UPDATE: As of June 13, 2022, SB215 has taken effect in Ohio
We have already written numerous articles pertaining to gun laws in Ohio, but there is often more to say on the subject, as we have recently been seeing changes in Ohio to the law with regard to firearms. Ohio’s government has decided they are going to remove the requirement to obtain a license before carrying a concealed handgun for qualifying adults 21 years of age or older. Of course you still have to, among other things, be allowed to own a weapon before you are allowed to carry a concealed weapon whether a license is required or not, and the weapon still has to meet the requirements for you to be allowed to concealed carry. Even under the new law, you can still get in serious trouble if you carry a concealed weapon after your right to own a firearm or carry a concealed firearm has been revoked.
The Law That Changed
Even while this article was being written, Ohio’s government continued the process of changing certain concealed carry laws. Under the previous law, Ohioans could carry a concealed weapon only if they had the proper license and they carried the license on their person while carrying a concealed weapon. However, Ohio’s Governor has signed a bill in March that will changed things.
The bill in question (SB215) allows non-permit carry for Ohioans 21 years of age and older, as long as they are qualifying adults. To understand what would make someone in Ohio a qualifying adult, you can read another article we wrote linked here.
What is Permitless Carry
While non-permit concealed carry is a new idea to Ohio, we would by no means be the first state to allow such a thing. Qualifying residents of states such as Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming can all carry certain types of concealed weapons without a permit. With the exception of North Dakota, those states even allow non-residents to conceal carry without a permit as long as the carrier and the weapon meet specifications in the laws. A state that allows permitless carry is often referred to as a permitless carry state. As of this month (June of 2022), Ohio is a permitless carry state. .
What is Constitutional Carry
Constitutional Carry is an unofficial term that is used for laws that remove restrictions from citizens’ rights to carry firearms. The term implies that the lack of restrictions is due to the fact that citizens have a right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. While constitutional carry is often used interchangeably with permitless carry, it is sometimes used in a broader sense to mean any type of carry that’s allowed based on the Second Amendment. For example, Ohio used to require a permit for concealed carry, while allowing open carry of some weapons for anyone who is of age, not in a restricted area, and has no restrictions placed on them based on criminal record (or other unique circumstances.) New York, on the other hand, is an example of a state where open carry is not usually allowed in public. Some may consider tolerance of open carry a type of constitutional carry, even if a permit is required for concealed carry. Ohio is now a Constitutional Carry state by both definitions because it allows open carry and concealed carry without a permit.
What Will Change in Ohio
Now that the new bill has gone into effect, the permit for concealed carry is no longer required for qualifying adults in Ohio. This means that the training and background check that go along with obtaining the concealed carry permit is also not be required. The definition of a qualifying adult is similar to previous laws, but it does not include the concealed carry permit or the process needed to obtain the permit. There are also slight changes to the way gun owners have to conduct themselves during a traffic stop in Ohio. You can read our articles about what to do and what not to do at a traffic stop while transporting a firearm. It is also good to keep in mind the fact that even though the requirement for a permit is removed, you still have to be a qualifying adult and have a weapon that meets the requirements in order to be allowed to concealed carry.
Owning a gun is something that each state takes very seriously and that citizens of all the states, including Ohio should take seriously as well. No matter how the laws change, Ohioans should keep themselves informed about the law in their state. Staying informed on this issue will hep you know how to protect yourself, what types of things you may potentially have to protect yourself from, and also help you stay on the right side of the law. However, if you do find yourself needing legal help when it comes to firearms or any other area of Ohio law, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Dearie, Fischer & Matthews.
We cover all kinds of legal issues on our website. You can read our most recent article here.