Kentucky Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Lower Legal Age for Gun Ownership and Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry

In a significant move for concealed carry gun rights in Kentucky, Republican Representative Savannah Maddox of Dry Ridge has introduced House Bill 259, a groundbreaking proposal aimed at lowering the legal age for gun ownership and Concealed Carry in the state. This bill, if passed, would permit Kentuckians as young as 18 to legally possess and concealed carry firearms, a notable shift from the current age requirement of 21.

Concealed Carry

Rep. Maddox, a staunch advocate for more relaxed gun laws in Kentucky, has been consistently active in this arena during her six-year tenure in Frankfort. Her rationale for introducing HB 259 is grounded in the belief that if 18-year-olds are considered responsible enough to defend the nation’s interests abroad, they should equally have the right to defend themselves and their families on home soil.

This legislative move by Maddox is not just a standalone effort but is reflective of a broader trend in the United States. She points to similar legal challenges in other states, such as Tennessee, where age restrictions on firearm possession have been contested. In 2021, Tennessee faced a federal lawsuit over its law restricting gun possession to those 21 and older. The state’s attorney general eventually agreed not to enforce this age limit, allowing individuals as young as 18 to legally possess firearms. Maddox views a similar legal challenge as inevitable in Kentucky and argues that proactively adjusting the law could save taxpayer dollars and avoid litigation.


Maddox’s record as a defender of the 2nd Amendment is well-established. In the previous year, she introduced legislation to prevent colleges and universities from banning concealed carry on campus for individuals over 21. Despite unanimous opposition from the Council for Post-secondary Education and public college and university leadership, the bill received committee approval. Furthermore, her collaboration with former Governor Matt Bevin in 2019 led to the passage of a law enabling gun owners to carry concealed weapons without the need for separate permits or training, earning her praise from the National Rifle Association.

Her stance on gun rights was further highlighted in September when she criticized the Kentucky Medical Association for its recommendations to tighten gun laws. The association had suggested the creation of a state Office of Gun Safety and the enactment of red-flag laws. Maddox responded by asserting that such measures were unconstitutional and accused the association of attempting to infringe on gun rights.

As the debate over gun laws continues, Maddox’s HB 259 stands as a pivotal piece of legislation in Kentucky’s ongoing discussion about the balance between gun rights and public safety.