for a non resident permit in Maine… will Kentucky honor it?

    1. In KY , you must be at least 21 to carry concealed, however, I do think open carry is an option but be ready to present identification if ask to do so by law enforcement.
      The best thing to do is read and educate yourself on all the laws , and do’s and don’ts of possession and carrying of firearms

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

    1. They usually have advertisements online.
      Google it. In western Kentucky it was easy to find.
      Check with gun stores as well.
      They usually have someone’s card or information that is qualified to teach.

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

    1. 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.

      1. I was informed that Kentucky does not honor nor acknowledge other states expungements. But they do honor and acknowledge a full governor pardon.

    1. 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.

    2. Most are no good , find a local CCDW class and do it that way, you will save yourself a lot of headache down the road

    1. 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

      1. 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.

    2. Check with your local law enforcement or township as laws vary by area, some places have have an ordnance that prohibit discharge of a firearm in certain areas.

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

    1. 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

      1. 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 territories versus states. NYC permits are issued by the city versus the State of NY but good statewide.

        I am not a lawyer, don’t play one on TV, but I would guess (no guarantees) that most KY LEOs and courts would likely view a DC or NYC permit as fine here as long as they can verify its validity.

        Reciprocity for those territory permits? Well that appears gray area at best due to the wording of the law. Kentucky is a very pro-2A state but I’d either open carry, make due with our very lax vehicle carry laws, or get a non-resident state issued permit (UT, FL, NH, etc). Otherwise you could become the expensive test case for what is and is not a “state” here if caught with a concealed weapon.

  27. 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.

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