Ohio Gun Laws


Ohio is bordered to the north by Michigan and Lake Erie, which separates Ohio from Canada. To the south, Ohio is bordered by West Virginia and Kentucky, to the west by Indiana, and to the east by Pennsylvania. Ohio has the tenth-largest highway network, and is in prime location for commerce travel.

A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Ohio Constitution states:

“The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.”


B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Ohio’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“Municipalities shall have authority to exercise all powers of local self-government and to adopt and enforce within their limits such local police, sanitary and other similar regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws.”  [http://budurl.me/glbs142]


(A) The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition. Except as specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process, may own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition.

(B) In addition to any other relief provided, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to any person, group, or entity that prevails in a challenge to an ordinance, rule, or regulation as being in conflict with this section.

(C) As used in this section:

(1) The possession, transporting, or carrying of firearms, their components, or their ammunition include, but are not limited to, the possession, transporting, or carrying, openly or concealed on a person’s person or concealed ready at hand, of firearms, their components, or their ammunition.

(2) “Firearm” has the same meaning as in section 2923.11 of the Revised Code.

(D) This section does not apply to either of the following:

(1) A zoning ordinance that regulates or prohibits the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for residential or agricultural uses;

(2) A zoning ordinance that specifies the hours of operation or the geographic areas where the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms may occur, provided that the zoning ordinance is consistent with zoning ordinances for other retail establishments in the same geographic area and does not result in a de facto prohibition of the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for commercial, retail, or industrial uses.

C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Ohio may (please see qualifications below) recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Ohio’s license:

“The attorney general shall negotiate and enter into a reciprocity agreement with any other license-issuing state under which a license to carry a concealed handgun that is issued by the other state is recognized in this state if the attorney general determines that both of the following apply: (a) The eligibility requirements imposed by that license- issuing state for that license are substantially comparable to the eligibility requirements for a license to carry a concealed handgun issued under section 2923.125 of the Revised Code. (b) That license-issuing state recognizes a license to carry a concealed handgun issued under section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.”


Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Ohio and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Ohio Attorney General at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur. States add and delete states with reciprocity agreements over time.

For information about transporting a firearm within your vehicle, please follow this link. [http://gunla.ws/2923]

D. Criminal Provisions

Under Ohio law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances, whether it is issued by Ohio, or a person is carrying pursuant to a reciprocity between his or her state of license and Ohio:

  • If stopped for law enforcement purposes, one must notify the law enforcement officer that one is in possession of a concealed weapon and that one has a valid license to carry.
  • A police station, sheriff’s office, or state highway patrol station
  • Into a premises controlled by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation
  • A state correctional institution, jail, workhouse, or other detention facility
  • An airport passenger terminal
  • A school safety zone
  • A courthouse, or building where a courtroom is located
  • An open air arena
  • A public or private college, university, or other higher education institution
  • Any church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship
  • A child day-care facility
  • An aircraft
  • Any government building or facility
  • Any place which federal law prohibits
  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs, however, permit holders may now carry concealed weapons at locations that have a Class D liquor license provided the individual is not consuming alcohol while there.[http://gunla.ws/rurt]