Law-abiding citizens in Kentucky may carry their handguns concealed without a permit — which marks the state as the 16th to adopt what’s known as “Constitutional Carry.”
Kentucky residents already have the right to own guns without a license and carry openly without a permit.
Gun-rights advocates believe the Second Amendment is all the permit citizens need to carry guns concealed or openly for personal safety. They also advocate national reciprocity, which would require states that allow residents to carry concealed to recognized permits from other states.
Kentucky gun owners who intend to carry guns to other states must abide by that state’s gun laws, which may require a concealed-carry permit. This is what Kentucky used to require:
State law had required people to get a permit before carrying a concealed firearm.
That process involved undergoing a background check, completing some gun safety training and paying a $60 fee.
SB 150 axes the permit requirement for anyone who’s at least 21 years old and who meets other legal rules for gun ownership.
Proponents of SB 150, such as lead sponsor Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, noted that people in Kentucky already are allowed to openly carry a gun without a permit.
They also pointed to the current permit process and mandatory fees as barriers that prevent poor people — and especially poor minorities — from carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense.
Navy veteran Tom Knighton wrote at BearingArms.com: “The state of Kentucky formally joins the ranks of states who recognize one very simple fact. They understand that criminals are going to carry guns no matter what, so infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens makes no sense whatsoever.”