Posted on January 2, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. Kentucky ranked 43rd out of 50 – having some of the weakest gun laws in the nation.
In 2013, the Kentucky legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.
Laws that Weaken Gun Regulation
|KY S 150||Removes the six-month residency requirement for concealed weapon permit applicants.|
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 2010, Kentucky had the 18th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. According to a report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Iowa had the 3rd highest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2009–meaning that crime guns originally sold in Iowa were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 13 lowest 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.