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Current Ohio Gun Laws

Ohio is traditionally an open carry state.

Ohio is a traditional open carry state and is considered relatively gun friendly. Here are the most relevant details people should know when they are in The Buckeye State, whether as a visitor or an Ohio resident, regarding current Ohio gun laws.

Long Guns (Rifles or Shotguns)

While individuals don’t have to apply for a license before owning or possessing a long gun, there are some rules regarding their transportation in motor vehicles.

There are some restrictions surrounding long guns.

Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code §2923.16) states that firearm bearers must not have a loaded firearm accessible when in a vehicle without needing to exit said vehicle first. 

The gun will also have to be secured, and the ammunition and magazines must be stored in a different compartment. A person violating this legal mandate could be charged with a felony of the 4th degree.


Concealed carry handguns were permitted for a long time in Ohio but required issuing a concealed handgun license (CHL), in contrast to long arms, which did not necessitate any permit.

Concealed carry
A concealed handgun license is not required in Ohio.

Ohio’s legislature passed Senate Bill 215 on March 14, 2022, which effectively made “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry” legal.

This means individuals can now bear concealed carry handguns without the need to obtain a CHL, whether they carry them on themselves or inside their vehicles. The bill was effective June 13, 2022.

Moreover, a person who is already a concealed handgun license holder is no longer obliged to have their CHL cards with them when carrying a handgun, and no public authority should inquire as to whether or not they hold a CHL. 

A police officer can ask if you are carrying a concealed weapon in Ohio.

However, a person should answer truthfully when questioned if they possess a concealed weapon.

Are There Restrictions to Purchase Guns?

Despite the state allowing permitless carry, people interested in buying a gun must be subjected to a background check. This is done through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

This vetting system inspects the person’s criminal history to see if they have any convictions. Likewise, they may be barred from buying a gun if they received a dishonorable military discharge or involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

A criminal record precludes gun ownership.

Furthermore, they must be “qualifying adults” to purchase firearms. For long guns, the minimum age is 18, whereas, for concealed weapons, it’s 21. It should be stressed that these are only restrictions on the purchase, not on possession.

Illegal Firearms

People who live in or visit Ohio from elsewhere in the United States cannot possess the following firearms under Ohio gun law:

  • Automatic guns (devised to fire cartridges in quick succession with one trigger pull).
  • Zip guns.
  • Sawed-off guns.
Sawed-off shotgun
Sawed-off shotguns are prohibited under Ohio law.
  • Guns with their manufacturer, model, serial number, or identification mark altered or removed.
  • Firearms designed for military purposes, as well as their ammunition.

Who Can’t Own Guns?

The following people are not allowed to become a gun owner or to carry guns according to Ohio gun law:

  • A person dealing or with the potentiality of dealing with drug or alcohol addiction.
  • A person who was declared mentally incompetent or mentally disabled or one who had been committed to a mental institution involuntarily.
Folsom Prison
Having a criminal record prohibits gun ownership.
  • An indicted or convicted person on account of violent felonies or who was charged or convicted for a crime that could be equivalent to a violent felony offense committed by an adult.
  • A fugitive.

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