Total prohibition Total freedom
0 ------ 10 ------ 20 ------ 30 ------ 40 ------ 50 ------ 60 ------ 70 ------ 80 ------ 90 ------ 100
*Standard firearms ownership:unrestricted, no permit or license required
*Semi-auto gun ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license required
*Machine gun ownership:no state restrictions, compliance with federal law only
*Firearm law uniformity:preemption law, firearm laws uniform throughout state
*Right of Self-Defense: NRA-model castle doctrine, stand your ground in public areas
*Open carry: unrestricted in most public areas and generally accepted
*Concealed carry:licenses granted to residents on a "shall issue" basis; automatic
*Vehicle carry by non-permittees:loaded firearms may be carried in plain view
*State Parks: concealed handgun carry by recognized licensees permitted
*Restaurants serving alcohol: permittees may carry while eating in dining areas - see p.3
*Duty to notify LEO of permit status: upon demand of police officer
*Vehicle gun possession at colleges: lawful for any gun owner
Kentucky's rolling hills and tree-covered mountains provide
setting for a movie about the early pioneers of the Ohio valley. Firearms carry in
those days was essential for survival. And Kentucky still maintains a healthy respect
for this heritage in its firearm laws.
Kentucky requires a license to carry a firearm,
or any other deadly weapon, concealed on or about one's person. The State Police
issue such permits through the local sheriff of the applicant's home county for a five
year term. Kentucky does not grant permits to nonresidents but will recognize any
permit issued by another state. A recognized permittee may carry a concealed, loaded
firearm in most public areas. Prohibited places include childcare centers, bars, legislative
meetings, and courthouses. Colleges, hospitals, local governments and private businesses
may also ban carry on their premises by posting visible signs. But violating such prohibitions
involve no criminal penalties.
Persons without recognized permits: A traveler without a permit may
Kentucky also allows weapons to be hidden from view in any factory-installed
compartment. Console boxes, seat pockets, glove compartments or trunks are among the
acceptable areas for unlicensed concealment.
A traveler may openly carry a loaded handgun while on foot in most public
Such carry is best limited to visible belt holsters secured on one's hip. Kentucky's strong
preemption law now provides stiff penalties for any locality that attempts to regulate this activity.
A property owner is prohibited from preventing employees, customers
or other invitees from carrying firearms in their vehicles while the vehicles are parked on
that owner's property. Civil penalties exist for property owners that act contrary to this
mandate. Also, game wardens are now prohibited from harassing any sportsmen who carry
firearms for self-defense while hunting or fishing. Unfortunately, all persons not possessing
law enforcement credentials are prohibited from carrying at the Kentucky State Fair.
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