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Qualifying Adult Under Ohio’s Constitutional Carry Law

Ohio’s Constitutional Carry law which will go into effect in June of 2022 has been the topic of much conversation in the past few weeks, including an article we wrote on the subject.  In said article, we mention several times that, under the new law, Ohioans will still have to be considered “qualifying adults” in order to carry a concealed weapon.  But what makes someone a qualifying adult? Is it simply someone with the right to own a gun? NOT NECESSARILY.  Certain things can disqualify an adult in Ohio from having the right to own a gun, and certain things can disqualify adults in Ohio from having the right to conceal carry.  It is possible to have the right to own a gun and still not have the right to carry a concealed weapon, both under the current Ohio law (which requires a concealed carry permit) and the law yet to take effect (which does not require a permit).

 

Who is a Qualifying Adult in Ohio?

 

As the term applies to the Constitutional Carry laws which will soon go into effect in Ohio, a qualifying adult is someone who meets the definition in SB215.  We will start with the definition from the bill itself and then clarify some of what it says.  Here is the definition from SB215:

“Qualifying adult” means a person who is all of the following:
(a) Twenty-one years of age or older;
(b) Not legally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) to (9) or under section 2923.13 of the Revised Code or any other Revised Code provision;
(c) Satisfies all of the criteria listed in divisions (D)(1)(a) to (j), (m), (p), (q), and (s) of section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.

Clearly, some of this needs clarification, because there are references to other statutes, but you will notice there are 3 main qualifications for being a qualifying adult.  We will clarify each one individually.

The first qualification is very straightforward, and it is the same as current requirements to obtain a CCW license.  You will still have to be 21 years of age to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio after the requirement to have a CCW license is removed in June 2022.

The second requirement is a little more complex.  The Revised Code is saying that, in order to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio, you must not be prohibited under certain state and federal statutes from possessing a firearm.  Note that in order to make the language readable, we are describing what is in the law here, rather than reciting it word for word.  There may be some specific circumstances that prohibit individuals to own a weapon that are not covered in this list.  With that being said, looking at both the state and the federal laws, these things may prohibit you from possessing a firearm:

  • Having a conviction that carries a prison term of more than a year
  • Being a fugitive from justice
  • Using, being addicted to, or in danger of addiction to illegal drugs
  • Chronic alcohol addiction
  • Certain mental illness
  • Unlawfully being in the United States or being in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa
  • Dishonorable military discharge
  • Renounced United States citizenship
  • A protection order against you
  • Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction
  • Indictment or conviction of any felony of illegal drug use, possession or trafficking (or equivalent juvenile adjudication)

 

The third qualification is also a reference to another law.  It is referencing another section of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), section 2923.13.  According to that section 2923.13 of the ORC, in order to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio you must:

  • Legally live in the United States
  • At least be 21 years of age (redundant with the first qualification)

Furthermore, this law says the following things on your record may prohibit you from being allowed to concealed carry. While this may not be a completely exhaustive list, these prohibitions include:

  • Fugitive from justice
  • Under Indictment or charged with any of the following:
    • Any felony
    • Illegal drug charges
    • Violent misdemeanor
    • Assault or Negligent Assault
    • Falsifying a Concealed Handgun License (CHL)
    • Possessing a Revoked or Suspended CHL
  • A conviction of any of the following
    • Any felony
    • Illegal drug use
    • Assault on a peace officer
    • Any misdemeanor carrying a prison term of more than one year
    • Any Domestic Violence
  • Within 3 years, a conviction of any of the following
    • A violent misdemeanor that is not covered anywhere else in this law
    • Falsification of a CHL
    • Possessing a Revoked or Suspended CHL
  • Within 5 years, 2 or more convictions of Assault or Negligent Assault
  • Within 10 years, a conviction of Resisting Arrest
  • Certain mental illness
  • A protection order against you
  • Subject to a CHL suspension
  • If you are in the United States with a nonimmigrant visa
  • A dishonorable discharge from the military

As you can see, even after Ohio’s Constitutional Carry bill takes effect in June, the requirements for concealed carry are not exactly the same as the requirements for owning a firearm.  First of all, we should mention that owning a firearm is not the same as owning a handgun, and they have different age requirements.  While you can buy some firearms at 18 years old, you can only buy handguns at 21 years old and older.  Obviously you cannot carry a concealed handgun if you cannot legally own a handgun.  But there are other differences as well.  We know that every situation is different and there may be other laws that come into play when determining an individuals right to own a gun. But as far as SB215 and the statutes it references, it is and will be possible to fall into the narrow category of someone who lives in Ohio and can own a gun but cannot conceal carry.

Conclusion

With the law changing in Ohio, many citizens may be wondering who qualifies for the right to carry a concealed handgun now that Concealed Handgun Licenses will not always be used to determine who can and cannot concealed carry.  While the information in this breaks down the law to some extent, it is still complex.  If you have questions about a situation you are in pertaining to Ohio firearm laws, or any laws in Ohio, feel free to contact the attorneys at Dearie, Fischer & Matthews.

 

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