Ohio Open Carry

Ohio Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

Ohio is known for its relatively permissive stance on gun laws, allowing its residents to exercise their Second Amendment rights. However, while open carry is legal in certain areas, there are strict regulations in place to ensure public safety and prevent potential misuse of firearms. In this article, we will explore Ohio’s open carry laws, the permitted locations for carrying firearms, and the prohibited areas where carrying firearms is strictly forbidden.

Ohio Gun Laws Summary

Before we delve into open carry laws, let’s briefly summarize Ohio’s general gun laws. Ohio issues concealed weapons licenses for possession of firearms in the state, and the permit application process is managed by the local sheriff’s office. The state follows a “shall-issue” policy, meaning that qualified applicants who meet the legal requirements are entitled to receive a concealed carry permit. However, there are no purchase permits for firearms. Instead, individuals purchasing from federally or state-licensed dealers must undergo a criminal record background check.

Is Open Carry Legal in Ohio?

Yes, open carry is legal in Ohio. Individuals who are eighteen years or older can open carry within the state, provided they have no state or federal restrictions prohibiting them from doing so.

Open Carry Laws in Ohio

Ohio is a permissive open carry state, meaning that individuals can openly carry firearms as long as they have a permit. It is important to note that certain types of firearms, such as automatic or semi-automatic firearms, are strictly prohibited in the state. Possession, purchase, or sale of such firearms is a crime in Ohio.

Ohio Open Gun Laws Quick View

Here is a quick overview of various aspects of Ohio’s open carry laws:

See also  Virginia Open Carry
Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoNo, you do not need a permit to open carry in Ohio.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoThere are no requirements to register firearms for open carry in Ohio.
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoOhio prohibits the possession and manufacturing of assault firearms in the state.
Magazine limitNoNoThere is no magazine limit for firearms in the state.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredThere are no requirements to own a license for firearms in the state.
Red flag lawNoNoOhio gun laws do not say anything about red flag law or issuing extreme risk protection orders in the state.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesOhio is a castle doctrine state, and you can stand your ground in your home of residence and private car.
Background check for private dealersNoNoA background check is not compulsory for private firearm dealers in the state.
PreemptionYesYesOhio is a preemption gun law state, with the state government statues superseding local ordinances.
Concealed carry permit.NoYesYou need a concealed handgun permit to conceal carry within the territory of Ohio.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleNoYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you are with your license.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoOpen carry of firearms or weapons is not allowed in schools, colleges, and their facilities.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Ohio?

Ohio allows open carry and the use of firearms in certain areas of the state:

  1. Restaurants and Bars: You can open carry in restaurant areas alone.
  2. Roadside Areas: Open carry is permitted in roadside areas of Ohio.
  3. State Forests and Parks: You can open carry in forests, parks, and wildlife management areas in the state.
See also  Louisiana Open Carry

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Ohio?

There are strict restrictions on open carry in the following parts of Ohio:

  1. Schools: Open carry is prohibited within school premises, including colleges, universities, or any property owned or used by educational institutions for their activities.
  2. Daycare: Open carry is not allowed in daycare centers or any facilities for holding children.
  3. Police Stations: Open carry is forbidden in police stations, state patrol stations, local sheriff’s offices, or any other place under the jurisdiction of the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
  4. Courthouse: Open carry is not allowed in any courthouse of the state or a courtroom during proceedings.
  5. State Capitol Area: Open carry is not allowed in state capitol buildings or their premises.
  6. Prisons: Open carry is prohibited in any Ohio state prison, jail, correctional home, or detention facility.
  7. Airport Areas: Open carry is not allowed in safety zones of airport areas in the state.
  8. Mental Homes: Open carry is not permitted in institutions meant for psychiatric treatment or training mentally unfit people.
  9. Bars: Open carry is prohibited in bars or any place where alcohol is consumed on-site and while under the influence of alcohol.
  10. Places of Worship: Open carry or possession of firearms is not allowed in mosques, churches, and synagogues, except with permission from those in charge.
  11. Private Property: Open carry is not permitted in any private property, including buildings or cars, if the owner prohibits the possession of firearms.
  12. Government Buildings: Open carry is not allowed in any building owned by the state government.
  13. Prohibited Areas: Open carry is not allowed in any part of the state where federal laws prohibit the possession of firearms.
See also  Massachusetts Open Carry

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In Ohio

In addition to the general open carry laws, there are several other relevant regulations and statutes in Ohio:

No Weapon Sign

Ohio enforces a “no weapon sign” law, allowing property owners or controllers to post signs prohibiting the possession of firearms on their premises. Violating such signs is considered trespass and can lead to criminal charges. In the case of parking spaces or parking areas, violating the sign results in civil action for trespass. However, permit holders who reside in the building are exempt from this rule.

Preemption Laws

The Ohio state government has the authority to regulate firearms use throughout the state, but municipalities and local governments can still impose restrictions on shooting firearms within their local areas. If a local ordinance conflicts with Ohio state gun laws, affected residents can take civil action against those local areas.

Brandishing of Firearms in Ohio

Brandishing firearms to cause apprehension or fear of physical harm to others is strictly prohibited in Ohio. The use of deadly force on another person or an attempt to injure someone with a firearm or any deadly weapon, except in cases of self-defense, is also against the law.

Possession of Firearms Under the Influence of Alcohol

Using firearms while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substance is a criminal offense in Ohio.

Open Carry While Hunting in Ohio

While open carry is generally allowed during hunting in Ohio, archery hunting only permits concealed carry. However, even while concealed carrying during bow hunting, individuals must not use firearms to take down the game. Ohio also has hunter harassment laws to protect legal hunting activities.


Ohio provides residents with the right to open carry firearms, but this comes with a significant responsibility to understand and abide by the state’s open carry laws. While open carry is allowed in many public places, certain areas are strictly off-limits, and violating these restrictions can lead to serious consequences. To ensure a safe and responsible exercise of Second Amendment rights, it is essential for all gun owners to be well-informed about Ohio’s open carry laws.


Can I open carry without a permit in Ohio?

Yes, you can open carry without a permit in Ohio as long as you are at least eighteen years old and have no state or federal restrictions.

Can I open carry in schools in Ohio?

No, open carry is strictly prohibited within school premises, including colleges and universities.

What are the consequences of violating the “no weapon sign” law in Ohio? Violating the “no weapon sign” law in Ohio can result in trespassing charges and, in some cases, civil action.

Can I open carry in state parks in Ohio?

Yes, you can open carry in state forests, parks, and wildlife management areas in Ohio.

Are there any restrictions on open carry while hunting in Ohio?

While open carry is allowed during hunting in Ohio, archery hunting permits only concealed carry. Using firearms to take down game during bow hunting is not allowed.

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