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New conceal carry law not in effect yet

To little fanfare but much anticipation, Gov. Matt Bevin signed the state’s new permitless conceal carry law in March.

But watch out! The law doesn’t take effect until June 26 – 90 days past the last day of the legislative session, which is March 28.

What’s new, what’s not new

Once the law takes effect, Kentuckians will be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, a background check or safety training.

Before the law, anyone wishing to get a conceal carry permit had to:

  • Take a six-hour gun safety course that required passage of a written test and the ability to hit a target with 11 out of 20 shots from 21 feet
  • Undergo a background check
  • Pay a $60 fee

After the law goes into effect in June, the only requirements are that the holder is 21 or older and meets the rules for gun ownership.

Being arrested with a permitless concealed weapon before the law takes effect in June is a Class A misdemeanor which could lead to a sentence of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Be careful where you carry that concealed weapon

Concealed weapons will still not be allowed at police stations, sheriff’s offices, detention facilities and courthouses.

If you plan to travel outside the commonwealth, you should check the law of the states where you plan to travel. Some have laws against carrying a concealed weapon. While some will honor Kentucky’s permitless law, some will still require a Kentucky permit. If you’re caught with a concealed weapon without a permit in those states, you could face fines and jail time.