Ohio Concealed Carry

Ohio: Gun Laws Summary

Ohio is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons licenses issued at the county level by a county sheriff. There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. Open carry and concealed carry are legal without a permit. Individuals 21 years old or older not prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun are no longer required to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun as of June 12, 2022. Since open carry is not addressed in state statutes, the Federal minimum age for possession of a handgun of 18 years old applies. Disclaimer: Carrying in vehicles is not addressed in the Constitutional Carry bill. According to the Ohio Attorney General, it is legal to possess a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Residents can still obtain a CHL. They must have completed eight hours of firearms training and meet other criteria to qualify. Current and former servicemen and women are able to obtain an Ohio CHL without paying the fee or going through a concealed carry class. In addition, active duty military with a valid military identification card and documentation of successful firearms training that meets or exceeds that required in Ohio do not need to obtain an Ohio license. Non-residents can obtain a CHL if they work in Ohio. In terms of reciprocity, Ohio will honor permits issued by any state or jurisdiction.

Immunity from Civil Liability

Ohio’s self defense laws presume that a person has acted in defense of another or self-defense when applying deadly force if that person is in a place in which the person lawfully has a right to be. Therefore, the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person did not use the force in self-defense, defense of another or defense of that person’s residence, as the case may be. [Ohio Rev. Code §2901.09, §2901.05]


Ohio adheres to the Castle Doctrine and based on the Governor’s signing of SB 175 on January 4, 2021, is now a “stand your ground” state. There is no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence provided the person is in a place that the person has the lawful right to be. You must have a real belief that you were in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm and that the use of deadly force was the only way to escape the danger. Deadly force may only be used to protect against serious bodily harm or death. [SB 175]

Ohio: Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry Yes, since open carry is not addressed in state statutes, any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to possess a firearm can open carry. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(A)]
Concealed Carry License Issuance Ohio is a shall-issue state. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1)]
Minimum Age for Concealed Carry License The minimum age to carry concealed handguns in Ohio is 21. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(B)(3)]
Constitutional Carry Yes. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12]
Concealed Carry of Weapons Other Than Handguns No. Ohio law does not allow the concealed carry of weapons other than handguns. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12]
Taser/Stun Gun Ownership Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a license. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(C)(3)]
Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray Yes. Pepper spray is not considered a "deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance" in Ohio. It must be used for justified, self defense only. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(C)(1)]
Handgun Magazine Capacity Restrictions No. There is no maximum handgun magazine capacity restriction in Ohio. As of January 21, 2023, the city of Columbus passed legislation making it illegal to possess any magazine capable of holding more than 30 rounds. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(e)]
Ammunition Restrictions No. Ohio has no restrictions on handgun ammo. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(C)(2)]

Ohio: Carry Locations

Carrying a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas Yes. Ohio allows concealed carry at roadside rest areas with a valid concealed carry license. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126]
Carrying a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas Yes, with a valid concealed carry license, although the buildings are off-limits. It is illegal to discharge a concealed firearm in state parks. See the National Parks webpage for links to each Park in Ohio. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126]
Carrying a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol Yes, with a valid concealed carry license, unless posted and provided you are not consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or are under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.121(B)(1)(e) and 2923.126(B)(4)]
Carrying or possessing a firearm on hotel property Any owner of private property may post a sign in a conspicuous location on that land or on those premises prohibiting persons from carrying firearms or concealed firearms on or onto that land or those premises. The individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about its concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126(C)(3)]
Carrying a concealed handgun in a vehicle Yes, You may transport a loaded concealed handgun in a motor vehicle without a CHL except for in school zones. Motorcycles fall under the definition of motor vehicles. Thus, the same requirements apply to those who carry a handgun while on a motorcycle.
Storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot A business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not have a policy that prohibits a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when both of the following conditions are met: Each firearm and all of the ammunition remains inside the person's privately owned motor vehicle while the person is present inside the motor vehicle, or each firearm and all of the ammunition is locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the person's privately owned motor vehicle; and the vehicle is in a location where it is permitted to be. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1210]

Ohio: Key State Laws

Do you have a duty to inform a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Ohio? There is no duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Ohio. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126]
Is my Ohio driver’s license linked to my Ohio carry license? Yes. Your Ohio driver’s license is linked to your Ohio concealed handgun license. Therefore, a law enforcement officer will be notified immediately that you are a concealed carry license holder if they run your driver’s license. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126]
If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense. Yes. The person in control of private premises, and a private person leasing premises owned by the state, the United States, or a political subdivision of the state, may post a sign prohibiting firearms on or onto that land or those premises. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126(C)(3)(a)]
For locations designated as off-limits even with a valid permit/license, per Sec. 2923.1212,  posted signs must contain a statement in substantially the following form: "Unless otherwise authorized by law, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall knowingly possess, have under the person's control, convey, or attempt to convey a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance onto these premises."
Does Ohio have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)? Yes, the state has preemption. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except municipalities may restrict the discharge of firearms. Anyone adversely affected by a local ordinance in conflict with state firearms laws may bring a civil suit against the locality. [Ohio Rev. Code § 9.68]
Does Ohio have a red flag law? Ohio does not have a red flag law.
Does Ohio state law define brandishing? No definition of brandishing was found in Ohio law. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.21]
No person, while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought about by serious provocation by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force, shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn by means of a deadly weapon. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2903.12]
Does Ohio have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or drugs? Not while consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse. [Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.121(d)]
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does Ohio issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents? Yes, only for persons employed in Ohio.
Does Ohio allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law? No. The public has no access to Ohio's concealed carry registry.

Ohio: Handgun Purchase and Possession

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a license? Yes. A concealed carry license is not required for anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm to carry a handgun in the person's own home for any lawful purpose. [Ohio Rev. Code 2923.12(C)(1)(d)]
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Ohio? No. A permit is not required when purchasing a handgun in Ohio.
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Ohio? No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.
Does my current Ohio concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm? Yes. Concealed weapons licenses issued on or after March 23, 2015, qualify.
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Ohio? No. Ohio has no waiting period for handgun purchases.
Do handguns need to be registered in Ohio? No. Ohio does not require handguns to be registered.
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Ohio? As there is no state law regarding the minimum age for possession of a handgun, the Federal minimum of 18 years of age applies. The minimum age to purchase a handgun is generally 21 years old, although there are exceptions for law enforcement officers and active or reserve member of the armed services of the United States or the Ohio national guard that are at least 18 years old. [Ohio Rev. Code 2923.21 & 2923.211]
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