It is a 2nd Amendment right to carry a firearm in the United States, and in Ohio you can now carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Senate Bill 215 was signed into law by Governor DeWine in March, 2022, making Ohio one of 23 “constitutional carry” states.
Previously in Ohio you needed a conceal carry course (approximately $500), a background check, and a visit to the county sheriff’s office to get a permit (for a fee). The new law allows eligible citizens to carry a gun without it being visible.
As with any law, you should know how the law applies, and your rights and potential pitfalls of carrying a gun. Just because you can carry a gun, doesn’t mean you won’t be charged with a crime if police find one on you or in your car. If that happens, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
- Only eligible, legal U.S. citizens over 21 can carry a concealed weapon without a permit
- Federal law of 18 or over applies in Ohio to carry an unconcealed “open carry” weapon
- Getting a Conceal Carry Weapons (CCW) permit is a good option
- A CCW is needed to carry a weapon in a vehicle unless it is unloaded and out of reach
- You no longer have to announce to police that you are carrying a weapon
- Not telling an officer who asks if you have a weapon in your vehicle is a misdemeanor
- Crossing the state line to a state without an open carry law with a gun requires a permit
- You cannot carry a gun in areas that restrict them without a CCW
- You cannot carry a gun where people are consuming alcohol under a type D license.
There are many crimes you can be charged with for carrying or using a weapon illegally. However, some gun crimes are committed very frequently unknowingly. If you unwittingly commit a gun crime and are caught doing do, its important to call an experienced defense attorney right away. Common charges include:
- Carrying a weapon illegally in a car. It is a 3rd-degree misdemeanor that carries up to a 30-day jail sentence and a $250 fine.
- Carrying a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony offense of violence or drug possession, police can charge you with Having Weapons Under a Disability, a 3rd degree felony under ORC 2923.12 with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
- Possessing a firearm in a crime of violence or illegal drug activity is a federal crime with a mandatory sentence of 5 years up to life in prison under Title 18 USC 924 C.
Weapons charges are nothing to take lightly and can result in forfeiting your 2nd amendment rights as well as time in a State or Federal prison and hefty fines. If you know someone facing a gun charge, do not hesitate to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney for help today.
Resources: ORC 2923, U.S.C. 924