Legislators have passed Senate Bill 215 legalizing constitutional carry, which will allow individuals to carry a concealed handgun without a license in the state of Ohio effective June 13th, 2022. Please review the following important information regarding changes to the law.
Q: Is Ohio’s concealed handgun license optional after June 13th, 2022?A: Yes. Senate Bill 215 legalizes constitutional carry in Ohio. Residents are still encouraged to obtain a concealed handgun license with their local Sheriff’s Office. The new law allows a person to carry a concealed handgun without a permit, however, the same rights and responsibilities apply to constitutional carry and those who have a valid concealed handgun license.
Q: What is the benefit of obtaining a concealed handgun license in Ohio if I do not need one anymore? A: During a certification course, individuals receive in-depth training on firearm safety, safe storage and handling, how a firearm mechanically functions, a deeper understanding of the law, and a skills test. This information is critical when ensuring the safety of the firearm operator and those around them. A valid license will also permit you to carry in other states that have reciprocity with Ohio and may not recognize constitutional carry.
Q: If a person was previously denied a license in Ohio, are they permitted to carry without a license?A: No. The law did not change regarding who can legally carry a handgun. You must still be a legally qualified adult, be at least 21 years of age and not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law. Additional criteria includes but is not limited to: legally living in the United States, not a fugitive from justice, not under indictment for (or previously plead guilty to) a felony, any drug offense or misdemeanor offense of violence, have not been adjudicated as mental defective, has not been committed to any mental institution, is not under adjudication of mental incompetence, has not been found by a court to be a mentally ill person subject to court order, and is not an involuntary patient, not currently subject to a civil protection order or a temporary protection order, and has not been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.
Q: In Ohio, are citizens required to carry the concealed handgun license on their person?A: No. A license holder was required to have the permit on their person, however, with the new law, people are no longer required to carry the physical permit. Q: Will Ohio continue to issue concealed handgun licenses?
A: Yes. The new law does not affect the licensing process. People who travel outside of Ohio still need to have a valid license to carry a concealed handgun in other states that do not recognize constitutional carry. Individuals are encouraged to obtain a concealed handgun license with their local Sheriff’s Office.
Q: Does this change how people carry concealed handguns in a motor vehicle? A: No. While in a motor vehicle, an individual can possess a concealed handgun. The new legislation refers strictly to concealed handguns only. The current law as it relates to the transportation of rifles/shotguns remains the same. Rifles and shotguns must be transported in a separate container or closed compartment and separated from the ammunition in your trunk or in an area not accessible without leaving your vehicle.
Q: Can a person carry into a prohibited area?A: No. Areas that are currently no-carry zones such as schools; local, state, or federal government facilities; detention facilities; airports, or otherwise posted locations will remain no-carry zones. Property owners are still able to post a “no-firearms” notice. If a notice is NOT posted, an individual can carry a handgun into any business that is issued a Class D liquor permit such as night clubs, carry outs, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. However, if the individual will be consuming alcohol, they are not permitted to carry a concealed handgun.
Q: Can non-residents carry concealed handguns in Ohio without a license?A: Yes. There is no residency requirement for those legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun or practice their constitutional carry right in Ohio. Additionally, Ohio law gives the Attorney General the right to negotiate concealed handgun reciprocity agreements with other states. For more information, please visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Special thanks to Stark County Sheriff George Maier, Stark County Training Commander Lt. Jeremy Novelli, Stark County Director of Community Engagement Michaela Madison, and the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association for their assistance in preparing information related to Senate Bill 215.