*Firearms Ownership:unrestricted, no permit or license required
*Assault weapon 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: castle doctrine, right protected by statute
*Open carry: unrestricted in most public areas and generally accepted
licenses granted to residents on a "shall issue" basis; automatic
reciprocity for nonresidents with licenses from other states
*Vehicle carry and transportation:
firearms (rifles, shotguns and handguns) may
be carriedloaded and in plain view; loaded handguns maybe carried in
the glove compartment (center console box carry is not allowed)
Kentucky's rolling hills and tree-covered mountains provide the perfect
setting for any Hollywood production about the early pioneers of the Ohio valley.
Firearms carry in those days was essential for survival. Fortunately for gun-owners,
Kentucky still maintains a healthyrespect for this heritage in its firearm laws.
Kentucky requires a license to carry a firearm 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. Kentucky
licenses allow the concealed carry of any deadly weapon by the permittee.
A traveler without a permit may carry loaded firearms in a vehicle if the
weapons are in plain view. Kentucky allows anyone to carry a loaded handgun in a
visible belt holster or on the dashboard or passenger seat of one's car. Glove
compartment carry is also considered legitimate as long the compartment is of the
factory-installed variety on the passenger's side. Console boxes and seat pockets
are not legitimate areas for unlicensed carry. Carrying a handgun in one of these
areas is the same as placing the weapon under the seat. Both modes of carry are
limited to persons possessing carry licenses. Rifles and shotguns may be carried
loaded and in plain view. The weapons may be secured in gun racks, gun slings, or
commercial gun cases located anywhere in the vehicle except concealed about the person.
Travelers may carry loaded firearms in plain view while on foot in virtually any
public area of the state. Such carry is best limited to visible belt holsters secured on
one's hip. Kentucky's strong preemption law prevents this activity, as well as most
others involving firearms, from being locally regulated. Recently, employers were
further prohibited from preventing employees from carrying firearms in their vehicles
while the vehicles are parked on company property.