As of March 21, 2017 a new Ohio law has allowed for more situations where carrying a concealed firearm is permissible. This new law does not change the process for obtaining a concealed carry license. For some brief background, in order for someone to obtain a concealed carry license in Ohio they must be at least 21 years old, be an Ohio resident for at least 45 days, and be a resident of their county for at least 30 days. Additionally, an individual must satisfy certain educational requirements; typically this is met by completing a course of instructions that includes at least 8 hours of training with a minimum of 2 hours of in-person training and range time. Other type of military or law enforcement training may also meet this educational requirement. After satisfying these initial conditions, the applicant must contact the local sheriff where he or she will complete a background check, provide fingerprints, verify an acceptable form of I.D., collect required payment for the license, and review the application and educational requirements of the individual. After this, the sheriff will determine whether or not to issue the concealed carry license, and if he or she grants it, the individual is a licensed concealed carrier for 5 years.
While the law established on March 21 does nothing to change this process, it did increase the areas where a concealed carrier could carry their weapon without committing a crime. Employers can no longer prohibit a concealed carry permit holder from having a handgun in their parking lot provided the firearm is in a vehicle while the licensee is physically present or the firearm and any ammunition are locked in a trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment and the vehicle is in a permitted location. Employers can still prohibit individuals from bringing concealed firearms in to their buildings. This new law also expands the right to carry a gun in a vehicle in a school zone, in certain areas of airports, on college campuses, as long as it is not specifically stated otherwise by the university, and inside child daycare facilities as long as there is no sign explicitly stating otherwise.
These revisions to Ohio’s concealed carry law additionally provide some protections for a business owner from civil liability. Specifically included in the law is that business owners cannot be held responsible in a civil action for the actions of someone with a concealed weapon on their property absent a malicious purpose on the part of the employer.
This new law is meant to protect those with a concealed carry license from unintentionally carrying a weapon in an illegal zone. By expanding where licensed people can carry their handgun, it provides more legal protection for well-meaning people who may accidentally bring their firearm in a prohibited area. Someone with a license will no longer be punished for accidentally leaving their gun in their car at work, at their child’s school, or dropping someone off at the airport. If you have questions about where you can carry your firearm or have been charged with unlawfully carrying your handgun, even as a licensed concealed carry member, do not hesitate to call us at Dagger Law.