Restrictions regarding the carrying of concealed deadly weapons apply to individuals under the age of 21 although there are exceptions for an “ordinary pocket knife” or “hunting knife”.
There is no statutory limitation regarding the possession of knives by minors.
Deadly weapons, which include knives, may not be possessed or carried on school property. Some limited exceptions are provided.
Kentucky adopted a “Constitutional Carry” statute which became effective June 27, 2019. This law applies to knives and other “deadly weapons,” a term defined under Kentucky law. The effect of this statute is the elimination of most possession and carry restrictions for people 21 and older. Restrictions regarding the carrying of concealed deadly weapons apply to individuals under the age of 21 although there are exceptions for an “ordinary pocket knife” or “hunting knife.”
500.080.Definitions for Kentucky Penal Code
65.870. Local firearms control ordinances prohibited; exemption from immunity; declaratory and injunctive relief
82.082. Power for public purpose only and not in conflict with Constitution or statutes
237.104. Rights to acquire, carry, and use deadly weapons not to be impaired; Seizure of deadly weapons prohibited; Application of section
237.109. Authorization to carry concealed deadly weapons without a license
237.110. License to carry concealed deadly weapon
527.020. Carrying concealed deadly weapon
527.070. Unlawful possession of a weapon on school property; posting of sign; exemptions
Some protection against local ordinances exists.
Restrictions on Sale or Transfer:
There is neither an issue nor a restriction, for persons at least 21 or those who possess a valid concealed weapon license. There are no restrictions on “open carry”.
Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations/Circumstances:
Yes. Public and private schools K-12. The restriction includes school buses, athletic fields, and recreational areas. The restrictions do not apply to post-secondary schools.
There is statewide preemption statute in Kentucky (65.870) that applies to firearms specifically however knives are not included in the protections. There are two other statutes in Kentucky that extend considerable statewide protection for knives. These are 82.082 and 237.104.
(1) No person, unit of government, or governmental organization shall, during a period of disaster or emergency as specified in KRS Chapter 39A or at any other time, have the right to revoke, suspend, limit the use of, or otherwise impair the validity of the right of any person to purchase, transfer, loan, own, possess, carry, or use a firearm, firearm part, ammunition, ammunition component, or any deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
(2) No person, unit of government, or governmental organization shall, during a period of disaster or emergency as specified in KRS Chapter 39A or at any other time, take, seize, confiscate, or impound a firearm, firearm part, ammunition, ammunition component, or any deadly weapon or dangerous instrument from any person. Local governments may establish reasonable restrictions limiting weapons in government offices and facilities.
There is a provision in 527.020 which also provides protection for concealed weapon carry:
Persons carrying concealed weapons in accordance with KRS 237.109 or licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon pursuant to KRS 237.110 may carry a concealed firearm or other concealed deadly weapon on or about their persons at all times within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, if the firearm or concealed deadly weapon is carried in conformity with the requirements of KRS 237.109 or 237.110. Unless otherwise specifically provided by the Kentucky Revised Statutes or applicable federal law, no criminal penalty shall attach to carrying a concealed firearm or other deadly weapon at any location at which an unconcealed firearm or other deadly weapon may be constitutionally carried. No person or organization, public or private, shall prohibit a person from possessing a firearm, ammunition, or both, or other deadly weapon in his or her vehicle in compliance with the provisions of KRS 237.109, 237.110, and 237.115. Any attempt by a person or organization, public or private, to violate the provisions of this subsection may be the subject of an action for appropriate relief or for damages in a Circuit Court or District Court of competent jurisdiction.
There is no statutory definition under Kentucky law as to what constitutes concealment. There is also no “intent” requirement or element within 527.020. The issue of concealment is an issue of fact. Thus, it will be determined by the jury, or in the case of a non-jury proceeding, by the judge.
Section 500.080 of the Kentucky Penal Code provides definitions for, among other things, ‘deadly weapon’ as follows:
As used in the Kentucky Penal Code, unless the context otherwise requires:
(4) “Deadly weapon” means any of the following:
(a) A weapon of mass destruction;
(b) Any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged;
(c) Any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife;
(d) Billy, nightstick, or club;
(e) Blackjack or slapjack;
(f) Nunchaku karate sticks;
(g) Shuriken or death star; or
(h) Artificial knuckles made from metal, plastic, or other similar hard material;
As to the category of knives, with the exception of ‘hunting’ knives and ‘ordinary’ pocket knives, any knife is a statutory ‘deadly weapon’.
237.109 became effective as of June 27, 2019. It provides:
Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses issued under KRS 237.110.
Persons under the age of 21 are limited by the existing provisions of 527.020 which provides:
A person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon when he or she carries concealed a firearm or other deadly weapon on or about his or her person in violation of this section.
Extensive exceptions for law enforcement and other government officials, including federal, are provided for in 527.020.
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