Kentucky Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Kentucky.

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In Kentucky, adults may purchase and openly carry firearms in public without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed carry license to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body.

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Kentucky.

How to Obtain a Concealed Carry License in Kentucky

Apply at your local county sheriff’s station to obtain a concealed carry license. To qualify for a license, you must be:

  • at least 21 years old
  • a United States citizen
  • a resident of Kentucky for at least six months,
  • have not been committed to a facility for abuse of a controlled substance or been convicted of certain crimes related to controlled substances within the past three years (or be a chronic substance abuser),
  • in good standing with child support proceedings, and
  • able to demonstrate competence with a firearm.

Additionally, you must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.

Persons seeking a concealed carry license may apply using a paper application at the office of the sheriff in the county in which the person resides and pay all requisite fees. A decision to either grant or reject an individual’s application must be made within 60 days. Alternatively, a person may now submit an online application. A decision on an online application must be made within 15 days.

(Ken. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.110.)

Does Kentucky Recognize Concealed Carry Licenses From Other States?

Yes. Kentucky recognizes concealed carry licenses from other states (however, not all states recognize licenses from Kentucky). If you plan on carrying a concealed firearm in Kentucky with a license from another state, be sure to familiarize yourself with Kentucky gun carry laws, which apply to you while you are in-state.

A current list of reciprocal states is available at the Kentucky State Police’s website.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Carry License

It is a Class A misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in Kentucky without a concealed carry license. Penalties include a fine of up to $500, up to one year in jail, or both.

It is a Class D felony for a convicted felon to carry a concealed weapon. Penalties include a fine of up at least $1,000 (and up to $10,000), at least one year in jail (and up to five years in prison), or both.

(Ken. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.020(9).)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Kentucky, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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