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Kentucky Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

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Like most states in America, you can legally possess and make use of your firearm in Kentucky.

But the state has laws that you must abide by if you want to use your firearm or open and concealed carry them within its territory.

Therefore, you must be familiar with these laws to make sure that you are not committing a violation.

Kentucky Gun Law Summary

Kentucky issues concealed carry firearms licenses supervised at the county level by the state sheriff’s office.

To apply, visit the county closest to your home of residence, and make sure that you meet all state requirements before doing so.

Being a shall-issue state, provided you satisfy all conditions provided, your application will get approval.

There are no state permits for buying firearms; neither are there firearm registration requirements.

But you must compulsorily complete a criminal record background check before you purchase firearms from a state or federally licensed dealer.

However, if you are buying from a private dealer or you are transferring the firearm to your family member, the background check is not a requirement.

Concealed carry permit holders are not required to go through the check before buying firearms since it is part of the license application process.

To apply for the concealed carry permit, and to conceal carry in Kentucky, you must be at least twenty-one years old.

For Open carry in the state, the minimum age requirement is eighteen.

Also, the concealed carry license is only available to state residents and members of the United States Armed Forces located in Kentucky.

As a non-resident, you can only rely on a concealed carry permit from your state of residence to possess firearms In Kentucky.

Kentucky honors any valid permit from a state in the country.

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Is Open Carry Legal In Kentucky?

Yes. You can open carry in Kentucky as long as you are eighteen years old or more.

However, there are location restrictions for open carry and possession of firearms in general.

Except you are a law officer, on no account should you be with your firearms in restricted places.

Open Carry Laws In Kentucky

Kentucky is a permissive open carry state, and you do not need a license to open carry within its territory.

The state bans Armor piercing ammunition, but you can make use of assault weapons like machine guns and semi-automatic firearms, as long as you register with the state government, and you handle them in compliance with gun statutes.

Kentucky gun laws do not say anything about antique firearms and their replicas, hence like other types of weapons, they are legal for open carry in the state.

 Kentucky Open Gun Law Quickview

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoYou do not need a state permit to open carry in Kentucky.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoExcept you want to open carry an assault weapon, there are no registrations for firearms used for open carry in the state
Assault weapon for open carry.YesYesYou can possess assault weapons in the state, like machine guns and semi-automatic firearms, as long as you have a state license for it.
Magazine limitNoNoKentucky gun statutes do not regulate the limit to magazine rounds that a firearm must contain.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredExcept for assault weapons and if you want to concealed carry, there are no requirements to get a license to own a firearm in Kentucky.
Red flag lawNoNoKentucky gun laws do not talk about red flag petitions in the state.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesKentucky is a stand your ground state, and there is no duty to retreat at an attack in a place where you have legal rights to be.
Background check for private dealersNoNoA background check is not a requirement for private dealers of firearms in the state, and also for the transfer of firearms between individuals.
PreemptionPartialPartialKentucky has partial preemption laws; because there are some of the state government laws that cannot be regulated by local municipalities
Concealed carry permit.YesYesConcealed carry of firearms in Kentucky is only possible if you have a license to carry.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou must be with you permit before you conceal carry in private cars
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoKentucky bans the open carry of firearms in schools, colleges, technical institutions, and university campuses.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Kentucky?

Kentucky's open carry laws prohibit the possession of firearms in the following parts of the state.

  • Bars and restaurants: You can only open carry in the eatery area of a bar and restaurant venture, except if there is a post that forbids the possession of firearms.
  • Personal Vehicle: You can open carry in private vehicles as long as you have a license to do so.
  • Roadside areas: You can open carry in roadside areas.
  • State parks and forests: You can open carry in parks and forests in the state and also with permission, in wildlife management areas.
  • Places of Worship: You can open carry in places of worship as long as they do not have signage prohibiting the possession of firearms within the premises.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Kentucky?

Kentucky prohibits the possession of firearms in the following places:

  • Schools: You cannot open carry in any school facility except you have the permission of the management to do so.
  • Children care homes: You cannot open carry in daycare or children care facilities.
  • Law enforcement offices: You cannot open carry in law enforcement agencies like the police station and the office of a sheriff.
  • Courthouses: You cannot open carry within the premises of a courthouse and during court proceedings.
  • Prisons: You cannot open carry in any Kentucky state prison, detention home, or correctional facility.
  • Meeting of government officials: You cannot open carry during state government officials meeting or that of districts and municipalities.
  • Places where alcohol is sold: You cannot open carry or possess your firearm in an area where the sales of liquor generate more than fifty percent of their income.
  • Airports: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in airport areas where inspection of properties is taking place.
  • Colleges and Universities: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in colleges and universities that restrict the possession of weapons within their campus.
  • Private business and properties: You cannot open carry in any private business of estate where the owner prohibits the possession of firearms on the premises.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot open carry in any area prohibited by local governments and federal laws of the USA.

FAQs About Open Carry Kentucky

Some of Kentucky’s most frequently asked questions about concealed carry in the state include the following:

Do I Need A Permit For Open Carry Kentucky?

No. You do not require a permit for the open carry of firearms in the state.

Must I Apply For A Permit Before I Conceal Carry In Kentucky?

Yes. You must obtain a concealed carry permit for weapons before you conceal carry in Kentucky.

What Is The Age Requirement For Open Carry In Kentucky?  

You must be at least eighteen years old without any state or federal prohibition to possess firearms before you can open carry in Kentucky.

What Is The Age Requirement For Concealed Carry In Kentucky?

You must be at least twenty-one years old before you can conceal carry in the state.

At What Age Can I Apply For Concealed Carry License In Kentucky?

You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a concealed carry permit in Kentucky.

Does Kentucky Have A Red Flag Law?

Kentucky gun law statutes do not mention anything about red flag laws in the state.  

Can I Apply For Kentucky Concealed Carry License As A Non-resident Of The State?

No. The state concealed carry license is only valid for residents and members of the United States Armed Forces posted to Kentucky.

However, Kentucky accepts concealed carry permits from all other United States jurisdictions.

Is Kentucky A Constitutional Carry State?

Yes. Kentucky recognizes Constitutional carry.

Does Kentucky Accept The Possession Of Other Weapons In The State?

Yes. You can also conceal various weapons like knives, brass knuckles, nunchucks clubs, etc., as long as you have the state’s concealed carry license.

Does Kentucky Restrict The Possession Of Assault Firearms In The State?

You can possess or open carry any assault firearms in the state as long as you have a license for such a gun.

Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In Kentucky?

Kentucky does not issue a purchase permit to buy firearms in the state.

Must I Complete A Criminal Record Background Check Before Buying A Firearm In Kentucky?

Yes, this is an essential requirement before completing the purchase of firearms in Kentucky.

The only exception to this is if you are buying from a private dealer or you have a Kentucky concealed carry license.

Do I Have A Duty To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In Kentucky?

No, you are under no obligation whatsoever to inform a police or law enforcement officer about your possession of a firearm in Kentucky.

Does Kentucky Have Castle Doctrine Policy?

Yes, anyone who is in a place he or she has legal rights to be can stand their grounds in the face of an attack from an intruder.

Does Kentucky Permit The Use OF Deadly Force In The State?

Yes. You can use deadly force as a form of self-defense against an attack that can lead to death or severe bodily harm.

Is Firearm Training A Requirement For Kentucky Concealed Carry Permit?

Yes. You must complete a firearm background check that is licensed by the state and conducted by a certified instructor before you apply for a permit.

Must I Register My Firearm After Buying It In Kentucky?

No, you are not required to register firearms in Kentucky.

For How Long Is Kentucky Concealed Carry Permit Valid?

Your Kentucky permit is valid for five years before you apply for a renewal.

How Long Will It Take To Process A Firearm Permit In Kentucky?

Processing of permits takes not more than ninety days.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Kentucky

Here are some of Kentucky’s gun laws concerning open carry of weapons in the state.

Ammunition Restrictions

Kentucky gun law bans armor-piercing ammunition in the state.

Preemption Law

Kentucky partially preempts local restrictions of firearms in the state.

According to section two hundred and thirty-seven of the gun statute, the state government authorizes all municipalities, districts, counties, and local governments to prohibit the possession of a deadly weapon in their territory.

Brandishing Of Firearms

According to section two hundred and fifty-two of the gun law statute, it is a misconduct of the second degree to use your firearm in a disorderly manner such that it causes public unrest, a violent situation, or threatens a risk to another person.

Range Shooting

Kentucky has range shooting laws in the state, and this includes the following:

  • No rage shooting, either private or public, shall constitute a nuisance in its located area if the range has existed and is operational for more than one year. Also, expansion of the range in this period cannot determine a new commencement period.
  • No shooting range in the state or any place licensed as such for the shooting of firearms will be subject to civil or criminal liability as a result of noise or disturbance, as long as the range complies with noise regulation policies.
  • No law or regulation relating to noise control in an area can be adopted to restrict or prohibit activities in a shooting range, as long as the law does not exist before when the range becomes active.

Open Carry While Hunting

Kentucky gun law allows anyone to open carry while hunting in the state, with the firearm handled according to gun laws.

The state also has hunter harassment laws for the protection of hunting activities.

The law states that on no account should anyone deliberately interfere or disturb hunting activities in the state, that has to do with fishing, trapping, and the likes.

The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. This post may contain references to products and services from our partners. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
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