Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry license may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) below.
Similar to license requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry license, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.
Concealed Carry License Basics
Ohio is a shall-issue state. County sheriffs issue concealed weapons licenses. Shall-issue means licensing authorities in Ohio are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law.
Residents 21 years of age and older can obtain a CHL. They must have completed eight hours of firearms training and meet other criteria to qualify. Current and former servicemen and women are able to obtain an Ohio CHL without paying the fee or going through a concealed carry class. Non-residents can obtain a CHL if they work in Ohio. In terms of reciprocity, Ohio will honor permits issued by any state or jurisdiction. A CHL is valid for five years.
Federally Prohibited Persons
The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.
What Are the License Requirements in Ohio?
An applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be an Ohio resident for at least 45 days and a resident of the county in which one is applying (or the adjacent county) for at least 30 days
- Be employed in Ohio if you live in another state
- Be legally living in the United States
- If not a U.S. citizen, must not have been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, as defined in the “Immigration and Nationality Act,” 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)
- Certify that the applicant has not renounced the applicant’s United States citizenship, if applicable
- Have completed an approved firearms training class (training is waived for active duty military as well as retired and honorably discharged veterans with proof of military firearms experience)
- Certify that you 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 under indictment for or otherwise charged with:
- a felony
- An offense under ORC Chapters 2925, 3719 or 4729 that involves the illegal possession, use, sale, administration or distribution of, or trafficking in a drug of abuse
- A misdemeanor offense of violence
- A violation of ORC Sections 2903.14 or 2923.1211
- Not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony or an offense under ORC Chapters 2925, 3719 or 4729 that involves 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 under ORC Chapters 2925, 3719, or 4729 that involves the illegal possession, use, sale, administration or distribution of, or trafficking in a drug of abuse
- Not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to or adjudicated a delinquent child for:
- Committing a violation of ORC Section 2903.13 when the victim of the violation is a peace officer
- Committing any other offense that is not previously described that is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year
- Not have been within three years of the date of the application:
- Convicted of or pleaded guilty to 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
- Convicted of or pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of ORC Section 2923.1211
- 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
- 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
- Not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to or adjudicated a delinquent child for committing two or more violations of ORC Sections 2903.13 or 2903.14 within five years of the date of the application
- Not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to or adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a violation of ORC Section 2921.33 within 10 years of the date of the application
- Not have been adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to any mental institution, under adjudication of mental incompetence, been found by a court to be a mentally ill person subject to court order and is not an involuntary patient other than one who is a patient only for purposes of observation (as used in this division, “mentally ill person subject to court order” and “patient” have the same meanings as in ORC Section 5122.01)
- 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 as defined in 21 U.S.C. 802
- Not have been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions
- Not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to or adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a violation of ORC Section 2919.25 or a similar violation in another state
- Meet the federal law requirements mentioned above
Do I Need Firearms Training in Ohio?
Yes. The total time required for training is eight hours with a minimum of two hours of in-person training that consists of range time and live-fire training. The law requires certified training in the following matters:
- The ability to name, explain and demonstrate the rules for safe handling of a handgun and proper storage practices for handguns and ammunition
- The ability to demonstrate and explain how to handle ammunition in a safe manner
- The ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to shoot a handgun in a safe manner
- Gun-handling training
Additionally, you must have two hours of in-person training, including range time and live-fire experience. The applicant also must complete an examination that tests his or her competency. The competency certification must have occurred within the three years immediately preceding the application. The training and written exam may be completed online or as a combination of in-person and online training. The online portion of the training must include a component that regularly engages the person. There are training exemptions for law enforcement and members of the military.
How Do I Get a Concealed Carry License in Ohio?
Step 1: Complete a firearm training course, if required.
Step 2: Download the application.
Step 3: Make an appointment with your county sheriff’s office or the office of an adjoining county (or the county worked in for out-of-state residents) and take the following documents:
- Completed but unsigned application form (you will sign it there in the presence of the Sheriff’s Office Notary)
- Copies of firearms training certificate signed and dated by your instructor (within the three years immediately preceding the application)
- Non-resident employees must supply proof of employment
- Passport-style color photo taken within the last 30 days
Certify that you have read the Ohio Concealed Carry Laws and License Application manual.
Your fingerprints will be taken.
Pay the fee.
Step 4: You will be notified within 45 days if your application has been approved.
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.
For more information, visit the USCCA Ohio gun laws page now…
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.