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Key points and common questions regarding the new laws and how they effect you.

By Dean Rieck, Buckeye Firearms Association

Generally referred to as “permitless carry” or “constitutional carry,” Senate Bill 215, which is now in effect, makes several key changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws:

  • Ohio’s concealed handgun license (CHL) will become optional. If you are currently qualified by law to obtain a CHL, you may carry concealed with or without a license. Other than school zones where federal law still requires a CHL, nothing changes regarding who can carry, what you can carry (a handgun), or where you can carry. The same rights and responsibilities apply whether you have a CHL or not.
  • You will no longer be required to “promptly” inform. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, you will need to inform the officer about whether you have a handgun only when or if the officer asks. And you are obligated to only inform the first officer who asks.
  • In Ohio, you will no longer be required to carry the CHL. If you choose to obtain a concealed handgun license, you will no longer be required to carry the physical license on your person while carrying a handgun. However, other states may still require you to have your license with you.

Here are some other points to keep in mind:

  • Permitless carry applies to “qualifying” adults. The media has widely reported that anyone who can own a gun can carry permitless. This is NOT accurate. Just as with licensed carry, you must be at least 21 years of age, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, not a fugitive from justice, etc. Refer to the concealed carry manual available at the Ohio Attorney General’s website for details.
  • Ohio will maintain the licensing system. It’s now optional for concealed carry in Ohio, but having a license may be necessary to carry legally in other states. The license may also be used as a stand-in for a NICS background check at some gun stores.
  • Open carry has always been, and will continue to be, permitless. You’ve always been able to carry with your handgun visible and the new law doesn’t change that in any way.
  • You can carry a concealed handgun in your vehicle without a permit. A rumor has been circulating that the new law prohibits you from carrying concealed in a vehicle. This is NOT accurate. If you’re a qualifying adult, you can have loaded handguns and magazines on your person or stored anywhere in your vehicle just as with licensed carry.

Common Questions:

I applied for an Ohio CHL and was denied. Can I now carry without a license?
No. Nothing changes regarding who can legally carry a concealed handgun. You must still be a “qualifying” adult, meaning you are at least 21 years of age, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, not a fugitive from justice, etc. Refer to the concealed carry manual available at the Ohio Attorney General’s website for more complete information.

Can I carry without a license in other states?
That depends on the laws of other states. Ohio law applies to Ohio only. When traveling to other states, you will need to abide by the laws of each state you’re in. References include the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States, a book we sell at BuckeyeFirearms.org, and HandgunLaw.us, a website that provides information on the carry laws of each state.

Can non-residents carry concealed without a license?
Yes. While the rules for carrying a concealed handgun remain the same with or without a license, there will be no residency requirement when this law goes into effect. Someone who is otherwise a “qualifying” adult may carry with or without a license whether they reside in Ohio or another state.

Reprinted with permission from BuckeyeFirearms.org.  If you own a firearms or simply wish to stay informed of your rights, we strongly recommend that you visit their website and consider joining.   If you join, they send you a pocket copy of the United States Constitution – how cool is that?!

www.BuckeyeFirearms.org

Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that serves as the flagship of our grassroots efforts to defend and advance the right of more than 4 million Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.

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