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Ohio Gun Laws: What You Should Know

As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on your state’s gun laws…

Ohio residents, you’re in luck. We’ve accumulated some of your most frequently asked questions about gun laws in Ohio and are now bringing you the answers! (Not from Ohio? Don’t worry, your state is coming soon…)

Can You Have a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Ohio?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit. Without a permit, a handgun must 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.

Can I Shoot an Intruder in Ohio?

Ohio law provides that a person is justified in using force if he or she “reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety.” Ohio adheres to the Castle Doctrine, meaning that you don’t have a duty to retreat before using force in your residence or vehicle.

House Bill 228 — Ohio’s Castle Law — went into effect on March 28, 2019, presuming that the homeowner/vehicle owner acted in defense of another or themselves when applying deadly force to an intruder. Therefore, if the homeowner is charged, the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person did not use the force in self-defense, defense of another or defense of that person’s residence.

Do You Have to Register Your Gun in Ohio?

No. There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual in Ohio. Anyone 18 years or older can open carry. Concealed carry is legal for residents 21 years and older who have obtained an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL).

Is Hollow-Point Ammunition Illegal in Ohio?

No. Hollow-point ammunition is legal in Ohio. A hollow-point round has a hole in the tip of the bullet, giving it a hollow center. When these make contact with the target, the bullet expands like an umbrella to create a larger cavity in the soft-tissue. Most law enforcement agencies use hollow-point ammunition and it is often recommended for concealed carry and home-defense guns.

Is Ohio a Stand Your Ground State?

No. Your residence or vehicle are the only places where you have no duty to retreat before using force. You have a duty to retreat in all other locations. Ohio law allows people to use deadly force against another person if they have a reasonable belief, even if mistaken, that the person poses an imminent “danger of death or great bodily harm.”

What Is the Legal Magazine Capacity in Ohio?

Ohio has no laws restricting large capacity magazines. However, Ohio includes within the definition of “automatic firearm” any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than 31 cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22-caliber short, long or long-rifle cartridges.

Can You Carry a Gun in a Church in Ohio?

Per Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126(B), even individuals with concealed carry permits may not carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of any church, synagogue, mosque or another place of worship, unless the place of worship posts or permits otherwise. Therefore, if not posted on the property or in a bulletin, a permittee would need to inquire with the leadership of the place of worship for permission to carry.

Ready to Learn More About Ohio Gun Laws?

It’s your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map is the ultimate tool for armed citizens like you to stay informed. To learn more about Ohio’s permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit Ohio’s 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.


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