Kentucky is among the most gun-friendly states in the nation. For many Kentuckians, guns are an element of the Commonwealth’s culture.

However, no state is entirely without its gun laws and regulations. To avoid a weapons charge, it’s important that you be familiar with Kentucky’s gun laws. This overview provides essential information on the topic.

Purchasing a Gun

You do not need a permit to purchase a rifle, handgun, or shotgun. You must merely be a resident of Kentucky who is an adult American citizen.

Concealed Carry in Kentucky

You do not need a permit to openly carry a gun in Kentucky if you’re a lawful gun owner. However, open carry is restricted in certain areas.

You also don’t need a concealed carry permit. That said, you do need a license. You can apply for one with the Department of Kentucky State Police.

You have to meet certain requirements to qualify for a concealed carry license. They are quite extensive, so it’s best to speak with an expert if you’re not sure whether you meet the necessary criteria. Generally, you must be 21 years of age or older and have a legal right to possess a firearm. You also must have been a resident of Kentucky for at least six months. Exceptions are made for active-duty military personnel stationed in Kentucky.

Minors & Firearms

You technically must be 18 years of age or older to legally possess a handgun in Kentucky. Minors may legally use handguns in certain situations. Examples include:

  • Using a handgun at a hunting course or safety course
  • Target shooting at a range
  • Shooting in formal competitions
  • Using a handgun while hunting or trapping with a proper license
  • On an adult’s private property with their permission

Kentucky does not have a minimum age requirement for possession of firearms that qualify as rifles or shotguns.

Felons & Firearms

Except in rare instances, Kentucky law does not allow felons to possess a firearm. This is true even if a felon was convicted outside of Kentucky. It is also illegal to sell or transfer ownership of a firearm to a felon in Kentucky if you know they are a felon.

Machine Guns

Kentucky law places very few restrictions on the types of firearms that can be purchased. Kentuckians can possess machine guns as long as they are properly registered and in compliance with federal laws and regulations.

Serial Numbers

It is illegal in Kentucky to deface, alter, conceal, or otherwise interfere with the manufacturer’s serial number of a firearm.

Vehicle Carry

If state or federal law do not prohibit one from owning a gun, it is legal to carry a gun in a vehicle. The firearm may be loaded or unloaded. 

Those who bring firearms into vehicles must store them in containers or storage spaces that were installed as original components. For instance, the glove box would be an appropriate place in which to store a firearm. The compartment in which a firearm is stored doesn’t need to have a lock.

Restaurant Carry

Whether you may carry a concealed or open unloaded firearm in an establishment serving alcohol by the drink depends on various factors. If the main purpose of the establishment is selling alcohol by the drink it is not legal to carry a loaded firearm in any capacity. 

However, it is sometimes legal to carry a firearm in a restaurant where alcohol happens to be sold, unless a sign forbidding weapons has been posted.

Knowing the law is key to avoiding mistakes that can result in criminal charges. If you do face a potential conviction for a weapons charge, an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide the help you need.

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