U.S. citizens are granted the right to bear arms by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
There are some limitations on the right to buy and carry weapons, and each state also has its own specific laws concerning gun and weapon rights. While Kentucky’s laws are more lenient than many, people arrested for violating these laws or committing crimes with possession of a weapon can still encounter fines and the possibility of jail time or prison.
Dan Carman and Attorneys have represented many clients facing weapons charges, and we know how to build a case based on both the specifics of the law and the circumstances surrounding your particular situation. Though each case is different, we can tell you that not every weapons charge has to result in a conviction.
Gun and Crime Statistics in Kentucky
In 2011, 67 percent of Kentucky’s 150 homicides involved guns.
In 2013, Kentucky ranked 17th in the nation for the number of gun deaths per capita.
In 2012, Kentucky had 2.5 million firearm background checks, an indication of high gun sale rates.
5,654 people were killed by “gun violence” in Kentucky from 2002 to 2011.
Kentucky Weapon Law Violations By County
The number of weapons charges varies greatly from one county to another. There is also a high rate of cleared weapon law offenses in Kentucky. Let’s take a look at some examples from 2013:
- In Bell County, there were 12 reported weapon law offenses and 11 cleared offenses.
- In Boyd County, there were 34 reported weapon law offenses and 23 cleared offenses.
- In Calloway County, there were 31 reported weapon law offenses and 30 cleared offenses.
- In Floyd County, there were 19 reported weapon law offenses and 17 cleared offenses.
- In Hardin County, there were 106 reported weapon law offenses and 62 cleared offenses.
- In Henderson County, there were 34 reported weapon law offenses and 26 cleared offenses.
- In Hopkins County, there were 62 reported weapon law offenses and 61 cleared offenses.
- In Kenton County, there were 82 reported weapon law offenses and 64 cleared offenses.
- In Laurel County, there were 55 reported weapon law offenses and 13 cleared offenses.
- In Scott County, there were 28 reported weapon law offenses and 10 cleared offenses.
Firearm Laws in Kentucky
In Kentucky, adults are legally allowed to purchase and carry many types of weapons, as long as that weapon isn’t concealed, or hidden. A weapon is concealed if it is, for example, underneath a person’s jacket or placed below a driver’s seat. (If a gun is in certain vehicle compartments, like a glove box, it is not considered to be concealed.) A person must have a license to carry a concealed weapon. This applies to guns, knives, brass knuckles, clubs and other types of “deadly” weapons. Carrying a concealed deadly weapon is a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky.
Convicted felons are not allowed to possess or carry guns in our state.
Kentucky law divides guns into two categories – firearms and handguns. A firearm is “any weapon which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.” A handgun is “any pistol or revolver originally designed to be fired by the use of a single hand, or any firearm originally designed to be fired by the use of a single hand.” It is important to note the difference between these two categories because charges and fines vary depending on whether the gun is determined to be a handgun or a firearm. If a convicted felon carries a firearm, it is a Class D felony. Possession of a handgun by a convicted felon is a Class C felony.
Additionally, crimes are punished more severely if they occur with a firearm. Drug trafficking, robbery or assault charges that are combined with weapons charges lead to increased penalties.
How We Can Help
As you can see, there is some room for interpretation in these definitions. For example, was the weapon actually “concealed”? Does this weapon fall under the category of a handgun or a firearm? This is why it is important to have a weapons charges defense attorney on your side. Dan Carman and Attorneys will investigate these questions to ensure that you are treated fairly and to reduce the chances of severe fines and penalties.
We represent people who have been charged with:
- Carrying a deadly weapon in violation of parole or probation
- Committing a crime with the use of a firearm
- Concealed-carry (CCDW) violations
- Possession of a stolen firearm
- Possession of defaced firearm (meaning the serial number has been removed)
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Sale of firearm to a minor
- Possession of a firearm by a minor
If you or a loved one is facing a weapons charge in Kentucky, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. We represent clients in every part of Kentucky, from Paducah to Bowling Green to Hazard and all points in between. Dan Carman and Attorneys fight for the rights of Kentuckians to make sure that they are treated fairly under the law. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.