Ohio is an “open carry” state that permits adult residents to carry guns openly without a license.
However, residents who want to perform concealed carry are required to have a valid Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and non-residents must have a valid state license/permit that Ohio honors.
Applicants for the valid concealed handgun license must be at least 21 years old and have completed 8 hours of firearms training.
Changes in Ohio Gun Laws
On March 14, 2022, Governor Mike DeWine signed the SB 215, or the constitutional carry bill into Ohio law that states that gun owners 21 years old and above that are legally permitted to possess a gun can carry a concealed weapon without a valid concealed handgun license. This bill will go into effect on June 12, 2022.
Ohio is a Castle Doctrine state with a “stand your ground” statute where residents do not have a duty to retreat to a place they have a lawful right to be. Force is justifiable when used in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence.
The use of deadly force is only justified if the person reasonably believes that they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that deadly force is necessary to escape the danger.
Immunity from Civil Liability
Ohio’s self defense laws presume that a person has acted in self defense or defense of another when applying deadly force in a place where they have a lawful right to be.
The prosecution will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person did not use the force in self defense or defense of another.
Basics of Ohio Gun Laws
Does Ohio allow constitutional carry?
No, Ohio does not allow constitutional carry but SB215 will go into effect beginning on June 12, 2022.
Am I allowed to open carry a handgun according to Ohio law?
Yes, Ohio permits open carry of handguns by any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to possess a loaded firearm.
Does Ohio have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?
No, Ohio does not have a restriction on handgun magazine capacity.
Does Ohio have restrictions on ammunition?
No, Ohio does not have restrictions on handgun ammunition.
Key State Laws
Does Ohio impose a duty to inform a police officer about a concealed handgun?
Yes, you have a duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you’re carrying a concealed firearm in Ohio. Those practicing conceal carry must also always have their Ohio license or valid concealed carry permit available with them at all times.
However, once the SB 215 comes into effect on June 12, 2022, gun owners will no longer be required to inform law enforcement that they’re carrying firearms unless asked.
Are Ohio carry licenses linked to Ohio driver’s licenses?
Yes, the carry license is linked to your driver’s license. Therefore, a law enforcement officer will be notified immediately that you are a concealed handgun license holder when they run your driver’s license.
Does Ohio have a red flag law?
No, Ohio does not have a red flag law.
Carrying Concealed Guns and Other Deadly Weapons in Ohio
It is a crime to carry a concealed handgun on you unless you have a valid license, are on active duty in the military or are a law enforcement officer. Ohio also prohibits the carry of any other type of concealed firearm or deadly weapon on you with or without a license.
Illegal carry of concealed weapons can land you with a first-degree misdemeanor offense and it’s a fourth-degree felony if the concealed weapon was loaded.
However, those charged with carrying a concealed weapon – other than a handgun or certain dangerous weapons or explosives – have the opportunity to raise the defense that they were doing so for self-defense or defense of others. ‘
Ohio state also has a separate rule for carrying guns in vehicles, where a person with a loaded gun (or unloaded gun that’s not kept in a case or is in plain sight in a gun rack) that’s accessible to anyone in the car will have committed fourth-degree felony unless they have a valid concealed carry license, or if its hunting season and you have the proper permits.
There are still areas that are off-limits to firearms even with a valid license or Ohio permit, including:
- Places where all firearms are prohibited under Ohio gun laws.
- Public or private college and universities (unless kept in a locked vehicle)
- Places of worship.
- Government buildings.
- Private property with a posted sign prohibiting guns or concealed firearms.
Ohio prohibits the carrying of any guns or other deadly weapons in courthouses and school safety zones. However, a handgun is allowed in your locked motor vehicle while on school property for those with a concealed carry license.
The Ohio law also states that gun owners are not allowed to bring a gun to an establishment with a liquor permit, unless they have a permit/license and are not under the influence of alcohol.
Illegal Gun Possession by Felons
According to Ohio gun laws, a third-degree felony will be charged for gun possession by a person:
- Who has been convicted of, or under indictment, for a violent felony or drug crime.
- Who have fled to avoid arrest or punishment.
- Who is a chronic alcoholic or dependent on drugs/controlled substances.
- Found by Ohio supreme court or any court to be mentally ill or incompetent.
Federal Charges for Illegal Possession of Dangerous Weapons
Federal weapons prohibitions do not allow anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or anyone subjected to a domestic violence restraining order to possess dangerous weapons or firearms.
Illegal Gun Use
According to Ohio gun law, those using or in possession of a loaded firearm or explosive while under the influence of alcohol or an illegal/dangerous drug will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. It’s also a crime to fire a gun in the following places in Ohio:
- At or into someone’s home.
- At or into school safety zone – or even near school property.
- On a public road.
- On grounds next to schools, churches, and other buildings with people in them.
- In or from a vehicle.
Additionally, you may also face increased penalties for crimes like assault or robbery if you used or brandishes a gun or other deadly weapon while committing the crime. ‘
Ohio does not allow the possession of the following weapons (“dangerous ordinances”):
- automatic and sawed-off firearms
- ballistic knives
- bombs, rocket launchers, grenades, mines, or other military weapons and ammunition
- silencers, unless attached to guns authorized for hunting
Gun Laws for Youths
Ohio aims to keep guns away from children by focusing serious penalties on anyone who provides guns to youth (21 years old for handguns and 18 years old for all guns) with a fifth degree felony unless the gun was provided for legal hunting, sporting, marksmanship, or other educational purposes.
Concealed Carry License Information
Applicants for the concealed carry license must:
- Be 21 years old or above.
- Have resided in Ohio for at least 45 days and an Ohio resident of the county in which you are applying, or the adjacent county, for at least 30 days.
- Be employed in Ohio (for non-residents).
- Be a legal U.S. citizen.
- For non-U.S. citizens, to have been admitted to the country under a nonimmigrant visa.
- Not have renounced the applicant’s United States citizenship.
- Have completed an approved firearms training (except for those on active duty military or have been honorably discharged with proof of military firearms experience).
- Certify to have read the firearms safety pamphlet prepared by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.
- Not be a fugitive from justice.
- Not have had a suspended concealed carry license from Ohio or another state.
- Not be charged with or under indictment for a felony, an offense involving illegal possession, use, sale, administration, or distribution of or trafficking in a drug of abuse or violence.
- Not have been convicted of a felony or an offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, or distribution of or trafficking in a drug of abuse.
- Not have been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing an act that if committed by an adult would be a felony or would be an offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, or distribution of or trafficking in a drug of abuse.
- Not have been convicted as a delinquent child for committing a violation of ORC Section 2903.13 when the victim of the violation is a peace officer or any other misdemeanor offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.
- Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of violence other than a misdemeanor violation of ORC Section 2921.33 or a violation of ORC Section 2903.13 when the victim of the violation is a peace officer 3 years prior to application.
- Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor violation of ORC Section 2923.1211 3 years prior to application.
- Adjudicated a delinquent child for committing an act that if committed by an adult would be a misdemeanor offense of violence other than a misdemeanor violation of ORC Section 2921.33 3 years prior to application.
- Not have been convicted of a violation of ORC Section 2903.13 when the victim of the violation is a peace officer or for committing an act that if committed by an adult would be a misdemeanor violation of ORC Section 2923.1211 3 years prior to application.
- Not have been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing two or more violations of ORC Sections 2903.13 or 2903.14 within 5 years of the application.
- Not have been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a violation of ORC Section 2921.33 within 10 years of the application.
- Not have been adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to any mental institution, under adjudication of mental incompetence, mentally ill, and is not an involuntary patient.
- Not currently subject to a civil protection order, a temporary protection order, or a protection order issued by a court of another state.
- Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.
- Not have been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States.
- Not have been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a violation of ORC Section 2919.25 or a similar violation in another state.
- Meet federal law requirements.
Fees: >5 years Ohio residents: $67 (New), $50 (Renewals) ; <5 years Ohio residents and non-residents $77 (New), $60 (Renewals)
Validity: 5 years
Processing Time: 45 days
Ohio Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States
- Alabama (at least 21 years old)
- Arizona (at least 21 years old)
- Arkansas (at least 21 years old)
- Delaware (at least 21 years old)
- District of Columbia
- Florida (handguns only)
- Georgia (at least 21 years old)
- Idaho (at least 21 years old)
- Indiana (at least 21 years old)
- Iowa (at least 21 years old)
- Maine (at least 21 years old)
- Maryland (at least 21 years old)
- Mississippi (at least 21 years old)
- Missouri (at least 21 years old)
- Montana (at least 21 years old)
- Nevada (at least 21 years old)
- New Hampshire (at least 21 years old)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (at least 21 years old)
- New York City (at least 21 years old)
- North Carolina
- North Dakota (at least 21 years old)
- Oklahoma (at least 21 years old)
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
- Tennessee (at least 21 years old)
- Texas (at least 21 years old)
- Utah (at least 21 years old)
- West Virginia (at least 21 years old)
- Wyoming (at least 21 years old)
Other States’ Reciprocity With Ohio
- Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Montana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
- Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)
Hello there, it’s Michael here. A gun lover since young, served the country for the last 20 years. I started the blog to share my experience and gun-related knowledge accumulated throughout the years. Hopefully, you will find something useful over here or just have fun! You can learn more about me here.