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Criminal Defense, Weapons Crimes

Ohio’s New Concealed Carry Law to Take Effect on June 13, 2022

On June 13, 2022, those who are 21 years of age or older in Ohio are able to legally carry a concealed weapon (“CCW”) without proof of completed training or receiving a background check. This controversial law makes Ohio the 23rd state to allow constitutional carry, also known as permitless carry.

What Are Previous Concealed Carry Laws In Ohio?

Ohio is an “open carry” state, meaning that qualifying adults may carry guns openly without a license. However, to carry a concealed (i.e. hidden) handgun, the prior law required one to have a license, serve as active duty in the military, or as a law enforcement officer.

Ohio previously required completion of eight hours of training and a background check to carry a concealed firearm. The background check also incorporated a federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check, which is maintained and administered by the FBI.

CCW holders in Ohio were also previously required to disclose to law enforcement, upon approach of their vehicle, if they were carrying a concealed and/or loaded firearm. Additionally, CCW licenses expire 5 years after the issue date.

What Is The New and Current CCW Law In Ohio?

The new law states, “[a] person who is a qualifying adult shall not be required to obtain a concealed handgun license in order to carry in this state . . . a concealed handgun that is not a restricted firearm.” Thus, the new law allows anyone over 21 years of age to buy and conceal-carry a handgun without a license, background check, or training, unless they are under a weapons disability.

The new law also eliminates the requirement that gun holders must voluntarily disclose to law enforcement if they are carrying upon being approached for a law enforcement purpose. Ohioans may still obtain a CCW license, particularly if they would like to carry concealed firearms in other states where licenses are required. Ohio has reciprocity agreements with 38 states that permit the carrying of concealed weapons.

Will The New Law Change Ohio’s Parking Lot Rule?

In 2017, Ohio approved a gun law that allows individuals with a valid CCW license to possess firearms in their personal vehicles on their employer’s property as long as the following conditions are met:

– When the CCW holder is absent from the vehicle, the firearm and ammunition must be locked in an enclosed compartment of the vehicle;

– When the CCW holder is present in the vehicle, the firearm and ammunition must remain in the vehicle; and,

– The CCW holder’s vehicle must be parked in a permitted location.

The new CCW law does not directly address Ohio’s “parking lot rule.” However, because of the explicit provisions stating that, “a person who is a qualifying adult may carry a concealed handgun that is not a restricted firearm anywhere in this state in which a person who has been issued a concealed handgun license may carry a concealed handgun,” personal vehicles are likely safe spaces for any qualifying Ohioan looking to exercise their new rights.

What Restrictions Are Still In Place Under The New Law?

“Qualifying Adult” Limitations: 

As stated, the new law only applies to those deemed to be “qualifying adults” who are 21 years of age or older. Instances that will bar one from being a “qualifying adult” are:

– Conviction of a felony;

– Fugitive from justice;

– Unlawful user or addicted to any controlled substance;

– Legally adjudicated as mentally defective or previously committed to a mental institution;

– Unlawful/illegal alien;

– Dishonorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces;

– Previous renunciation of United States Citizenship;

– Subject to a protection order or a temporary protection order; or,

– Previous conviction or current indictment of domestic violence or drug trafficking crimes.

Identical to the old law, any person who is subject to one of the situations above and carries or merely possesses a weapon may face criminal charges of having weapons while under disability, a felony of the third degree. See ORC 2923.13.

Restricted Firearms: 

The following weapons are still illegal in Ohio:

– Automatic firearms;

– Sawed-off firearms;

– Zip guns;

– Firearms specifically designed and manufactured for military purposes; and,

– Firearms that have the name of the manufacturer, model, serial number, or other mark of identification removed.

Forbidden Carry Zones:

Certain areas exist where one is not permitted to carry a handgun at all, regardless of their license status. Under Ohio law, one still may not carry a handgun into the following locations:

– Police stations, Sheriff’s offices, and Highway Patrol posts;

– Premises controlled by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation;

– Correctional institutions and other detention facilities;

– Airport terminals or airplanes beyond the screening checkpoint;

– Facilities for the care of the mentally ill;

– Courthouses or any building in which a court is located;

– Universities, unless specifically permitted;

– Places of worship, unless the place of worship permits otherwise;

– Government facilities that are not used primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility, or rest facility unless local statute, ordinance, or policy permits otherwise;

– School safety zones (school, school building, school premises, school bus, school activities); and,

– Bars and restaurants unless the holder has not already consumed alcohol and does not consume alcohol.

* * *

Brad Wolfe is a criminal defense attorney in Cleveland, Ohio, who handles firearm matters. If you, or a loved one, have been charged with a crime, are under investigation, or simply have questions on Ohio’s new CCW law, Attorney Wolfe may be reached at (216) 815-6000.
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