Previous articles on this site have discussed how to obtain a CCW and applicable gun rights in Cleveland, Ohio. What about the rest of Ohio?
Open carry is legal in Ohio without a permit, except in vehicles, on the premises of businesses that sell alcohol, school safety zones and some other areas. That does not mean any tween can walk up and purchase a gun and then roam the streets with the gun. The minimum age to purchase a handgun is twenty-one and the minimum age to purchase firearms such as rifles and shotguns is eighteen.
Carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) Laws in Ohio does require a permit. Ohio residents who are at least twenty-one years of age can apply for a permit. If you do obtain one, it is important to know all the duties and obligations that accompany the permit. This includes carrying government ID along with the CCW permit.
There are also many areas in which you can still not carry a gun, even if you have a proper permit. Police stations, places of worship, courthouses, correctional institutions, airport terminals and facilities for the care of mentally ill persons are just a few of the areas. School safety zones are also off limits for carrying with a permit, however, you may leave the gun in your locked vehicle if you have a permit. If you have a question on whether you can bring a gun into a certain area or location or for an exhaustive list, contact the Bangerter Law office.
There are additional requirements that must be followed when transporting a gun in a vehicle. While you may transport a loaded concealed handgun in a vehicle if you have a proper permit, you cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are stopped for a traffic violation, you MUST promptly tell the officer that you are carrying a firearm. You must stay in the vehicle and keep your hands in plain sight and not make any attempt to make contact with the gun. You must also comply with all lawful requests of the officer. These requirements only apply if you are actually carrying a handgun. If you have a permit but are not carrying a gun, there is no requirement to tell the officer that you hold a permit.
Violating any of these requirements can result in additional criminal charges as well as suspension or permanent loss of your CCW permit. Not keeping hands in plain site or leaving the vehicle may be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with suspension of your permit. Attempting to reach or handle the gun or making contact with the gun may be charged as a felony with permanent loss of your permit. Knowingly disregarding or failing to comply with lawful orders may be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor with a two-year suspension of your license.
Keep in mind that if you do not have a permit you may not transport a loaded gun. You may transport an unloaded gun if it is in a closed package, box, or case, in a compartment that cannot be reached unless you leave the vehicle, in plain sight or in a holder made for that purpose, or if it is at least 24 inches in overall length with the barrel being at least 18 inches it must be in plain sight with the action open or firearm stripped.
If you have additional questions on CCW Laws in Ohio, or you find yourself facing a gun charge, contact the Bangerter Law office.