In Ohio, you must acquire a concealed handgun license in order to carry a concealed weapon; these licenses are issued by county sheriffs.  Whether of not you can obtain that license can be a complicated question and depends in large part on your criminal history and your perseverance.

Obtaining this license requires a substantial time commitment as it is not a fast process. In addition, people under 21 years of age and people with certain past criminal records are completely barred from obtaining a concealed weapon permit. If you have a felony conviction or any drug conviction you are prohibited from obtaining a license. In addition, certain violent misdemeanor convictions will bar you from obtaining the license for three years after your conviction.

How do I obtain a concealed carry license?

The process will require a lot of effort on your part. You must complete at least 12 hours of training, at least 10 hours in the classroom and at least 2 hours on the shooting range, all of which must be done with a certified instructor. Then you will have to demonstrate that all this training has educated you sufficiently by taking 2 tests: one written test and one on the shooting range. In addition, you must meet certain Ohio residency requirements and pass a criminal background check.

Once I receive my license can I carry my concealed weapon anywhere?

No. If there is a sign banning concealed weapons on a property, you are not allowed to bring your weapon into that property. Regardless of your license, you are not allowed to carry your weapon into schools, hospitals, most religious places and most government buildings. Even a private property owner can post such a sign and if they do, you are not allowed to carry your weapon onto that property.

In addition, an Ohio statute sets out 3 ways you can carry your concealed weapon in a vehicle or motorcycle. These are:


  • on your person in a holster
  • in a closed case, console or glove compartment
  • in a closed container that has some sort of secure closing mechanism.  For example, if you have your weapon in a bag in the backseat, that’s fine so long as that bag is zipped shut.

Will my license allow me to carry my weapon while visiting other states?

This is also a tricky question; the answer is yes and no. Ohio state law does allow for this kind of “reciprocity” but only with states that have similar gun laws. As of July 2010 there are at least 21 states with which Ohio honors reciprocity agreements in regard to handgun permits.

Do I need a lawyer in Ohio?

Gun laws can be tricky to navigate on your own. If you feel you are being unfairly barred from obtaining a permit or unfairly prosecuted for gun possession, a criminal attorney can assist you in your case.