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Kentucky’s lack of basic gun safety laws and adoption of reckless, gun lobby–backed policies critically endangers public safety.

Kentucky allows any person 21 years or older who is legally able to purchase a firearm to carry it concealed in public, without a permit or background check. In 2021, Kentucky had the 14th highest gun death rate among the states. Kentucky also supplied crime guns to other states at the ninth highest rate among the states. Kentucky exported crime guns at nearly twice the national rate and more than 2.5 times the rate at which it imported crime guns from other states.

What Kentucky Does Well

  • Certain child access prevention laws

What Kentucky Is Missing

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Domestic violence gun laws
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Waiting periods
  • Concealed carry permit
  • Open carry regulations
  • Community violence intervention funding



The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.