Authorization was granted by KRS 237.110 to issue and renew licenses to carry concealed firearms or other deadly weapons, or a combination thereof, to qualified persons.
Qualifications for a CCDW License
The applicant for a carry concealed deadly weapon (CCDW) license must:
- Be a resident of Kentucky for at least six months prior to filing the application or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is on active duty, who is at the time of application assigned to a military posting in Kentucky, and who has been assigned to a posting in Kentucky for six months or longer immediately preceding the filing of the application; and
- Be twenty-one (21) years of age or older; and
- Not be under indictment for, or have been convicted of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; and
- Not be a fugitive from justice; and
- Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance; and
- Not have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have committed to a mental institution; and
- Not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; and
- Not be subject to a domestic violence order or emergency protective order; and
- Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (see section below for discussion of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence); and
- Not be prohibited from the purchase, receipt or possession of firearms, ammunition or both pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g), 18 U.S.C. 922(n), or applicable state law; and
- Not have been committed to a state or federal facility for abuse of a controlled substance or convicted of a misdemeanor relating to a controlled substance within the three-year period immediately preceding the date the application was submitted; and
- Not have two or more convictions for violating KRS 189A.010 (Operating motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substance which impairs driving ability) within the three (3) years immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted; and
- Not have been committed as an alcoholic pursuant to KRS Chapter 222 or similar laws of another state within the three (3) year period immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted; and
- Not owe a child support arrearage which equals or exceeds the cumulative amount which would be owed after one (1) year of nonpayment; and
- Have complied with any subpoena or warrant relating to child support or paternity proceedings; and
- Have not been convicted of a violation of KRS 508.030 (Assault in the fourth degree) or 508.080 (Terroristic Threatening in the third degree) within the three years immediately preceding the date on which the application is submitted; and
- Demonstrate competence with a firearm by successful completion of a firearms safety or training course offered or approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
NOTE – ONLY SOME OF THE OFFENSES LISTED ABOVE HAVE A THREE-YEAR LIMITATION. OTHER OFFENSES, SUCH AS FELONIES AND MISDEMEANOR CRIMES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DO NOT HAVE A TIME LIMIT. IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY OR MISDEMEANOR CRIME OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, YOU ARE INELIGIBLE FOR A CCDW LICENSE AND ARE PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING A FIREARM UNDER FEDERAL LAW, NO MATTER HOW LONG AGO YOU WERE CONVICTED.
If you have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, i.e., a felony, you are not only ineligible to possess a CCDW license; federal law prohibits you from possessing a firearm. Individuals subject to this disability should immediately lawfully dispose of their firearms and ammunition. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recommends that individuals who have been convicted of a felony surrender their firearms and ammunition to a third party, such as their attorney, local police agency, or a federal firearms dealer. The continued possession of firearms or ammunition by persons under this disability is a violation of federal law and may subject the possessor to criminal penalties as well as seizure and forfeiture of the firearms and ammunition.
Those on pretrial diversion for disqualifying offenses are not eligible for a CCDW license.
Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence (MCDV)
It is illegal under federal law for any person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition (18 U.S.C. 922). A “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” is defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(33) as an offense that:
- Is a misdemeanor under federal or state law; and
- Has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
The following misdemeanors under Kentucky law are deemed to be possible misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. If you have been convicted of any of the following offenses, your application must be reviewed to determine whether your offense involved domestic violence:
- KRS 508.030 Assault in the fourth degree (note that this is a three year state disqualifier even if domestic violence was not involved).
- KRS 508.040 Assault under Extreme Emotional Disturbance
- KRS 508.120 Criminal Abuse in the third degree
- KRS 509.030 Unlawful Imprisonment in the second degree
- KRS 510.120 Sexual Abuse in second degree
- KRS 510.130 Sexual Abuse in third degree
- KRS 510.140 Sexual Misconduct
- KRS 525.060 Disorderly Conduct
- KRS 525.070 Harassment
Note that there is no three-year limitation as with state disqualifiers. If you have been convicted of any of the above offenses, a domestic violence determination must be made regardless of how long ago you were convicted. A domestic violence determination must also be made if you were convicted of similar misdemeanors in federal court or another state or territory. You are not disqualified, even if domestic violence was involved, if your conviction was expunged, set aside or pardoned. If your conviction is determined to be a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you are not only ineligible to possess a CCDW license; federal law prohibits you from possessing a firearm. Individuals subject to this disability should immediately lawfully dispose of their firearms and ammunition. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recommends that individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence surrender their firearms and ammunition to a third party, such as their attorney, local police agency, or a federal firearms dealer. The continued possession of firearms or ammunition by persons under this disability is a violation of federal law and may subject the possessor to criminal penalties as well as seizure and forfeiture of the firearms and ammunition.
CCDW Application Process
An applicant for a CCDW license must complete an application form at the sheriff’s office in his or her county of residence. The applicant must also pay the $60 application fee at the time of application (active and retired peace officers that meet the requirements of KRS 237.110(7) are exempt from paying the application or renewal fee). The sixty-dollar fee is to be allocated as follows:
- Payment of twenty dollars to the sheriff of your county of residence.
- A check or money order for forty dollars (the portion of the CCDW fee allocated to the KSP and the Administrative Office of the Courts by statute) payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. The KSP will collect the portion of the fee designated for the Administrative Office of the Courts on its behalf.
Applications that are not accompanied by a check or money order for forty dollars ($40.00) payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer will be returned unprocessed to the sheriff of the applicant’s county of residence.
The application will be sent to the Kentucky State Police within five working days.
The application form, completed under oath, must include the following:
- Name, Address, Date of Birth, Gender and Social Security Number.
- Recent color photograph: full head shot no smaller than 3 ½ x 4 nor larger than 4×5 inches.
- A photocopy of a certificate or an affidavit or document certifying completion of a firearms training course offered or approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Training./span>
Not less than one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the expiration date of a CCDW license, the Department of State Police shall mail to each licensee a written notice of the expiration and a renewal form. If you wish to renew your CCDW license, you must take the renewal notice, and a color photograph to the Sheriff of your county of residence. The photograph must be in color. The photograph must be no less than three and one-half (3 ½) inches by four (4) inches and no more than four (4) inches by five (5) inches. The photograph shall display the full front of the head and the facial features of the applicant. The applicant shall not wear sunglasses or attire that obscures their facial features in the photograph. The photograph shall be an original photograph or a photographic copy developed from the negative of an original photograph and must not be an image produced by a computer, copier or other copy machine. Digital photographs or their printed images are not acceptable.
If you fail to renew your license on or before the expiration date and wish to renew your license, you will be required to pay an additional late fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00).
To pay the renewal fee, you must submit a payment to the Sheriff in the amount of twenty dollars and a check or money order in the amount of forty dollars (fifty five dollars if the renewal application is submitted after the expiration date of the license) payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
If six months or more has passed since the expiration date of your license, your license has permanently expired and cannot be renewed. If your license has permanently expired, you may reapply for licensure pursuant to KRS 237.110 by obtaining a CCDW application from the Sheriff of your county of residence.
Lost, Stolen or Destroyed licenses
Change of address/personal information
You are required to notify the Kentucky State Police within thirty days after the changing of a permanent address. Failure to do so is a noncriminal violation with a penalty of twenty-five dollars payable to the clerk of the District Court. To change or update your address, you must complete a Carry Concealed Deadly Weapons Licensee Request for Change of Personal Information (KSP 121) at the office of the Sheriff of your county of residence. Once completed, the Sheriff will forward the information to the Kentucky State Police.
Restrictions on Carrying by Qualified License Holders
A concealed firearm or other deadly weapon SHALL NOT be carried in the following places:
- Police station or sheriff’s office.
- Detention facility, prison or jail.
- Courthouse (Court of Justice, courtroom or court proceeding).
- County, municipal, or special district governing body meetings.
- Meeting of governing body of a county, municipality, or special district.
- General Assembly session, including committee meetings.
- Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense beer or alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to that purpose.
- Elementary or secondary school facilities (without the consent of school authorities).
- Child-caring facilities, day care centers, or any certified family child care home.
- Areas within an airport where restricted access is controlled by the inspection of persons or property.
- Any place where federal law prohibits the carrying of a firearm.
In addition to the above restrictions, units of state and local governments and postsecondary education facilities (colleges, universities, technical schools and community colleges) have the authority to limit the carrying of concealed weapons on property owned or controlled by them (KRS 237.115). You should check with units of state and local government as well as postsecondary education facilities prior to carrying a concealed weapon on their property.
Also, KRS 527.070 prohibits unlawful possession (whether carried openly or concealed) of a weapon on school property, except for certain specified exceptions. KRS 244.125 prohibits loaded firearms (concealed or otherwise) in places where alcohol is sold by the drink, except for certain specified exceptions.
In addition, Kentucky law does not prohibit the owners of private premises from excluding persons carrying firearms. Failure to vacate private premises when asked to do so could result in a criminal trespass charge.
Judicial Special Status /Certified Peace Officer Licenses
There are two special categories of CCDW licenses: Judicial Special Status CCDW and Certified Peace Officer CCDW. These special categories require supplemental forms to be completed in addition to the application obtained at local sheriff’s offices.
Judicial Special Status Licenses
The following positions as defined by KRS 237.110 are eligible for “Special Status” Carry Concealed Deadly Weapon (CCDW) License.
Commonwealth/Assistant Commonwealth Attorney
County/Assistant County Attorney
Appeals Court Judges
Supreme Court Judges
You can download the Supplemental Affidavit for Judicial “Special Status” CCDW by clicking here. You can download the Judicial “Special Status” instruction form by clicking here.
Certified Peace Officer CCDW
Pursuant to KRS 237.110 a full or part time peace officer who is currently certified as a peace officer by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council who is authorized by his or her employer or government authority to carry a concealed deadly weapon at all times and locations within the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall be deemed to have met the training requirements and is exempt from paying the application or renewal fees. A retired peace officer that is a member of the Kentucky Employees Retirement System, State Police Retirement System, or County Employees Retirement System or other retirement system operated by or for a city, county, or urban-county in Kentucky shall be deemed to have met the training requirements and is exempt from paying the application or renewal fees.
You can download the Certified Peace Officer CCDW Supplemental form by clicking here. You can download the Certified Peace Officer CCDW supplemental instruction form by clicking here.
Certification Of Law Enforcement Retirement-LEOSA
Pursuant to KRS 237.138- 237.142 and the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, Public Law 108-277 (LEOSA).
You can download the Certification Of Law Enforcement Retirement-LEOSA form by clicking here.