Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in Ohio below.

Getting a Concealed Carry Permit

Open carry is legal in Ohio without a permit except in vehicles or businesses that sell alcohol. Concealed carry is legal in Ohio with an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) or a license to concealed carry from any state. The minimum age for an Ohio CHL is 21 years old, and applicants must be Ohio residents or work in the state. Eight hours of firearms training is generally required, although current and former members of the military may be exempt from the training class as well as license fees. In addition, active-duty military with a valid military identification card and documentation of successful firearms training that meets or exceeds that required in Ohio do not need to obtain an Ohio license. Stun guns, Tasers and pepper spray are legal to purchase and possess without a license.

Permits are not required when buying a handgun, and there is no firearms registration in Ohio. No background check is required when buying a handgun from a private individual. (The purchaser must be at least 21 years old.) The minimum age to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer is 21 (or 18 years of age for active-duty members of the military). There is also no mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases or magazine-capacity restrictions.

Where Can One Carry Concealed?

In terms of locations where a concealed handgun may be carried, anyone with a valid concealed carry license can concealed carry in a vehicle. Without a license, a handgun is required to be unloaded and carried in a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle or in plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose. There is a duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you’re carrying a concealed firearm. (When SB 215 goes into effect beginning on June 12, 2022, you will no longer be required to inform a law enforcement officer that you’re carrying unless he or she asks.) Ohio law requires the licensee to remain in the vehicle and with hands in plain sight at all times. He or she must have no contact with the firearm while interacting with law enforcement. Any valid concealed carry license holder can concealed carry at roadside rest areas. Other areas where permit holders can carry concealed are:

  • Restaurants that serve alcohol (unless posted and provided no alcohol is consumed)
  • State/national parks
  • State/national forests
  • Wildlife Management Areas

 Locations where concealed carry is prohibited, even for permit holders, include:

  • School safety zones and school buses
  • Child day care centers and family day care homes
  • Any premises owned or leased by any public or private college, university, or other institution of higher education (Ohio State University now allows the storage of firearms in locked vehicles on campus.)
  • Law enforcement offices and stations
  • Courthouses and courtrooms
  • State capitol buildings
  • State correctional institution and detention facilities
  • Secure areas of an airport passenger terminal
  • State institutions for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons or persons with intellectual disabilities
  • Any premises that sells liquor or open-air arenas for which a Class D liquor permit has been issued, if you are consuming beer or intoxicating liquor, are under the influence or if posted
  • Any place of worship (unless the place of worship posts or permits otherwise)
  • Any property (including vehicles) owned by private employers that prohibit firearms
  • Any state government buildings, unless the governing body permits otherwise
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal or state law or regulation

NOTE: On March 14, 2022, Gov. Mike DeWine signed SB 215, or the constitutional carry bill, into law. Gun owners 21 years old or older legally permitted to own a gun no longer need to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. It will go into effect on June 12, 2022.

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The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.