State Law Background
Kentucky does not:
- Require a background check prior to the sale or transfer of a firearm by an unlicensed person;
- Conduct its own background checks for firearm sales, but instead relies on the FBI;
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- License firearm owners;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Regulate unsafe handguns;
- Require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement; or
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales.
Local governments in Kentucky generally lack authority to regulate firearms or ammunition, and the state requires local law enforcement to issue a concealed handgun license to any applicant who meets certain basic qualifications.
In 2016, Kentucky had the 13th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. 772 people died from gunshot wounds in Kentucky in that year. Kentucky had the 11th highest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2016—meaning that guns originally sold in Kentucky were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 11th highest rate among the states.
Kentucky Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Kentucky, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.