The gun laws in Kentucky are fairly liberal and do not require the registration of firearms. The state operates on a “Shall Issue” policy with applicants for a concealed carry license required to complete and pass a firearms safety course. Part of the course includes a marksmanship test which requires 11 hits out of 20 rounds. Carry Concealed Deadly Weapons (CCDW) licenses are only issued to Kentucky residents.
Kentucky honors all other states concealed carry licenses including non-resident licenses issued by other states. The state website has more information on reciprocity.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia
The Kentucky CCDW license allows for the concealed carry of handguns and a wide range of other weapons such as knives, brass knuckles, blackjacks, shuriken, nunchaku, and clubs .
The license is only issued to residents or military personnel if they are stationed in Kentucky and applicants will need to complete a firearms safety course and meet other criteria to obtain a license to carry.
Non-resident licenses are only issued to military personnel if they are stationed in Kentucky. Moving to Kentucky
If a person from another state becomes a resident of Kentucky their out-of-state licence is valid for 120 days if they complete a form (Out-of-State license validation) within 60 days of moving to Kentucky and deliver that form to the State Police by registered or certified mail.
All new applicants for a CCDW license are required to take and pass a firearms safety course from an approved instructor. The State has set the fee for the training course at $75 and by law the fee is not allowed to be any more than $75 although an additional $10 can be charged for such things as targets, range fees and rentals. The instructor will submit your results PASS/FAIL to the DOCJT and you will receive a class completion certificate the same day you take the class.
The course includes a mandatory marksmanship test. To pass this test the applicant must hit a full sized target 11 times from firing 20 rounds, the distance to the target is set at 7 yards. The law also states that firearm safety courses can be no longer than 8 hours.
Concealed carry permits/licenses are issued by the Attorney General. Applications are submitted to the sheriff of the county you reside in.
There is no constitutional carry in Kentucky.
There is nothing in Kentucky gun laws that states you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are required by law to carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.The Law
“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Kentucky gun laws. However, the law does authorize any private business to ban concealed carry on their premises, this does not include open carry though. Facilities that lease or rent housing are not permitted to restrict concealed carry. Private employers can prohibit their own employees from concealing a handgun or other weapons in company owned vehicles but not vehicles that are owned by an individual. State and local government employers can ban the carry of weapons within their buildings but not in vehicles.
GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.
Kentucky allows any person not prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a loaded or unloaded firearm in a vehicle in any closed container, compartment, or storage space installed as original equipment in a motor vehicle by its manufacturer, including but not limited to a glove compartment, center console, or seat pocket, regardless of whether the enclosed container, storage space, or compartment is locked, unlocked or does not have a locking mechanism.
Kentucky has no laws prohibiting open carry. When open carrying you should be prepared for Police Officers to question you as open carrying a firearm will attract their attention.
The minimum age to open carry is 18 years. Kentucky has released a white paper on open carry which can be viewed by clicking on the link.
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
You are not permitted to carry in an establishment that’s primary business is to serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant but not in the bar area as long as the restaurant is not posted with a “No Weapons” sign.
KRS 244.125 – prohibits loaded firearms (concealed or otherwise) in places where alcohol is sold by the drink, except for certain specified exceptions.
You are permitted to carry in the following areas;
“…the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state, subject to the power of the general assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.”
(Art. I, Section 1)
(16) Except as provided in KRS 527.020, no license issued pursuant to this section shall authorize any person to carry a concealed firearm into:
(17) The owner, business or commercial lessee, or manager of a private business enterprise, day-care center as defined in KRS 199.894 or certified or licensed family child-care home as defined in KRS 199.8982, or a health-care facility licensed under KRS Chapter 216B, except facilities renting or leasing housing, may prohibit persons holding concealed deadly weapon licenses from carrying concealed deadly weapons on the premises and may prohibit employees, not authorized by the employer, holding concealed deadly weapons licenses from carrying concealed deadly weapons on the property of the employer. If the building or the premises are open to the public, the employer or business enterprise shall post signs on or about the premises if carrying concealed weapons is prohibited. Possession of weapons, or ammunition, or both in a vehicle on the premises shall not be a criminal offense so long as the weapons, or ammunition, or both are not removed from the vehicle or brandished while the vehicle is on the premises. A private but not a public employer may prohibit employees or other persons holding a concealed deadly weapons license from carrying concealed deadly weapons, or ammunition, or both in vehicles owned by the employer, but may not prohibit employees or other persons holding a concealed deadly weapons license from carrying concealed deadly weapons, or ammunition, or both in vehicles owned by the employee, except that the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet may prohibit an employee from carrying any weapons, or ammunition, or both other than the weapons, or ammunition, or both issued or authorized to be used by the employee of the cabinet, in a vehicle while transporting persons under the employee’s supervision or jurisdiction. Carrying of a concealed weapon, or ammunition, or both in a location specified in this subsection by a license holder shall not be a criminal act but may subject the person to denial from the premises or removal from the premises, and, if an employee of an employer, disciplinary measures by the employer.
Order NO. 60-01-13
Pursuant to the provisions of 16 U.S.C. Section 551, and Title 36 C.F.R. Section 261.50(a) and (b), the following acts or omissions are prohibited on lands and waters within the legislative jurisdiction of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The area consists of over 170,000 acres of National Forest land located in Trigg and Lyon County in Kentucky and Stewart County in Tennessee, and is depicted on the attached map.
4. Firearms and Weapons –
TVA campgrounds may receive use by hunters during hunting season. While firearms and weapons are generally prohibited, possession of firearms and other weapons associated with in season hunting excursions are permissible if they are unloaded and properly cased. Possession of firearms at TVA public ramps, associated roads, and parking areas are allowed if the possession complies with the law of the state where the boat ramp is located and is not otherwise prohibited by law.
(9) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person who carries a concealed deadly weapon on or about his or her person without a license issued pursuant to KRS 237.110:
15) The licensee shall carry the license at all times the licensee is carrying a concealed firearm or other deadly weapon and shall display the license upon request of a law enforcement officer. Violation of the provisions of this subsection shall constitute a noncriminal violation with a penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25), payable to the clerk of the District Court, but no court costs shall be assessed.
Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapon.
(8) A loaded or unloaded firearm or other deadly weapon shall not be deemed concealed on or about the person if it is located in any enclosed container, compartment, or storage space [regularly] installed as original equipment in a motor vehicle by its manufacturer, including but not limited to a glove compartment, center console, or seat pocket, regardless of whether said enclosed container, storage space, or compartment is locked, unlocked, or does not have a locking mechanism. No person or organization, public or private, shall prohibit a person from keeping a loaded or unloaded firearm or ammunition, or both, or other deadly weapon in a vehicle in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. Any attempt by a person or organization, public or private, to violate the provisions of this subsection may be the subject of an action for appropriate relief or for damages in a Circuit Court or District Court of competent jurisdiction. This subsection shall not apply to any person prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to KRS 527.040.
Local Firearms Control Ordinances Prohibited.
(20) (b) If a person with a valid license to carry a concealed deadly weapon issued from another state that has entered into a reciprocity agreement with the Department of Kentucky State Police becomes a resident of Kentucky, the license issued by the other state shall be considered as valid for the first one hundred and twenty (120) days of the person’s residence in Kentucky, if within sixty (60) days of moving to Kentucky, the person completes a form promulgated by the Department of Kentucky State Police which shall include:
(c) Within sixty (60) days of moving to Kentucky, the person shall deliver the form and accompanying documents by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address indicated on the form provided by the Department of Kentucky State Police pursuant to this subsection. (Note: See Complete Law)
(1) A petitioner for an order of protection granted under KRS 403.715 to 403.785 may apply for a temporary permit to carry a concealed deadly weapon on or about his or her person into those places and under the same conditions as a person holding a carry concealed deadly weapon license issued under KRS 237.110.
(8) No firearms instructor trainer or certified firearms instructor shall charge a fee in excess of seventy-five dollars ($75) for the conduct of an applicant training course. An instructor trainer or certified firearms instructor may charge a student the actual cost of range use, targets and associated range materials, and classroom rental not to exceed ten dollars ($10) for all of the items specified in this subsection.
License to Carry Concealed Deadly Weapon
(20) (a) A person who is not a resident of Kentucky and who has a valid license issued by another state of the United States to carry a concealed deadly weapon in that state may, subject to provisions of Kentucky law, carry a concealed deadly weapon in Kentucky, and his or her license shall be considered as valid in Kentucky.
New Applications must be processed within 90 days of being received.
You must notify your local sheriff otherwise you will not receive a renewal form when your license expires.
The DOCJT Legal Handout consists of 29 pages and all new applicants are required to read it.
No, all documentation must be handed in to the sheriffs office in the county that you reside in.
To have a Kentucky CCDW license you must be a resident of Kentucky. Therefor, if a licensee moves to another state their CCDW licence will be revoked.
A person must be at least 18 to possess a handgun. But there are a few exceptions where an under 18 year old can use a handgun;
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Address 919 Versailles Rd.
City Frankfort, KY 40601