Understanding Ohio Firearms Laws

Ohio is an “Open Carry” state. This means that individuals can openly carry arms without applying for a license or a special permit. However, there are certain places where individuals cannot carry guns such as courthouses, airports, schools, bars, polling places, private property where weapons are forbidden. Open carry is also not allowed in a vehicle.

Ohio Concealed Carry Weapons Permit (CCW)

Under the laws of Ohio, persons aged 21 and above can obtain a concealed firearms permit subject to the following:

  • Complete firearms safety training of 8 hours
  • Be a permanent lawful resident or citizen of the United States
  • Resident of the state of Ohio or working as an employee at a company in Ohio
  • Not have a previous denial or suspension of a CCW permit in another state
  • Not have addiction to a controlled substance or alcohol
  • Not be subject to a civil protection order
  • Not have a dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Not declared mentally ill or incompetent

Non-residents can carry a firearm on a valid out-of-state permit, however, exemptions are made for military personnel posted in Ohio or other officers authorized to possess guns as part of their jobs.

Reporting the Police

When a CCW holder is stopped by the police, they are required to act in the following manner:

  • Inform the police about their weapon and the CCW permit
  • Keep their hands visible and away from the concealed weapon
  • Follow all lawful orders given by the police officer

Common Weapon Crimes in Ohio

The most common weapon crimes in Ohio are:

  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit
  • Violation of firearm license obligations
  • Illegal conveyance of deadly weapon, dangerous ordnance, or object indistinguishable from a firearm in prohibited places such as a school or courthouse



Prohibited Weapons

In Ohio, it is a fifth degree felony to possess any of the following weapons:

  • Ballistic Knives
  • Explosives
  • Automatic and sawed firearms
  • Silencers, unless they’re attached to guns that are authorized for hunting.
  • Bombs, rocket launchers, grenades, mines, or other military weapons and ammunition.


Carrying a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit


  • In Ohio, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon such as a handgun on your person without having a valid permit. It can lead to a first degree misdemeanour charge upto a third degree felony depending upon the circumstances. The fines can range as high as $15,000 and can also lead to imprisonment for upto five years depending on the circumstances.
  • While deciding the charge, penalty and jail term, the authorities will also consider prior criminal record and increase the punishment if there is a previous conviction as mentioned under the law. If the concealed weapon was loaded, it could lead to a charge for a fourth degree felony. However, sometimes, certain defenses may be available such as self-protection or protection of family based on the circumstances of the case

At Ziccarelli & Martello, our experienced attorneys have successful track record of successfully representing those facing weapon charges in Ohio. A criminal conviction can lead to lifelong consequences and it is important that you have the best defense to your case. Contact us today to know how we can help you.

For more information on weapon laws in Ohio, see: