Kentucky law prevents any person or entity from being held liable for damages resulting from the criminal use of a firearm by a third person, unless the person or entity conspired with the third person to commit, or willfully aided, abetted, or caused the commission of, the criminal act in which the firearm was used.1 This immunity law is similar to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”), which became law on October 26, 2005.2 The Kentucky law differs from the PLCAA, however, as it does not alter the doctrine of negligence or strict liability relating to abnormally dangerous products or activities and defective products.3

Kentucky law also prevents local governments from bringing most lawsuits against the firearms or ammunition industry.4 This law does not, however, prohibit a local governmental unit from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by that local unit of government.5

Kentucky limits the liability of shooting ranges for noise,6 and prevents a shooting range that has been in operation for at least one year from being deemed a nuisance solely as a result of changed conditions in or around the locality of the range.7

For detailed information about government and private party lawsuits against the gun industry, the status of litigation involving gun industry immunity statutes in various states, or pending gun industry immunity legislation, visit the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Gun Industry Immunity page.

See our Immunity Statutes / Manufacturer Litigation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 411.155(1). ⤴︎
  2. 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901 – 7903. The validity and scope of the PLCAA and its exceptions are being tested in courts across the country. For information about these lawsuits and more information about the PLCAA in general, see our Federal Law on Immunity Statutes page. ⤴︎
  3. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 411.155(2). ⤴︎
  4. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 65.045(1). ⤴︎
  5. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 65.045(2). ⤴︎
  6. No shooting range, unit of government, or owner, operator or user of a shooting range may be subject to any action for civil or criminal liability, damages, abatement, or injunctive relief arising from the level of noise produced by the shooting range if the range complies with noise control or nuisance abatement administrative regulations, statutes, or ordinances applicable when the range commenced operation. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.210(2). Lastly, no administrative regulations, statutes, or ordinances relating to noise control, pollution, or abatement adopted by a unit of government may be applied to a shooting range retroactively if the conduct at the shooting range was lawful before the enactment of the regulation, statute, or ordinance. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.210(3). ⤴︎
  7. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.210(1). Expansion of the range facilities or activities “shall not establish a new date of commencement of operations for purposes of this section unless the change triples the amount of the noise produced by the range.” Id. ⤴︎