Gun Laws in Kentucky

Explore comprehensive information on Kentucky's gun laws. Learn about permits, registration, restrictions, and more. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a firearm owner in Kentucky.

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No KRS § 237.109
KRS § 237.110
Kentucky is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on June 26, 2019.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes KRS § 503.050
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes KRS § 65.870
KRS § 237.115
No locality "may occupy any part of the field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, taxation, transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, storage, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, components of ammunition, firearms accessories, or combination thereof."
The following entities can restrict concealed carry, per law:
  • Postsecondary educational institutions
  • Any unit of government within the state in buildings that it owns, leases, or occupies – however, concealed carry is allowed in highway rest areas, public housing, and private dwellings
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes KRS § 237.075 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Gun Laws by State: Kentucky

Understanding Gun Laws in Kentucky

In the state of Kentucky, gun laws are designed to uphold the rights of citizens to bear arms, as outlined in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, these laws also aim to ensure public safety. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Kentucky's gun laws, focusing on key areas such as permits, registration, and restrictions.

Permits and Registration

One of the first questions many people have about gun laws in Kentucky is whether a state permit is required to purchase a firearm. The answer is No. Neither long guns nor handguns require a state permit for purchase. Similarly, there is no requirement for firearm registration in Kentucky. This means that once you legally purchase a firearm, you are not required to register it with the state.

Assault Weapon Laws and Magazine Capacity Restrictions

When it comes to assault weapons and magazine capacity, Kentucky does not have specific laws or restrictions. This means that there are No assault weapon laws and No magazine capacity restrictions for both long guns and handguns in the state.

Owner License and Concealed Carry Permit

Is an owner license required to own a firearm in Kentucky? The answer is No. Kentucky does not require firearm owners to obtain a license. As for carrying a concealed firearm, Kentucky is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older. This means that the state must issue a concealed carry permit to applicants who meet certain legal requirements. However, it's important to note that as of June 26, 2019, Kentucky allows permitless carry. This means you do not need a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

Open Carry and Castle Doctrine

Kentucky allows open carry without a permit. This means that you can carry a firearm openly in public without needing any special permission. Additionally, Kentucky has a Castle Doctrine law, also known as a "Stand Your Ground" law. This law gives you the right to use deadly force to defend yourself in your home, vehicle, or other property if you believe you are in imminent danger.

State Preemption of Local Restrictions

Kentucky law preempts local restrictions on firearms. This means that no locality can regulate the manufacture, sale, purchase, taxation, transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, storage, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, and related components. However, there are certain entities, such as postsecondary educational institutions and government units, that can restrict concealed carry in buildings they own, lease, or occupy.

NFA Weapons and Private Sales

Kentucky does not restrict National Firearms Act (NFA) weapons. This means that weapons such as machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and silencers are legal to own in the state, provided they are registered in accordance with federal law. As for private sales, Kentucky does not require background checks. This means that private individuals can sell firearms to each other without conducting a background check.

In conclusion, Kentucky's gun laws are designed to balance the rights of citizens to bear arms with the need to maintain public safety. While the state does not require permits or registration for firearms, it does have laws in place to regulate the use of firearms and to protect the rights of gun owners.