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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 2022, Kentucky had the sixteenth highest gun death rate among the states. In an average year, 826 people die from gun violence in the state. That means that someone dies from gun violence every 11 hours. Sixty-one percent of those deaths are gun suicides, and 34% are gun homicides. In Kentucky, the rate of gun deaths increased 38% from 2013 to 2022, compared to a 36% increase nationwide.

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.