Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in Kentucky below.

Getting a Concealed Carry Permit

Open carry is legal in Kentucky without a permit for anyone at least 18 years of age who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm. Some areas are off-limits, including businesses primarily devoted to the sale of alcohol.

Kentucky became a constitutional carry state as of July 1, 2019, so concealed carry is legal for anyone at least 21 years old who can legally possess a firearm without a license/permit. Those wanting to carry concealed out of state will still need to get a Concealed Carry of Deadly Weapons (CCDW) license. CCDW licenses apply not only to handguns but also to knives, clubs, blackjacks, nunchakus, shuriken and brass knuckles. Successful completion of a firearms training course that has been state-approved is required to obtain a CCDW license. CCDW licenses are available to residents and military personnel stationed in Kentucky. Permits are not available for non-residents. In terms of reciprocity, Kentucky recognizes all currently valid concealed carry permits issued by other U.S. jurisdictions.

Permits are not required when buying a handgun. There is no firearms registration in Kentucky. No background check is required when buying a handgun from a private individual. In addition, a CCDW license exempts the licensee from the background check requirement when purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) or dealer. There is also no mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases or magazine-capacity restrictions. Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

Stun guns, Tasers and pepper spray are allowed to be carried for self-defense since all are legal to purchase and possess without a permit.

Where Can One Concealed Carry?

In terms of locations where a concealed handgun may be carried, anyone at least 21 years old and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm may carry a handgun concealed without a permit in a motor vehicle and in a place of worship (unless posted and provided the area is not being used for school purposes). Concealed carry is allowed in the dining area of a bona fide restaurant open to the general public, with dining facilities for no less than 50 persons and which receives less than 50 percent of its annual food and beverage receipts from the sale of alcohol, but not in the bar area, unless posted. Carry is not allowed in bars.

Other areas where concealed carry is allowed include:

  • Roadside rest areas
  • State/national parks
  • State/national forests
  • Wildlife Management Areas

Locations where concealed carry is prohibited include:

  • Elementary or secondary school facilities without the consent of school authorities, including school grounds, recreation areas, athletic fields or any other property owned, used or operated by any board of education, school, board of trustees, regents or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution
  • Child-care facilities, day-care centers or certified family child-care homes
  • School buses
  • Police station or sheriff’s offices
  • Detention facilities, prisons or jails
  • Courthouses solely occupied by the Court of Justice courtroom or court proceeding
  • Any meeting of the governing body of a county, municipality or special district (if passed by local ordinance)
  • Any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • An area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property
  • Colleges, universities, technical schools and community colleges that have exercised their authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them (check with each institution for specific allowances)
  • Private businesses that have exercised their authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them (check with each business for specific allowances)
  • Areas in which state and local governments have exercised their authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal or state law or regulation

Visit the USCCA Kentucky gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.