In 2021, over 200,000 concealed carry licenses were issued across Ohio, marking a 20% increase from the previous year. The state recently joined others in relaxing the requirements for concealed carry, but gun owners should be aware of their rights and the possible consequences of violating concealed carry law.
Rights of CCW Owners
In June 2022, adults in Ohio will no longer required to apply for a concealed carry permit in most circumstances. However, permits will still be issued to applicants and can be advantageous if a gun owner wishes to carry in other states.
Ohio Permitless Concealed Carry
In March 2022, Ohio enacted a new law permitting eligible adults over 21 to carry a concealed handgun without a license, background check, or training. The law, which takes effect in June 2022, also eliminates the requirement for people carrying concealed handguns to disclose the presence of their weapon if stopped by police unless asked.
Adults can still apply for CCW permits to allow them to carry concealed weapons in other states with reciprocity agreements; gun owners are bound by other states’ gun laws if they carry outside Ohio.
CCW Permit Process
Adults in Ohio who wish to obtain a concealed carry permit must fill out an application and meet the following criteria:
- Be over the age of 21
- Pass a criminal background check and mental competency test
- Complete 8 hours of safety training
- Not be a felon or convicted of domestic violence or drug-related charges
Applications can be submitted to your local sheriff’s department, along with a $67 license fee for a new permit (or $50 for permit renewal).
Concealed Carry Violations
You will be charged with carrying a concealed weapon when carrying and concealing any of the following without a license:
- Dangerous artillery
- Any handgun that doesn’t fit the above
- Any deadly weapon that doesn’t fit the above
If you have a carry and conceal license, you may be charged if you did one of the following while stopped by a police officer:
- Didn’t tell a police officer that you had a concealed weapon and a license for it when asked
- Didn’t keep your hands in plain sight after a police officer started approaching
- Touched the gun in any way, unless instructed by the officer
- Didn’t comply with any of the officer’s orders, granted they were lawful
Criminal Punishments for Concealed Carry Violations
Nearly every day in central Ohio, people are charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Depending on the severity of the allegations, a charge for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon can range from a minor misdemeanor punishable by a $150 fine to a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison.
Concealed Carry Violation Post-Conviction Issues
If you are convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, additional potential issues include:
- Maintaining your current employment
- Licensure issues in some professions
- Difficulty getting a good job in the future
- Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings
Simply put, if you are convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, it can potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you rightly or wrongly run the risk of being considered someone who is violent. Therefore, it is critical that you give your carrying a concealed weapon charge the level of importance it deserves.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Helps
The Columbus criminal defense team at Luftman, Heck & Associates takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Investigating Your Arrest
First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made during their investigation, whether your arrest was lawful, if there were any problems in the collection, storage or testing of the weapon and any other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.
We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, lab reports and potentially video or audio. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.
Handling Plea Negotiations and Fighting at Trial
Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.
If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.
Possible Defenses for Concealed Carry Violation Charges
Successful affirmative defenses to concealed carry charges usually involve asserting the carrying of the weapon for self-defense purposes.
For nearly ten years, we have successfully represented clients charged with carrying a concealed weapon. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you and identify the best defense strategy for your case.
Are You in Trouble for CCW Issues? Contact LHA
If you’ve been charged with carrying a concealed weapon, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at (614) 500-3836 or via email at [email protected].