CRESTWOOD, Ky. (WHAS11) -- As the debate over gun rights versus more gun control intensifies, WHAS takes a closer look at what the gun laws actually are in Kentucky.
To buy a handgun in the Commonwealth, you must be 21; however, to buy a rifle, including military-style ones like the AR15, you only have to be 18.
Many have called AR15’s and semi-automatic rifles like it “assault weapons,” but by definition, Open Range owner Barry Laws says, an assault rifle is a selective-fire gun, which means it can be switched from semi-automatic to fully-automatic.
“A civilian cannot buy any select-fire, automatic if you will, that was built after 1986,” Laws said.
Private party sales of fully automatic firearms made prior to 1986 are also illegal.
While Kentucky is considered one of the more gun-friendly states, a few states have made military-style rifles illegal by banning components of the gun, such as pistol grips, forward grips, and folding stocks. There are also limits on how many bullets a clip can hold, but Kentucky does not have any restrictions on high-capacity magazines. Bump stocks, which allow rifles to fire faster, are also legal in Kentucky.
To carry a concealed weapon in Kentucky, you need to get a license, but Kentucky is an open carry state, meaning you don’t need a license to openly carry a handgun or rifle.
“You can theoretically walk down the middle of Main Street with a gun on your hip or an AR15 slung around you and that’s legal,” Laws pointed out. “Now is it smart? No.”
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