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Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW)

You must abide by the law if you carry a concealed weapon in Ohio. Failing to do so can result in criminal charges that can impact your entire life. If you find yourself facing charges, you should refrain from answering questions from the police until you are in contact with a skilled concealed weapons attorney. The police will work to find a conviction. You deserve representation from The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC. Call us today at (216) 533-9533 or use our online contact form.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon Laws in Ohio

Ohio is a “shall issue” state when it comes to gun laws which means it does allow residents age 21 and older to obtain a concealed firearms permit for handguns known as a Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). If you possess a firearm permit from another state and you are a resident of Ohio or working in Ohio temporarily, you may be able to carry a concealed firearm, depending on your state’s reciprocity agreement with Ohio state gun laws.

According to ORC 2923, open carry is legal in Ohio without an additional permit, except in a vehicle or in a place of business that sells alcohol. You still need a concealed firearms permit in order to carry your weapon openly. Because Ohio’s concealed carry laws do not regulate open carry of firearms if you openly carry, always use caution.

In Ohio, you may also buy a handgun from a private individual without a permit, background check, or firearms registration required if you are over the age of 21.

Concealed Weapon Reciprocity Agreements with Ohio

The following states have reciprocity agreements with Ohio, meaning the state will honor the permits from those other states if you are temporarily working in Ohio, with some restrictions:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • New York City
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The following states have restricted reciprocity agreements for concealed carry in Ohio:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Ohio law states that a gun is a deadly force and cautions even permitted users to take extreme responsibility for their actions when operating a handgun. You can face up to felony charges if you own or use a deadly weapon which is not a handgun or operate a handgun in a dangerous and threatening manner. For more information on reciprocity, handgun permits, and carrying a concealed weapon in Ohio, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC today at (216) 533-9533.

Obtaining an Ohio Concealed Handgun License

In order to obtain an Ohio CHL as a permanent resident, you must be at least 21 years old, be an Ohio resident for at least 45 days as well as a resident of the county or the adjacent county to where you apply for the permit, complete eight hours of firearms training and meet the additional following criteria:

  • Be legally living in the US
  • Meet federal gun permit requirements
  • Not have had a suspended concealed carry license from another state
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Not have been charged with falsification of a handgun license
  • Not be under indictment for, be charged with or convicted of a felony or trafficking in drugs, drug-related crime
  • Not to be under indictment for, be charged with or convicted of a felony or a variety of other crimes including trafficking in drugs, drug-related crime, domestic violence toward a minor, or assaulting a peace officer
  • Within three years prior to the application be convicted or pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offense of violence
  • Not have any restraining orders or temporary restraints by a court of law
  • Within five years prior to the application having not been convicted or pleaded guilty to two or more assaults or negligent assaults
  • Not sustain certain disabilities as laid out in the Ohio Revised Code 2923.13.
  • Pay $91 for an initial permit (military and veterans exempt), good for five years.

Ohio gun law exemptions are made for military personnel who are posted in Ohio, who carry valid US military identification, and who have documented successful firearms training that meets or exceeds Ohio gun permit protocols. New provisions to the law as of 2018 also allow men and women formerly or currently serving in the US military to obtain a CHL in Ohio without attending the training class or paying the fee.

Gun permit applications in Ohio include an extensive background check as outlined in the Ohio Rev. Code 109.79. If the sheriff denies your license, they are mandated to explain their reasoning in writing. If the grounds were based on your criminal background check, you may be able to appeal the decision through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

Where Is It Illegal To Carry a Concealed Weapon?

According to Ohio law as laid out in the Ohio Attorney General’s Concealed Carry Laws and Application, there are a number of places you are forbidden from carrying a concealed firearm in Ohio, including:

  • Police or law enforcement stations
  • Sheriffs’ offices
  • Highway Patrol posts
  • Correctional institutions or other detention facilities
  • Airport terminals or airplanes beyond screening checkpoint
  • Care facilities
  • Courthouses or buildings in which a courtroom is located
  • Universities, unless specifically permitted
  • Specific government entities
  • School safety zones including a school, school building, school premises, school activity, and school bus, up to its boundary.
  • Places of worship, unless the place of worship permits otherwise
  • Licensed liquor permit premises, if you are consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or are under the influence. If you are not consuming alcohol, and not under the influence, you may carry unless there is a conspicuous sign prohibiting carry.

Penalties for Violating Concealed Carry Laws in Ohio

The Attorney General’s guidelines for concealed permit applications states, “The law specifically discourages citizens from taking matters into their own hands and acting as law enforcement. This is true even if you think you are performing a good deed by protecting someone or helping law enforcement. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a person risks criminal charges if he interferes in a struggle and protects the person who was at fault, even if he mistakenly believed that person did not create the situation.”

Depending on the context of your situation, unlawfully carrying or using a firearm in Ohio may result in misdemeanor or felony charges. A first-degree misdemeanor for carrying a handgun without a permit, with an expired permit, or other authorization, means you could face up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

However, if you were illegally carrying a handgun that was loaded, you could face a fourth-degree felony. A fourth-degree felony conviction could entail six to 12 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. There may be additional fines or penalties attached as well, on a case-by-case basis.

According to ORC 2923.16, an unloaded firearm may be transported in a vehicle only if it is contained in a closed package, box, bag, or case or in a compartment that can only be reached by leaving the vehicle; or if it is in plain sight and secured, with ammunition store separately. If law enforcement stops you and you are carrying a concealed handgun with proper CCW permit, you’re required by Ohio law to inform the law enforcement officer of your possession right away. You are then required to keep your hands free and in plain sight, staying seated in a vehicle if this is where the encounter occurs. Violating this is an automatic first-degree misdemeanor, and you could face concealed handgun suspension for violating this law. If you’re not carrying a firearm but you are a permit-holder, you are not required to inform a law enforcement officer. If you make any effort to retrieve the handgun, you face being charged with a felony.

Contact Us With Questions about Carrying a Concealed Weapon

The ability to have firearms in Ohio carries many state and federal restrictions and responsibilities. If you have questions concerning your rights as a gun-owning citizen of Ohio, or if you are facing charges for violating any Ohio concealed carry laws, contact experienced attorney Daniel M. Margolis at The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 for a free consultation.

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