Posted on January 2, 2012
Last updated January 31, 2012
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearms-related policy areas. Kentucky ranked 43rd out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws.
Kentucky does not:
- Conduct its own background checks for firearm sales, but instead relies on the FBI;
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private parties;
- 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 2009, 560 people died from firearm-related injuries in Kentucky. That year, Kentucky had the third highest export rate per capita of crime guns – guns originally purchased in Kentucky that are recovered after being used in crimes in other 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.