“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.”


Ohio is a shall-issue state. There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying from a private individual. Open carry is legal without a permit. Open carry is not addressed in state statutes. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a CHL at 21. Ohio will honor permits issued by any state or jurisdiction. Ohio adheres to the Castle Doctrine. A person has no duty to retreat.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Ohio will recognize another state’s license to carry.

Residents of other states who hold a valid carry permit from another state and are visiting Ohio will have their permit recognized during their temporary stay in Ohio, even if their permit is from a state that does not have a reciprocity agreement with Ohio.

Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Ohio AG at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

A holder of a permit to carry who is in a motor vehicle that is stopped by LEO has a duty to inform any Officer who approached the vehicle that they possess a permit to carry and a concealed weapon. Additionally, Ohio law requires that you remain in the vehicle while stopped (unless asked to exit) and keep Your hands in plain sight for the duration of the stop.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Ohio generally prohibits carrying loaded firearms in vehicles without a permit. Someone without a permit may carry a firearm in a vehicle only if it is unloaded and: carried in a sealed box or case, or in a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle, or in plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose.

NFA Items

Ohio permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. It is legal to use suppressors for hunting. CLEOs are required to sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 45 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.

Self-Defense Laws

Ohio has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling or vehicle. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling or occupied motor vehicle. Note that Ohio is the only state where the burden of proof is on You to prove that You acted in self-defense, except in cases of unlawful entry into Your dwelling or occupied motor vehicle. This means that You may be charged with homicide after using deadly force against an aggressor, and You must then prove that Your use of force was legally justified.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

So long as you possess a valid concealed handgun license. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to You that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal, but you must have a valid permit/license to carry a handgun in a vehicle unless it is unloaded and: carried in a sealed box or case, or in a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle, or in plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose. The minimum age to open carry is 18.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

Nothing on this website, or any other content by Our Second Right, is a promise or guarantee of results and we do not offer any legal, or other professional advice. Use caution and always consult your legal professional before acting on any information related to Your state’s gun laws. You alone are responsible and accountable for your decisions, actions and results in life, and by consuming any content by Our Second Right you agree not to attempt to hold us liable for your decisions, actions or results, at any time, under any circumstance.