New concealed handgun law starts Monday


A new “constitutional carry” law that allows qualifying adults in Ohio to carry a concealed handgun without the need for a concealed handgun license takes effect Monday.

According to a news release from Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera: “Qualifying adults are 21 years of age or older; legal residents; not fugitives; not subject to a protection order; have not been hospitalized or adjudicated mentally ill; have not been dishonorably discharged from the military; do not have a conviction or delinquency for a felony, a drug offense, domestic violence, one misdemeanor offense of violence within three years or two within five years; or are not otherwise forbidden under state or federal law.”

Regardless of the change, Barrera said, deadly weapons are still prohibited in buildings in which a courtroom is located, such as a county office building or courthouse. The sheriff said Ohio law section 2923.123 still makes it a felony to bring in or have a deadly weapon or dangerous ordinance in a courthouse or other building where a courtroom is located, except for law enforcement in their official duties.

Barrera said he his not a fan of the new law.

“Personally, I don’t like the constitutional carry. I’m OK with concealed carry,” he said. “Now, when an officer approaches a vehicle they’re not going to know whether or not there is a gun in the car. With concealed carry, everyone is registered and it comes back when you run a license plate whether or not the person has a gun. Now they won’t have to tell if they have one unless the officer asks.”

The sheriff provided a list of commonly asked questions, and the answers to them, about the new law. They follow:

Q: Is Ohio’s concealed handgun license optional after June 13, 2022?

A: Yes. Senate Bill 215 legalizes constitutional carry in Ohio. Residents are still encouraged to obtain a concealed handgun license with their local sheriff’s office. The new law allows a person to carry a concealed handgun without a permit, however, the same rights and responsibilities apply to constitutional carry and those who have a valid concealed handgun license.

Q: What is the benefit of obtaining a concealed handgun license in Ohio if I do not need one anymore?

A: During a certification course, individuals receive in-depth training on firearm safety, safe storage and handling, how a firearm mechanically functions, a deeper understanding of the law, and a skills test. This information is critical when ensuring the safety of the firearm operator and those around them. A valid license will also permit you to carry in other states that have reciprocity with Ohio and may not recognize constitutional carry.

Q: If a person was previously denied a license in Ohio, are they permitted to carry without a license?

A: No. The law did not change regarding who can legally carry a handgun. You must still be a legally qualified adult, be at least 21 years of age and not prohibited from possession a firearm under state or federal law. Additional criteria includes but is not limited to: legally living in the United States, not a fugitive from justice, not under indictment for (or previously plead guilty to) a felony, any drug offense or misdemeanor offense of violence, have not been adjudicated as mental defective, has not been committed to any mental institution, is not under adjudication of mental incompetence, has not been found by a court to be a mentally ill person subject to court order, and is not an involuntary patient, not currently subject to a civil protection order or a temporary protection order, and has not been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.

Q: In Ohio, are citizens required to carry the concealed handgun license on their person?

A: No. A license holder was required to have the permit on their person, however, with the new law, people are no longer required to carry the physical permit.

Q: Will Ohio continue to issue concealed handgun licenses?

A: Yes. The new law does not affect the licensing process. People who travel outside of Ohio still need to have a valid license to carry a concealed handgun in other states that do not recognize constitutional carry. Individuals are encouraged to obtain a concealed handgun license with their local sheriff’s office.

Q: Does this change how people carry concealed handguns in a motor vehicle?

A: No. While in a motor vehicle, an individual can possess a concealed handgun. The new legislation refers strictly to concealed handguns only. The current law as it relates to the transportation of rifles/shotguns remains the same. Rifles and shotguns must be transported in a separate container or closed compartment and separated from the ammunition in the vehicle or in an area not accessible without leaving the vehicle.

Q: Can a person carry into a prohibited area?

A: No. Areas that are currently no-carry zones such as schools, local, state or federal government facilities, detention facilities; airports, or otherwise posted locations will remain no-carry zones. Property owners are still able to post a “no-firearms” notice. If a notice is NOT posted, an individual can carry a handgun into any business that is issued a Class D liquor permit such as night clubs, carry outs, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. However, if the individual will be consuming alcohol, they are not permitted to carry a concealed handgun.

Q: Can non-residents carry concealed handguns in Ohio without a license?

A: Yes. There is no residency requirement for those legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun or practice their constitutional carry right in Ohio. Additionally, Ohio law gives the attorney general the right to negotiate concealed handgun reciprocity agreements with other states.

For more information, visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Guns will still be prohibited in no-carry zones

By Jeff Gilliland

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