Kentucky is considered a gun-friendly state by many gun owners. Unlike other states, Kentucky has chosen to leave many of the gun rights afforded by the Second Amendment intact. 

It is essential for gun owners to understand Kentucky gun laws. Even though Kentuckians have strong gun rights, some laws restrict gun ownership and use. If you violate those laws, you could face serious criminal charges for gun crimes.

Kentucky Open Carry Law

Kentucky is an open carry state, meaning you can carry a firearm openly if you are 18 years of age or older. The open carry laws allow you to carry your gun in most places within the state. 

For instance, you can openly carry a gun into most sporting events, stores, and entertainment venues. Private businesses cannot restrict a person’s right to open carry, but they can ban concealed weapons from the site by posting a sign. 

There are some exceptions to open carry in Kentucky. For example, you cannot openly carry a firearm into an establishment that primarily serves alcohol, such as a bar without a restaurant. Government agencies can ban employees from carrying guns into the workplace. 

If you intend to open carry, it is strongly recommended that you review the exceptions for open carry. The law does not prevent you from openly carrying your gun in many places, but you need to know the exceptions to avoid being charged with a gun crime.

What About a Concealed Weapon?

There are restrictions on where you can carry a concealed weapon in Kentucky. For instance, concealed weapons are banned in most schools and childcare facilities. They are also banned in police stations and courthouses.

You cannot carry a concealed gun in most areas in an airport and any place that federal law prohibits firearms or concealed weapons. 

Do I Need a Concealed Carry Deadly Weapon Permit in Kentucky?

You do not need to obtain a CCDW (Concealed Carry Deadly Weapon) permit to carry a concealed gun. However, you must be over 21 years old to carry a concealed gun lawfully. 

Many people take a class and obtain their CCDW. The class teaches you when and where you are permitted to carry concealed weapons in Kentucky. The CCDW is recognized in 37 states under reciprocity agreements, which means you can carry a concealed gun in those states with your Kentucky CCDW.

To obtain your CCDW, you must be:

  • At least 21 years of age or older
  • A resident of the State of Kentucky
  • A citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident
  • Be eligible to own and possess a firearm under federal law
  • Demonstrate your competence with a firearm by completing a firearms safety course
  • Be current with child support or comply with all court orders and owe less than one year arrearage

Moreover, you cannot:

  • have more than one DUI conviction in the past three years
  • be a resident at a facility for abuse of controlled substances within the past three years
  • be committed as an alcoholic in the past three years
  • have a conviction for controlled substances within the past three years
  • have convictions for third-degree terroristic threatening or fourth-degree assault convictions in the past three years

You can view the complete requirements for the CCDW and complete your application online.

Do I Need a Permit to Purchase a Gun in Kentucky?

Kentucky gun laws do not require you to obtain a state permit to purchase a rifle, handgun, or shotgun. You can legally purchase handguns and other firearms from licensed dealers, manufacturers, and private sellers. 

Convicted felons are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm unless their rights have been reinstated. Sellers could be charged with a crime for transferring a gun to a convicted felon.

There is no age limit for owning rifles or shotguns, but you must be at least 18 years of age to own and possess a handgun.

Minors may use a handgun if they are at a hunting course, safety course, established shooting range, or participating in a shooting competition. Minors may also use a handgun if they are hunting and have a valid license or on private property with permission from an adult.

What Should I Do if I Am Charged with a Gun Crime?

There are many criminal offenses related to guns and weapons. 

Common weapons charges include, but are not limited to:

If you are arrested on a gun charge, do not resist arrest. Do not answer questions or make a statement without an attorney present. It is in your best interest to remain silent except for asking for a criminal defense attorney

Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC give us a call today at (513) 333-0014 or visit us at our Cincinnati Law Office.

Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States