Kentucky Gun Laws: What You Should Know

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As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on ever-changing gun laws…

Kentucky gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Kentucky gun laws. (Not from Kentucky? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state!)

Can Anyone Open Carry in Kentucky?

Yes. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry.

Can You Have a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Kentucky?

Yes, a person may have a concealed and readily accessible handgun in a vehicle with a Kentucky Concealed Carry of Deadly Weapons (CCDW) license or a concealed carry permit from a state that Kentucky honors. Without a permit, persons not prohibited from possessing a firearm may carry a loaded or unloaded firearm in any closed container, compartment or storage space installed as original equipment. This is including, but not limited to, a glove compartment, center console or seat pocket, regardless of whether the container or compartment is locked, unlocked or does not have a locking mechanism.

Is Kentucky a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State?

Yes. Kentucky is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat. He or she has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another. Force may also be used to prevent the commission of a felony involving the use of force. Any person who uses a gun in self-defense has immunity from criminal and civil law.

Is It Legal to Conceal Carry Without a Permit in Kentucky? Did the Concealed Carry Law Pass in Kentucky?

Yes. Kentucky is now a constitutional carry state, meaning concealed carry is legal for anyone at least 21 years old who can legally possess a firearm without a license/permit. Those wanting to concealed carry out of state will still need to get a Kentucky Concealed Carry of Deadly Weapons (CCDW) license.

Can You Carry a Gun in a Bar in Kentucky?

You may carry a gun into a restaurant open to the general public with dining facilities available for not less than 50 people and which receives less than 50 percent of its annual receipts from the sale of alcohol. You should also be aware of whether an establishment is posted. Please note: Guns are not allowed in the bar area, just the dining area.

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgment, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Do You Have to Register a Gun in Kentucky?

No. No permit is needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual. There is no waiting period and no firearms registration in the state. A background check is required if purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms Dealer.

Can You Carry a Gun in Church in Kentucky?

Yes. There is no state statute in Kentucky prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.

Reciprocity Map Guide

Ready to Learn More About Kentucky Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Kentucky’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the 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.

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