This article is meant to take a look at Kentucky’s open carry laws so that you folks can get a better idea what is and is not legal in the state.
The open carry of a handgun is lawful except in certain restricted areas in the state of Kentucky. The following list is of the places where you cannot open carry in the state.
- any police station or sheriff’s office;
- any detention facility, prison, or jail;
- any courthouse, solely occupied by the Court of Justice courtroom, or court proceeding;
- any meeting of the governing body of a county, municipality, or special district, or any meeting of the General Assembly unless the permit holder is a member of that body;
- any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises which is primarily devoted to that purpose;
- any elementary or secondary school facility, child caring facility, day care center;
- any area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons; and
- any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.
It is unlawful to carry a concealed firearm on or about one’s person. This does not apply to carrying a concealed firearm in one’s own real property. A business owner may carry concealed on real property owned or leased by the business. Also, exempt from this prohibition are those issued a license to carry concealed firearms, police officers, agents and messengers of express companies when on duty, and U.S. mail carriers on duty.
“Concealed on or about the person” has been recently defined as “concealment in such proximity to the person as to be convenient of access and within immediate physical reach.” Kentucky courts consider firearms located under a driver’s seat concealed “on or about” the person, and are, therefore, unlawful. Firearms located in glove compartments, locked or unlocked, are not considered concealed.
Now, not everyone is going to be able to carry concealed in the state. The following is a list of those individuals who are prohibited from carrying in Kentucky.
- those younger than 21 years old
- people who have been convicted of certain crimes involving controlled substances within the last three years
- people with two or more convictions within the last three years for certain crimes involving alcohol
- people who owe at least one year’s worth of child support money
- those for whom an outstanding warrant for a child support or paternity proceeding exists,
- those who have not completed the required firearms safety course, and
- convicted felons and those convicted of other specified violations.
Now, there are certainly additional questions as well as more in-depth looks into such things as who is not allowed to possess a gun, and what public places do or do not allow them. We will be going over those in specific articles, later on, due to the complexity of some of the situations. For right now, however, we have a wonderful FAQ page on our Kentucky site with a lot of helpful information.
If you have specific questions that you would like covered in future articles about Kentucky’s open carry laws, shoot us a comment below, and we will make sure to add them to future reports.
Information compounded from the NRA and Kentucky state legal texts.