Ohio Concealed Carry Laws and Procedures

The Ohio concealed carry law recognizes the “inalienable and fundamental right of an individual to defend the individual’s person and the members of the individual’s family.” Concealed carry permits are issued by county sheriffs, and one of the requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit is 12 hours of education.  This includes 10 hours of gun safety, handling and storage instruction, two hours of training on a firing range and a written exam. 

According to the concealed carry law, this necessitates “a physical demonstration of competence in the use of a handgun and in the safe handling and storage of a handgun and a physical demonstration of the attitude necessary to shoot a handgun in a safe manner.” However, competence remains a vague term.  Furthermore, there are not specific criteria for passing the written exam, and the educational course has only minimal content requirements.

In 2005, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published lists of everyone within the five counties surrounding Cleveland who held a concealed carry permit. Steve Austria, state senator at the time, declared the act an abuse of media access privilege. He said that publishing these names threatened the safety of the permit holders. Ohioans for Concealed Carry responded by publishing Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton’s home address and phone number.

The Ohioans for Concealed Carry Website states, “We are about freedom. We are an advocate for all firearms related rights.” OFCC was founded in 1999 to promote legalizing concealed carry in Ohio. After concealed carry was legalized in 2004, their mission became to expand and preserve the rights of gun owners.

Although they belong to the group of people least likely to be assaulted, senior citizens as a group, have a growing number of concealed carry permits. Jeff Garvis, president of OFCC, recommends that senior citizens carry weapons because they could be seen as easy victims. A June 19, 2007 Plain Dealer article stated that about 12 percent of concealed-carry licenses issued by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office belong to citizens 60 years or older. A man who carries a gun at all times was granted anonymity in the article because his car was vandalized and his tires were slashed when he published his opinions on gun rights.

 To get a concealed carry license in Ohio, you must:

  • Be a resident of Ohio for at least 45 days
  • Be a resident of the specific county for at least 30 days 
  • Be 20 years or older
  • Not be a fugitive
  • Be without a criminal record containing convictions, indictments or guilty pleas
  • Be mentally competent
  • Not be subject to a protection order
  • Go through 10 hours of classes about gun safety, handling and storage, 2 hours of training on a firing range and pass a written exam
  • Give the county sheriff a recent color photograph of yourself
  • Pay a nonrefundable fee

*Ohio grants reciprocity to individuals with permits from states with similar licensing requirements, if from a state which grants Ohioans the same right.

A version of this article appeared in print on 25 April 2012, on pages 8 and 9 of The Shakerite.

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