Gun laws in Ohio
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
The Ohio constitution acknowledges the right to keep and bear arms. Ohio law provides very few additional restrictions on gun ownership and transactions than the restrictions provided by Federal law. Ohio gun law relates mostly to the carrying and transportation of guns.
|Subject/Law||Long guns||Handguns||Relevant Statutes||Notes|
|State Permit to Purchase?||No||No||None|
|Assault weapon law?||No||No||O.R.C. 2923.11|
|Owner license required?||No||No||None|
|Carry permits issued?||No||Yes||O.R.C 2923.125||Shall Issue – 8 hour training required.
2 hours of range time are required and are included in the overall time requirements.
|Open carry?||Yes||Yes||O.R.C. 2923.16||Traditional open carry state. Restrictions in motor vehicle and licensed liquor establishments.|
|State Preemption of local restrictions?||Yes||Yes||O.R.C. 9.68||Full preemption, affirmed by City of Cleveland v. State of Ohio|
|NFA weapons restricted?||No||No||NFA items are legal if registered in accordance with the NFA.|
|Shall Certify?||Yes||Yes||O.R.C. 311.43||Shall certify within 45 days.|
|Peaceable Journey laws?||No||No||None||Federal rules observed.|
|Duty to Inform?||No||Yes||||Any concealed handgun licensee must inform a law enforcement officer immediately upon contact if they are in possession of a loaded handgun. If the licensee is an occupant of a vehicle and there is a loaded handgun in the car, the licensee must also inform the law enforcement officer.|
In April 2005, Ohio became the 46th state to legalize concealed carry and its statute went into effect. The law (Ohio Revised Code [O.R.C.] 2923.12, et seq.) allows persons 21 and older to receive a concealed handgun license provided that they receive a minimum of 12 hours of handgun training (10 hours of classroom instruction and 2 hours of range time) from a certified instructor, demonstrate competency with a handgun through written and shooting tests, pass a criminal background check, and meet certain residency requirements [non-residents who work in Ohio will be allowed to obtain licenses as of March 23, 2015].
The statute prohibits any person with any drug conviction from receiving a license, as well as any person convicted of a felony and those who have been convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes of violence within three years (ORC 2923.125).
Ohio's concealed handgun law allows for reciprocity with other states with "substantially comparable" statutes, and to date Ohio has reciprocity with 22 other states. Such written agreements allow licensees from each state to carry in the other. Other states, such as Iowa, recognize Ohio licenses in their state without reciprocity, meaning Ohio does not in turn recognize permits issued by that state. Indiana and Ohio now have reciprocity. All told an Ohio license is accepted in 30 other states, although some of these states such as Vermont do not require anybody to have a license to carry. As of March 23, 2015, non-residents will be able to carry on any valid out-of-state license regardless of whether or not a formal reciprocity agreement has been signed.
An Ohio concealed carry license does not allow totally unfettered carry. Any owner of private property can ban handguns by posting a sign in clear view or providing verbal notice. Additional "no-carry" zones are mandated by O.R.C., including most government buildings, churches, and school property with the latter two zones having exceptions for licensees in certain circumstances. Various other "no-carry" zones are also enumerated.
Non-licensees and all users of long guns have much stricter rules for carrying firearms in their vehicles. Ohio statute O.R.C. 2923.16 allows for three ways for those not licensed to carry a concealed handgun to transport firearms in a motor vehicle. The firearm(s) must be unloaded and carried in one of the following ways:
(1) In a closed package, box, or case;
(2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;
(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;
(4) If the firearm is at least twenty-four inches in overall length as measured from the muzzle to the part of the stock furthest from the muzzle and if the barrel is at least eighteen inches in length, either in plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.
Licensees may carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle in most circumstances. Licensees must follow the above rules for any firearm other than a handgun (e.g. shotgun), although they have greater flexibility in terms of where loaded magazines for these firearms may be located.
Ohio is a traditional open-carry state. The open-carry of firearms by those who legally possess the firearm is a legal activity in Ohio with or without a license. One must have a concealed handgun license to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle regardless of whether or not it is concealed. Similarly, one must have a concealed handgun license to possess a firearm in an establishment that is licensed to serve alcohol for on premises consumption, even if the firearm is openly carried.
Per O.R.C. 9.68, all firearm laws in Ohio, except those restricting the discharge of firearms and certain zoning regulations, supersede any local ordinances. This restriction on municipalities was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in the cases of OFCC vs. Clyde (2008) and City of Cleveland vs. State of Ohio (2010).
- "State Gun Laws of Ohio", National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), November 1, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "Ohio State Law Summary", Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV), January 1, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Ohio Attorney General – Concealed Carry information
- "Ohio Legislature HB 234".
- Marshall, Aaron (December 29, 2010). "Ohio Supreme Court Upholds State Law Blocking Cleveland's Gun Law", The Plain Dealer. Retrieved January 25, 2014.