Starting on June 13, 2022 it will be legal in Ohio to carry a concealed handgun without a license. Senate Bill 215 was recently signed into law, making “permitless” carry or “constitutional” carry legal for all Ohioans 21 and over who are legally allowed to possess a handgun. Buckeye State residents should understand what’s covered in Ohio’s new permitless carry law and how it affects their Second Amendment rights.
Ohio is now the 23rd state to allow constitutional carry. The new Ohio permitless carry law makes a number of changes to the firearm rights of Ohioans, including the following:
- CHLs will be optional: Ohioans currently must obtain a concealed handgun license (CHL), which requires undergoing firearm safety training, taking an exam, and applying for a license with the local sheriff’s office. Ohio will still offer CHL licensing to anyone who wants it, but it won’t be mandatory, and those who obtain a CHL won’t be legally required to carry their license.
- Law applies to “qualifying” adults: The rules for concealed carry in Ohio without a license are the same as concealed carry with a license. That is, you must be at least 21, not be charged with or convicted of a felony (or prohibited from possessing a firearm for any other reason under state or federal law), and meet other qualifications set forth by the Ohio Attorney General. However, if you have a sealed criminal record, the information in that record cannot disqualify you.
- No requirement to “promptly” inform: Once the new law goes into force, any Ohioan who is stopped by law enforcement and carrying a concealed handgun will not have to “promptly” inform the officer about the gun, as is presently the case. They will only need to inform an officer who asks whether they’re carrying a handgun, and only the first officer who asks (not every subsequent officer you encounter, which is currently required).
- Law applies in Ohio only: Ohio’s concealed carry law applies only in Ohio. Residents must obey the firearm laws of other states when crossing state lines, which could mean a CHL is necessary.
- No residency requirement: The law does not have a residency requirement, so anyone who is in Ohio (resident or not) can conceal carry without a license.
- Law applies only to handguns: Ohio’s new permitless carry law applies to handguns only. It does not apply to long guns (i.e. rifles and shotguns).
- No changes to legal conceal carry locations: Federal law still requires a CHL to keep a concealed gun in your car in a school zone. Otherwise, the law does not make changes to carry zones and no-carry zones. Property owners retain the right to ban firearms on their premises.