Concealed Carry Law Changes

Tommy Stone fires his 9mm semi-automatic pistol at the Bare Arms Gun Range in Ashland Ky. on Wednesday. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

ASHLAND, Ky. – Concealed carry instructors in Kentucky say they are still encouraging firearms owners to get formal training before carrying a concealed weapon — even if the law in Kentucky no longer requires it.

Senate Bill 150 became law Thursday in Kentucky. It allows residents 21 and older who meet legal rules for gun ownership to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and formal concealed carry training.

Todd Borders, a concealed-carry instructor at Borders Sporting Goods in Ashland, said he believes the course should still be an instrumental part of gun ownership.

“I'm a big fan of the Second Amendment,” Borders said. “But I push the class part of it. I'm pro-gun, but I like the class. It's informative, it teaches you about the laws and the statutes in the State of Kentucky. It teaches you use and misuse of deadly force, of criminal and civil liability.”

Borders said that even those who are experienced with weapons, such as military personnel, learn from the course.

“I think everyone who takes the course learns from it,” Borders said. “I'm a fan of the class. Someone learns how the gun functions, how it works, its a safety factor.”

Mike Crawford is a facility manager at Bare Arms Gun Range in Ashland. He said the new law shouldn't impact business in Ashland but the concealed-carry training is still recommended. In just one example as to why, it can help inform participants as it pertains to crossing state lines while possessing a firearm.

“Once you leave the state, you still have to have a permit,” Crawford said. “You're good in Kentucky, but once you cross state lines you'll need a permit.”

Crawford said Bare Arms still offers training courses every Saturday.

“It's an eight-hour course, it covers Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia,” Crawford said. “It covers safety, shooting fundamentals, how to carry, different holster types, ammo, gun types.”

Local law enforcement said the new law does impact how they will be dealing people.

“At any time, when we’re dealing with anyone, we’re thinking cautiously,” said Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley. “We’re always concerned about concealed weapons. The thing is we encourage civilians to do is alert us if they are carrying concealed....We’re aware the gun laws are changing. It’s not changing for us. But we’re hoping that citizens will still let us know that they’re carrying so interactions are still safe and comfortable.”