Ohio Will No Longer Require Licenses To Carry Concealed Weapons

Lawful gun owners should not be forced to jump through hoops just to exercise basic constitutional rights


This week, Ohio became the latest state to allow the concealed carry of firearms without a license.

Ohio law currently requires applicants to demonstrate "competency" by completing a gun safety course before they can qualify for a license to carry a concealed weapon. Additionally, if a licensed carrier is stopped by law enforcement, they are required to "promptly inform" the officer that they are carrying a concealed weapon—failure to do so qualifies as a first-degree misdemeanor and can result in losing their license for up to a year.

Soon, those regulatory hurdles will no longer exist. This week, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill to simplify the concealed carry process. S.B. 215 will go into effect in June, and it says that any "qualifying adult shall not be required to obtain a concealed handgun license in order to carry in this state." Licenses will still be available, though, for any Ohioans who may wish to carry in states that honor Ohio licenses. And although carriers no longer have to volunteer to police officers that they are carrying, they do have to disclose if the officer asks.

While gun rights groups are pleased with its passage, many Democrats and law enforcement groups have denounced the legislation. "You will still be required to get a license if you want to drive a car, go fishing, or cut someone's hair," wrote Craig Calcaterra for Columbus Alive. "But you will not need one in order to put a semiautomatic pistol in your coat pocket when walking the dog, doing the grocery shopping or attending a football game."

Putting aside whether it is good policy to require licenses for doing hair, the bill is not quite as extreme as its opponents claim.

It only applies to adults aged 21 or older, who own their firearms legally; it does not restrict the state's ability to determine who may not own a weapon, based on factors like the person's criminal history or the type of weapon. Ohio law would still require a background check for purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer (though not for a private party transfer, like giving or selling it to a friend).

And while it may seem like a minor difference to change whether one has to disclose to an officer that they are carrying, or simply wait until the officer asks, remember the case of Philando Castile. Castile was killed in 2016 when a police officer responded to his calm disclosure that he was carrying a weapon, by opening fire. In that context, statutes that require citizens to disclose seem much more dicey, especially given that police often aren't trained in how to specifically interact with someone who is carrying.

Ultimately, the Ohio bill is a win for gun rights. Despite its opponents' characterizations, the clearest beneficiaries would be lawful gun-owners who are priced out of the current options. Training courses can run over $100 for the eight hours of classes currently required. But more importantly, the competency requirement is an unnecessary obstacle. Lawful gun owners should not be forced to jump through hoops just to exercise basic constitutional rights.

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  1. Would be worth adding to such articles how many states no longer have a license requirement, rather than just say "the latest".

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    1. Wisconsin has allowed permit free open carry forever, that did not change when the Wisconsin CCW permit law was enacted.

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  2. Sudden drop of crime in Ohio.

  3. "You will still be required to get a license if you want to drive a car, go fishing, or cut someone's hair," wrote Craig Calcaterra for Columbus Alive.

    Well Craig, let's go ahead and ax those dumbass things too.

    1. There's also the small distinction that you do not have a Constitutional right to drive a car, go fishing, or cut someone's hair. These are of course activities that free people should be able to engage in, but they are not enshrined in the Bill of Rights, likely because the Founders never envisioned a country where going fishing would require prior government approval.

      Perhaps we should have those in the Constitution, fortunately there's a well-documented process for making that happen. Craig will get on that immediately, I'm sure.

      1. The constitution defines government powers, not individual rights.

        1. Well, since the Amendments to the Constitution are just that, the Constitution does in fact define individual rights. That possibly constitutes a design flaw or a strategic error on the part of the Framers, as some of them argued even before the Bill of Rights was passed, but then it's hard to say how things would have progressed had the Framers not enshrined individual rights.

          1. And those unenumerated are retained by the people. There's only one human right anyway, to be free from the initiatory use of force.

      2. The 9th Amendment is a catch-all.

        Which the Supreme Court has interpreted as being okay to use it for bird-cage liner.

  4. Longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn always said libertarians should demand comprehensive gun safety laws. Hopefully when our Democratic allies expand the Supreme Court to at least 13 justices, we can overturn the absurd ruling that the Second Amendment protects an "individual right to own a gun."


    1. Expanding the Supreme Court to 13 justices will almost certain have a strong impact on how the Second Amendment is viewed in this country.

      1. Another leftist is heard from.

    2. Michael Hihn? Never heard of him. Is he one of those "I'm a libertarian, but" sort of libertarians?

      1. He’s a kook who posted here for years. Ranting and raving and looking for fights with everyone. He also had a website with and enemies list that included many regular posters here. Hihn died a few years ago, sparing us any more of his venomous gibbering. Hank Phillips also posts here, is a similar type of ancient, dementia ridden crackpot who considers himself a libertarian.

        1. I wondered what happened to that guy.

    3. California allows open air drug dens in residential areas and releases pedophiles from custody hours after arrest. You have me fucked up if you think I'm going to trust the government to protect the lives of my family.

      If you believe that a person does not have a fundamental right to protect their life, liberty, or property with deadly force, you are not a libertarian. Period.

  5. "libertarian activist Michael Hihn"

    Google returns nothing.

    1. It's an inside joke - and not a very good one. OBL tries to parody leftist commenters. Michael Hihn was an apparently real account who posted here for a long time. His views were extreme left-wing which earned him lots of detractors. He was also rabidly incoherent, abusive and just mean. It takes an awful lot to get the Reason moderators to take notice. They can't even be bothered to fix most of the obvious spam accounts. Hihn was so destructive to civil discourse that even they finally had to step in and ban him. I assumed it was another temporary ban or that he'd create another sockpuppet account but we haven't seen anyone posting under that name in a year or two now. By the way, his writing style was really distinctive. His sockpuppets were very easy to identify.

      1. We have moderators? I just made $2000 selling my organs from home! Click here to join the pyramid! Lol

      2. his obituary is posted online.

  6. Fuck Mikey Dewine.

  7. My own memory on this subject goes back to the '80s when I first became a gun owner. The concealed carry permit process which is being replaced in many states was loudly denounced as "turning us into the Wild West" and similar dumb cliches. Yea, verily, blood was going to run in the streets.

    The Democrats still bitterly cling to the formula even as decades of experience has proven them ridiculously wrong.

    1. But it's an epidemic. Now more people will catch it.

    2. I'm pretty sure concealed carry was frowned upon in the wild west anyway. When open carry was generally legal and common, restrictions on concealment kind of made sense. Nowadays, when there are tons of panicky ninnies afraid of guns, the social ramifications are a bit different.

      1. Lots of towns in the wild west didn't allow people to walk around with guns.

        1. Lots of "towns" that consisted of a few houses, a store and a saloon or two. Walk a hundred yards in any direction and you could be outside of town where the law no longer applied. That doesn't make the laws of those towns constitutional but it does argue that the practical impact of those laws was a lot less than the state-wide bans attempted by, for example, New Jersey.

          1. Tombstone had a no guns policy. "I'm your huckleberry."

      2. Yes, I recall some article somewhere making the claim that back in the time of the Founding, carrying a weapon openly was common, while carrying concealed was viewed as devious and suspicious, indicative of I'll intent. Possibly true, hard to know for sure. Regardless, times change, cultures shift, rights don't (or shouldn't).

        I support open carry rights but I wouldn't do it myself in public even though it's legal in my state as it's become a public invitation for Johnny Law to come snooping into your business.

        1. I open carry sometimes and not one person has said a word about it. Of course no one ever said anything about me not wearing a mask either.

        2. The flintlock has some unique features that don't lend well to conceal carry. Later versions of firearms easier to use and conceal became massively more popular. It was rare to find a living person without a knife of some sort.

          1. When I was in elementary school, if you had checked the pockets of the boys, you would have found nearly every one had a pen knife. I don't remember anyone getting stabbed.

        3. In my state, it's very common for people for people in the rural areas who work outdoors, like farmers and loggers, to open carry, but get near the major cities and it would cause a panic.

    3. That is the democrat way.

  8. The change in Ohio law is constructive to say the very least. The question of why the law abiding person should have to jump through endless hoops as yet to be answered. The legislation here involved is “hoop removing”, constituting a significant virtue.

  9. Gun control measures began as a way to prevent black people from carrying guns, and black people are still disproportionately arrested and convicted for simply possessing a firearm. Guess disparate impact doesn't perpetuate white supremacy when the policy is touted by Democrats. These assholes don't even try to mask their hypocrisy.

    1. No, no, no. Gun violence is entirely a problem of crazy white boys shooting up schools, churches, and malls. Black people are unarmed and peaceful. Get with the narrative.

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  11. My pistol is to protect you.

  12. So much for “A well regulated militia”.

    Why would anyone need to demonstrate proficiency or responsibility before using a gun in public?

    1. Are there any other Constitutionally-protected rights that require a demonstration of proficiency and responsibility before they can be exercised? Do we require proof of proficiency in English before we allow freedom to speak?

  13. Unless the Supreme Court fabricates a right to concealed carry, concealed carry is not a Federal constitutional right. Nor is concealed carry a constitutional right under the Ohio Constitution or any state constitution with the possible exception of Vermont.

    The NRA lawyer, Paul Clement, representing the NRA's official state organization the NYSRPA did not even argue that either the framers of the Second or Fourteenth Amendments thought that concealed carry was a right protected by the Second Amendment.

    Instead, his argument was that people today, particularly New Yorkers, are on a "different wavelength" and therefore Open Carry can be banned in favor of concealed carry. Notwithstanding that New York State does not ban the Open Carry of long guns nor is it a crime for persons with a license to carry a handgun concealed to carry the handgun openly. The State of New York pointed out in its brief on the merits that the worst that could happen is the license to carry a handgun in public would be revoked.

    There is no such thing as "The Different Wavelength Doctrine of Constitutional Interpretation." At least not today. We will have to wait for the opinion in NYSRPA v. Bruen is published.

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