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Concealed carry laws in Ohio – are they up for interpretation?

criminal defense lawyer columbus

Quick facts and statistics on the state’s CCW laws from a criminal defense lawyer.

There’s always risk involved in going for a concealed carry (CCW) license in Ohio. Your job is to know the laws inside and out to avoid turning to a defense attorney.

In a recent case in The Plains, Ohio, a man with a criminal record was turned down from renewing his concealed-carry permit. Shane Sloan was told he was disqualified for a license renewal because of a 10-year-old domestic violence charge, which was resolved when Sloan pleaded to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct.

Although domestic violence is a disqualifying offense for a concealed-carry permit, Sloan argued that he was not currently charged with that offense when applying for the renewal.

criminal defense lawyer columbusSheriff Pat Kelly argued that his office had recently begun applying an interpretation of the concealed carry weapons law that translates “charged” with an offense to “having ever been charged,” rather than “currently charged.” However, the Ohio Attorney General’s office suggested that this interpretation of the law is out of line with how the attorney general’s office reads it. Ultimately, the county prosecutor’s office told Kelly that he’s been misreading the law.

Ohio’s concealed carry laws

Looking into a CCW license? Here are some quick facts on concealed carry laws in Ohio.

Firearm transportation for those with a CCW license only:

  • Handguns: loaded guns and magazines anywhere in vehicle.
  • Long guns must be in a closed case, in a gun rack in plain sight, in plain sight with action open if at least 18” barrel, or in a compartment reachable only by leaving vehicle.
  • Long gun magazines may contain ammunition and be anywhere in vehicle but not inserted in long gun.

Encounters with law enforcement (pedestrian or vehicle):

  • Promptly inform the officer you have a license and handgun.
  • Keep your hands in plain sight and do not touch the handgun.
  • Comply with all of the officer commands.

Forbidden carry zones

  • Any law enforcement station or detention facility
  • Courthouse or building housing a courtroom
  • Government building (dedicated restroom, shelter, car park okay)
  • Place of worship (unless specifically allowed)
  • Any airplane and most airport buildings
  • Institution for the care of mentally ill persons
  • School zone (drop off/pick up permissible if you stay in the vehicle), college or university (locking and leaving in the vehicle allowed)
  • Child day-care center
  • Liquor facility (allowed if not drinking and not posted “no guns”)
  • Wherever federal law prohibits the carrying of handguns
  • Any building or property posted as a “no gun zone

Applying for a CCW license

To carry a concealed handgun, you must apply for a permit according to the following guidelines:

  • A specified fee
  • Be an Ohio resident for a specified period of time
  • Submit to a background check
  • A color photograph taken within 30 days of the application
  • One or more competency certifications proving concealed weapon certification
  • Confirmation that the applicant has read an official information pamphlet
  • Submit to fingerprinting for the background check

The state of Ohio keeps a close watch on CCW licenses, releasing an updated report each year.

In 2013:

  • New licenses issued in 2013: 96,972
  • Licenses suspended: 1,154
  • Applications denied: 1,142
  • Licenses renewed: 48,370

Are you faced with criminal weapons charges?

If you’re in danger of losing your CCW license, give the criminal defense attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer a call at 614-224-6142.


Stephen Palmer has been a criminal defense attorney for 19 years. Contact him today for a consultation.

Photo Credit: Kevitivity via Compfight cc

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