Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed Constitutional Carry (Senate Bill 150) into law on Monday, March 11, 2019. Kentucky is now the 16th state allowing true freedom—the right to carry openly or concealed without a permit or license. Kentucky joins Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
If you live in Kentucky, are 21 or older and legally allowed to own a firearm, you may carry open or concealed without a permit or license beginning June 26, 2019. If you wish to travel outside the state and carry your firearm, you will still need a permit.
It was illegal to carry a concealed gun in Kentucky until 1996. From then until 2017, 471,644 permits, called Concealed Deadly Weapons License (CDWL), have been issued to citizens in Kentucky.
People who oppose Constitutional Carry usually protest because they believe it means people can carry a gun without a lack of training. Like usual, these opposers are ill-informed. Most concealed carry permit or licensing classes have nothing to do with learning how to use a firearm. Though you generally must demonstrate to the instructor that you can fire the gun, these permitting and licensing courses only describe the legalities of carrying a firearm. Therefore, even those with a license or permit to carry can “walk around without training.”
Studies find that states with Constitutional Carry laws have lower crime rates. In fact, concealed carry permit holders are more law-abiding than even law enforcement. When West Virginia voted for Constitutional Carry in 2016, the state says gun murders dropped by 33% in the first year. (West Virginia Health Statistics Center) Six states with Constitutional Carry have the lowest gun crime rates in the nation.
Owning a firearm is secured by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. It is a right, not a privilege. Like any of the other Bill of Rights, can you imagine having to take a day or days’ long class, pass background checks, get fingerprinted, pay fees and wait months before being able to speak? No? Well, Constitutional Carry is just like your right to free speech and the right to practice your religion.
No state that has enacted Constitutional Carry has become the wild, wild west. None of them.