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Ohio is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits 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 is legal in Ohio without a permit except in vehicles or in businesses that sell alcohol. Since open carry is not addressed in state statutes, the Federal minimum age for possession of a handgun of 18 years old applies.
Concealed carry is legal for residents with an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and non-residents with a valid state license/permit. Residents 21 years of age and older can 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. Executive Order 2020-01D was declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 11(E) addresses Ohio Concealed Handgun Licenses. License holders whose CHL expired on or after March 9, 2020, will be considered to have a valid license, to the sooner of either ninety days or June 30, 2021, with the ninety-day extension period commencing on that date of scheduled expiration. In addition, the law regarding permit renewals has been changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ohioans can now renew a concealed carry permit at any county sheriff’s office in the state.
Ohio adheres to the Castle Doctrine, meaning that you don’t have a duty to retreat before using force in your residence or vehicle.
A person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another or defense of the residence. There is also no duty to retreat in a person’s vehicle or immediate family member’s vehicle. Based on the Governor’s signing of SB 175 on January 4, 2021, Ohio will become a Stand Your Ground state in April 2021. There will be 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.
“Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides, temporarily, permanently or visiting as a guest.
“Vehicle” is defined as a conveyance designed to transport people or property, whether motorized or not.
Immunity from Civil Liability
As of March 28, 2019, HB 228 is in effect, and Ohio’s ‘Castle Laws’ presume that the homeowner/vehicle owner has acted in defense of another or self-defense when applying deadly force to someone who has intruded into their home or vehicle. Therefore, if the homeowner is charged, 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]
Click on the link to open the most recent map showing details on the state laws and requirements for each individual state. Remember that if you are traveling you must abide by the rules of the state you are in and that they supersede the laws of your resident state.
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