Kentucky does not impose criminal liability for negligent storage of a firearm, even if a child gains access to the firearm and causes an injury or death. Kentucky prohibits any person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly providing a handgun to a person under age 18 or permitting a person under age 18 to possess a handgun, except in the limited situations where it is legal for the person under 18 to possess a handgun.1

In addition, the state prohibits any parent or guardian of a juvenile from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly providing to the juvenile a handgun or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun if the parent or guardian:

  • Knows that there is a substantial risk that the juvenile will use a handgun to commit a felony offense;
  • Knows that the juvenile has been convicted of a crime of violence; or
  • Knows the juvenile has been adjudicated a public offender of an offense which would constitute a crime of violence.2

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(a). See also Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.060(5) (defining “juvenile” as person under age 18). A person “unlawfully” provides a juvenile with a handgun or permits a juvenile to possess a handgun under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1) when he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly provides a handgun to any person he or she knows or has reason to believe is under age 18, and for whom possession of the handgun would be a violation of Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.100 (generally criminalizing possession of a handgun by a minor, with certain exceptions—see Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Kentucky for details), Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.040 (criminalizing possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or a “youthful offender” convicted of a felony), or Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 600.020 (defining abused or neglected children). Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(a). ⤴︎
  2. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(b). ⤴︎