Kentucky is a constitutional carry state that allows permitless carry of firearms within the state. Gun permits are issued by the state’s police department, and since Kentucky is a shall-issue state, your permit application will be granted if you meet all the necessary requirements.
In Kentucky, you do not need a license or permit to buy firearms from private gun dealers and gun shows. Also, private sales and purchases do not require firearm registration, the completion of NICS background checks, and a waiting period. But if you are purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer in Kentucky you will need to follow the due protocols.
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Possession of Firearms in Kentucky
For possession of firearms, you are allowed to open carry in Kentucky even without the state license, as long as you meet the minimum age requirement of 18. However, there are restrictions to places in Kentucky where you are not allowed to open carry or possess a firearm at all.
Because Kentucky is a permitless state you can also conceal carry a firearm without any gun license, as long as you meet the age requirement of 21. But if you are a resident of Kentucky that wishes to conceal carry in another state, then you will have to apply for a concealed carry license.
In Kentucky, concealed carry licenses are known as a Concealed Carry of Deadly Weapon License. This is because they are not used for only the possession of firearms. The license will cover the possession of Knives, Brass knuckles clubs, and many other dangerous weapons.
Before you apply for this license to possess a firearm, state law requires you to complete a firearm training course that is recognized and approved in the state.
You may only apply for a Kentucky weapon license if you are a resident of the state or a military member stationed in the state for duties. Kentucky does not issue licenses to non-residents. But Kentucky will also accept a gun license from every other state in the USA.
Application for Weapon License in Kentucky
Kentucky weapon license application is processed by the state police department. You can submit the application to the local sheriff in the county you reside. The fee for license application in Kentucky is $60, and your license will be valid for a period of 5 years.
Other important documents you are required to submit with the application include a recent colored passport, a copy of a certificate to prove that you have completed firearm training. After submission, your local sheriff is required to submit your application to the state Police Department within a stipulated period of 5 working days.
The state police department has a mandated 3 months to either deny or accept license applications. If the application is denied, the police department will provide you with reasons for denial in a written mail. If the reason for denial has to do with a document, you have a month period to provide the necessary documents for a review of your application denial. You also have the right to request a denial review in the district court closest to where you reside.
If your application was accepted, then the license will be valid for a period of 5 years after which you are required to apply for a new one. For military members posted in Kentucky, they may opt for early license renewal, and this does not have to be done physically.
If military personnel are on a deployment when the Kentucky permit expires, they will have a period of 3 months post deployment to renew the license.
Residents will have to pay a penalty if they apply late for license renewal, but this is not the case for military personnel applying within the stipulated 3-month period after their deployments.
Your firearm training certificate is an important document for license application in Kentucky. You must enroll in a training class that has been approved by the criminal justice department, and it must comprise of the following:
- A minimum of eight hours training duration
- Training on the usage and handling of firearms, the safety of firearms, cleaning firearms, and other basic principles.
- A live-fire session in a shooting range organized as safely as possible with a shooting round minimum of twenty at a complete silhouette in which not less than eleven rounds hits the target.
- A class tutorial on possession and conceal carrying of firearms according to the state gun laws, and laws relating to self-defense.
- Proof that candidate has the required gun law knowledge that has to do with using the required force in accordance with the Department of Criminal Justice Training handout. The candidate must sign that the handout has been read and understood.
Military Personnel and law enforcement officers do not have to complete firearm training. Also, you will not need the training certificate to renew your license.
Places Where You Cannot Possess Firearms in Kentucky
Because Kentucky is a constitutional state does not mean that there are no restrictions as to where you can carry firearms within the state. Some of the places prohibited by gun laws include;
- You cannot conceal carry in any facility that is meant for children's care or any infant daycare center.
- You cannot conceal carry in a school bus or any other vehicle that is meant for the transportation of school students.
- You cannot conceal carry within the premises of a police station or your county’s sheriff's office.
- You cannot conceal carry within the premises of a courthouse or during a court hearing.
- You cannot conceal carry in an official meeting organized by a district, municipality, or local county.
- You cannot conceal carry in a meeting or any seating of the state’s general assembly.
- You cannot conceal carry in bars or anywhere alcoholic drinks are sold. An exception to this is a joint venture for both bars and restaurants that is open to the general public and can contain as many as fifty people at a time. Also, profits from alcohol must be less than fifty percent of the venture’s total revenue.
- You cannot conceal carry in places where the use of firearms is restricted in an airport.
- You cannot conceal carry in universities, colleges, and technical institutions that are limiting the usage of firearms within their premises
- You cannot conceal carry in places where the use of firearms is prohibited by federal laws.
- You cannot conceal carry with the building of a privately owned property that has signage or post prohibiting the usage of firearms with the premise.
- You cannot conceal carry in areas where the use of firearms has been limited by either state laws or local government laws.
Requirement for License Application in Kentucky?
Kentucky gun laws have some requirements that must be fulfilled by everybody applying for a gun license in the state. Having a successful license application in Kentucky is subject to meeting these requirements. Kentucky being a shall-issue state will grant you a gun license once you meet every requirement. They include:
- You must be at least twenty-one years old.
- You must not be an illegal immigrant in the United States.
- You must be a legal resident of Kentucky.
- You must have lived in the state for a minimum of six years prior to the time you file for the Kentucky CCW application.
- You must undergo and pass a licensed Kentucky concealed carry class.
- You must not be charged to any federal or state law due to the use of illicit substances, or convicted of any crime related to the use of drugs or substances that are under control by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
- You must not have more than two convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance that can affect your driving ability, within a period of three years before your application.
- You must not have been charged for any alcohol-related incident in the past three years before your Kentucky CCW application.
- You must not be a child support debtor for a cumulative amount spanning over a period of one year.
- You must agree with any subpoena or child support warranty that requires you to settle proceedings.
- You must not have been convicted of any violent crime that results from the usage of fourth-degree terrorism within a period of three years before your CCW application.
- You must meet all other federal laws that have to do with CCW permit application.
Is Constitutional Carry A Preemption Gun Law in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, firearms and ammunition regulation laws can only be enacted or reenacted by the state legislature. The state prohibits the local ordinances of firearms in the state.
The law concerning this says that no municipality, country or political subdivision in the state may have any regulation involving the ownership, transfer, possession, and transportation of firearms, ammunition, and their components in the state.
This means that Kentucky's constitutional carry is the same in every part of the state. However, local ordinances can regulate the use of firearms for safety reasons, so permitless carry will not be allowed in certain locations.