The Kentucky State Police is the issuing authority for licenses to carry concealed firearms or other deadly weapons to qualified persons. The license authorizes the holder to carry a concealed firearm, ammunition for firearm or other deadly weapon, or a combination thereof, on or about his/her person.[i]
The applicant for a carry concealed deadly weapon (CCDW) license must be a resident of Kentucky for at least six months prior to filing the application or a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is on active duty, posted in Kentucky for six months or longer immediately preceding the filing of the application. The applicant must be 21 years of age or older and should not have been convicted of a misdemeanour crime of domestic violence or a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. The applicant should not have been convicted of a violation of KRS 508.030 (Assault in the fourth degree) or KRS 508.080 (Terrorist Threatening in the third degree) within the three years immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted. The applicant must not be mentally incompetent or a drug/alcohol abuser or a fugitive from justice. S/he should not have been dishonourably discharged from the Armed Forces. In addition, the applicant should not be prohibited from the purchase, receipt or possession of firearms, ammunition or both and should not owe a child support arrearage which equals or exceeds the cumulative amount which would be owed after one (1) year of non-payment. The applicant should also demonstrate competence with a firearm by successful completion of a firearms safety or training course approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Training. [ii]
A concealed firearm or other deadly weapon shall not be carried in a police station or sheriff’s office, prison or jail, courthouse, County, municipal, or special district governing body meetings, child-caring facilities, day care centers, or any certified family child care home. Firearms are not allowed in any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense beer or alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.[iii] Concealed firearms are also prohibited in areas within an airport and places where federal law prohibits the carrying of a firearm.
In addition to the above restrictions, units of state and local governments and postsecondary education facilities (colleges, universities, technical schools and community colleges) have the authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them. [iv] Also, KRS 527.070 prohibits unlawful possession (whether carried openly or concealed) of a weapon on school property. There are no other Kentucky Revised Statutes that govern the open carry of firearms by persons who lawfully possess such firearms.
In addition, Kentucky law does not prohibit the owners of private premises from excluding persons carrying firearms. Retired peace officers are entitled to carry concealed deadly weapons pursuant to KRS 237.138 to 237.142.
Failure on the part of a license holder to possess CCDW license when carrying a concealed firearm or deadly weapon will result in a non-criminal violation punishable by a $25.00 fine. The license is valid for five years from the date of issuance unless suspended or revoked and renewal fee is sixty dollars.
Kentucky recognizes permits from all other states. States including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming recognize a Kentucky permit.
[i] KRS § 237.110.
[iii] KRS 244.125
[iv] KRS 237.115