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Kentucky Laws Relating to Workplace Violence

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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A summary of Kentucky laws relating to weapons and conduct that impact workplace violence.

It is unlawful to carry a concealed deadly weapon in Kentucky without a license. A firearm or deadly weapon is not considered concealed if located in the regularly installed glove compartment of a motor vehicle. A license to carry a concealed firearm does not serve as an authorization for a person to carry a concealed firearm into:

  • a police station or sheriff's office
  • any detention facility, prison or jail
  • any courthouse, solely occupied by the Court of Justice courtroom, or court proceeding
  • any government meeting
  • any establishment licensed to dispense beer or alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • any elementary or secondary school without the consent of the school authorities, any child-caring facility, any day care center or any certified family child care home (except that the owner of a certified child care home may carry a concealed firearm into the owner's residence that is used as a certified child care home)
  • an area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property
  • any place where federal law prohibits the carrying of firearms

The owner, business or commercial lessee, or manager of a private business enterprise, day-care center or certified or licensed family child care home, or a licensed health care facility, except facilities renting or leasing housing, may prohibit persons holding concealed deadly weapon licenses from carrying weapons on the premises and may prohibit employees, not authorized by the employer, holding concealed deadly weapons licenses from carrying concealed deadly weapons on the property of the employer. If the building or the premises are open to the public, the employer or business must post signs if carrying concealed weapons is prohibited. Possession of weapons, or ammunition, or both in a vehicle on the premises is not unlawful if the weapons, or ammunition, or both are not removed from the vehicle or brandished while the vehicle is on the premises.

A private but not a public employer may prohibit employees or other persons holding a concealed deadly weapons license from carrying concealed deadly weapons, or ammunition, or both in vehicles owned by the employer, but may not prohibit employees or other persons holding licenses from carrying the weapons in vehicles owned by the employee, except that the Justice Cabinet may prohibit an employee from carrying any weapons, or ammunition, or both other than the weapons, or ammunition, or both issued or authorized to be used by the employee of the cabinet, in a vehicle while transporting persons under the employee's supervision or jurisdiction.

Carrying of a concealed weapon, or ammunition, or both in a location specified in the statute by a license holder is not a criminal act, but may subject the person to denial from the premises or removal from the premises, and, if an employee of an employer, disciplinary measures by the employer.

A person who has a valid license issued by another state to carry a concealed deadly weapon in that state may, subject to Kentucky law, carry a concealed deadly weapon in Kentucky, and his or her license will be considered as valid in Kentucky.

A college, university or other postsecondary educational facility, including technical schools and community colleges, may control the possession of deadly weapons on any property owned or controlled by the school. A unit of state, city, county, urban-county or charter county government may prohibit the carrying of concealed deadly weapons by licensees in that portion of a building owned, leased or occupied by that unit of government. A legislative body of a state, city, county or urban-county government may, by statute, administrative regulation or ordinance, prohibit or limit the carrying of concealed deadly weapons by licensees in that portion of a building owned, leased or controlled by that unit of government. That portion of a building in which the carrying of concealed deadly weapons is prohibited or limited must be clearly identified by signs posted at the entrance to the restricted area.

The statute or ordinance must exempt any building used for public housing by private persons, highway rest areas, firing ranges and private dwellings owned, leased or controlled by that unit of government from any restriction on the carrying or possession of deadly weapons. No other governmental unit not specifically mentioned above may prohibit or limit the carrying of concealed deadly weapons on its property.

A person, including but not limited to an employer, who is the owner, lessee, or occupant of real property cannot prohibit any person who is legally entitled to possess a firearm from possessing a firearm, part of a firearm, ammunition, or ammunition component in a vehicle on the property. A firearm may be removed from the vehicle or handled in the case of self-defense, defense of another, defense of property, or as authorized by the owner, lessee, or occupant of the property. A person, including but not limited to an employer, who owns, leases, or otherwise occupies real property may prevent a person who is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition from possessing a firearm or ammunition on the property.

An employer that fires, disciplines, demotes, or otherwise punishes an employee who is lawfully exercising a right guaranteed by this law, and who is engaging in conduct in compliance with this statute, shall be liable in civil damages. An employee may seek and the court shall grant an injunction against an employer who is violating the provisions of this statute when it is found that the employee is in compliance with the provisions of this law.

The provisions of this statute shall not apply to any real property owned, leased, or occupied by the U.S. government upon which the possession or carrying of firearms is prohibited or controlled; of a detention facility; or where a section of the Kentucky Revised Statutes specifically prohibits possession or carrying of firearms on the property.

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a felony involving the use of force.

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