- Kentucky has some the most permissive gun laws in the nation, with few restrictions on buying, possessing, or carrying guns. The state has long allowed adults to carry guns openly. And as of 2019, most people who are 21 or older may carry a concealed gun—with or without a license—almost anywhere in the state.
- Kentucky Gun & Ammo Laws: A 2nd Amendment Overview for Kentucky Gun Owners PLEASE NOTE: The laws which impact Kentucky gun owners are subject to frequent change at the local, state, and federal level so it's wise to consult an attorney or your local law enforcement agency before making any final firearms-related decisions.
A convicted felon cannot legally own a gun in Kentucky, with some exceptions. This includes those convicted as youthful offenders and those convicted of a felony under federal law or in another state. Possession of a firearm by a felon is itself a felony. If you have been charged with this crime, we may be able to help.
Like most states in America, you can legally possess and make use of your firearm in Kentucky. But the state has laws that you must abide by if you want to use your firearm or open and concealed carry them within its territory. Therefore, you must be familiar with these laws to make sure that you are not committing a violation.
Under Kentucky Revised Statute 527.040, the crime of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (one who has served more than one year of imprisonment) occurs when he or she possesses, manufactures or transports a firearm after he or she has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction in which he or she was convicted, in any state or federal court, and has not …
- Been granted a full pardon by the Governor or by the President of the United States, or,
- Been granted relief by the United States Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended.
The law applies to any youthful offender convicted of a felony offense under Kentucky law. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a Class D felony unless the firearm is a handgun, and then it’s a Class C felony. Class C felony punishment includes five to ten years in prison, and a class D felony conviction carries with it a prison sentence of one to five years. Both felonies also include fines from $1,000 to $10,000.
If you’re a felon it’s not only a crime to possess a gun, but it’s a crime for someone to sell or transfer one to you, under Kentucky Revised Statute chapter 237.070. It states that no person shall knowingly sell or transfer a firearm to any person prohibited from possessing it by Kentucky Revised Statute 527.040. Anyone doing this could be convicted of a class A misdemeanor (punishable by a jail term of 90 days to a year plus a $500 fine).
Federal law can come into play under Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1). It states that it’s a violation of law for a felon to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess any firearm or ammunition in a way that affects commerce, or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. Penalties include a fine and up to ten years in prison.
Felons charged with gun possession are normally prosecuted in state courts, though federal law enforcement may get involved if you are found with a firearm while trafficking illegal drugs or the firearm is a modified, automatic or unusually dangerous weapon.
If you have been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, you need a criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and your future. Contact us today so you can discuss your situation with one of the attorneys at the Lexington, Kentucky-based Carman Law Firm. As criminal defense attorneys with years of experience, we offer thorough, experienced representation.
December 8, 2020 Kentucky Law
Kentucky gun laws allow most individuals to own and possess handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Kentucky residents are not required to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun. They can also carry concealed guns or openly carry guns without a permit.
That does not mean that there are no restrictions on guns. Kentucky gun laws impose certain restrictions on purchasing, owning, and possessing guns. Text abbreviations ty. One restriction of gun ownership relates to individuals convicted of a felony.
Can a Convicted Felon Legally Own a Gun in Kentucky?
Felons do not have the same legal gun rights as the average person. It is illegal for a person convicted of a felony to own or possess a firearm in most situations.
It does not matter whether the person was convicted of the felony in another state. A felony conviction in any state prohibits you from owning or possessing a firearm in Kentucky.
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes §527.040, you can be charged with the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon if you possess, transport, or manufacture a firearm with a felony conviction from any state or federal court. If you are charged with this crime, you face a Class D felony charge. If a felon possesses a handgun, the charge is a Class C felony.
Punishment for possessing a firearm as a felony can include a substantial fine and prison term. Depending on the class of felony, you could be charged with a fine of up to $10,000 and sentenced to one to ten years in prison.
It is important to note that the law applies to youthful offenders. If you were convicted of a felony when you were a minor, the felony follows you throughout your life and impacts your gun rights.
When Can a Felon Own a Firearm in Kentucky?
There are some cases in which a convicted felon may legally own or possess a firearm. The three exceptions are very specific and can be difficult to obtain, depending on the felony charge and the person’s prior criminal history.
The three exceptions to the law that prohibits felons from owning or possessing a firearm:
- The person received a full pardon by the President of the United States or the Governor of Kentucky
- The felony conviction was expunged or vacated according to Kentucky Revised Statutes §431.073
- The person received relief from the United States Secretary of Treasury according to the Federal Bun Control Act of 1968
It is important to note that felons are prohibited from owning a gun under federal law. A federal felony conviction also impacts your gun rights in Kentucky. If a felon possesses a gun while committing other crimes or serious drug crimes, the person could face federal weapons charges.
Criminal Charges for Selling or Transferring a Gun to a Felon
In addition to arresting and charging the felon with a crime, law enforcement officers may also arrest the person who furnished the gun to the felon. According to Kentucky Revised Statute §237.070, it is a crime to knowingly transfer or sell a firearm to a felon. The firearm is subject to seizure and forfeiture.
Selling or transferring a firearm to a felon is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the person could serve up to 90 days in jail and be fined up to $500.
Fighting Weapons Charges in Kentucky
Buying A Gun In Kentucky
If you are a convicted felon, it is best to stay away from firearms. The penalty for violating the law can be severe. If you have a gun in your possession while committing another crime, the penalties can be even more severe.
However, if you are charged with illegal possession of a gun, there could be one or more legal defenses to the charges. You could be innocent, or the police officers could have violated your civil rights with an illegal search and seizure. The gun might belong to someone else in the home or vehicle.
A criminal defense lawyer in Kentucky investigates the circumstances of your arrest to determine the best legal strategy to use in your defense. Even if you are guilty of the charges, working with a lawyer could help you obtain a plea agreement that avoids the most severe penalties for the charges. Your lawyer can argue that there were mitigating factors that a judge should consider before sentencing.
Ky Shotgun Laws
As with any criminal charges, it is always best to avoid talking to the police without a lawyer present. You have the legal right to remain silent and consult with an attorney. Exercising both of your legal rights is the best way to fight a weapons charge in Kentucky.