What is the "open carry law" for firearms in Ohio?


Quick Answer

Ohio law permits a person to openly carry a firearm in all public places unless it is specifically prohibited, as of 2015. Police stations, school safety zones, courthouses or private businesses with posted signs are examples of places where an individual could not openly carry a firearm, states CriminalDefenseLawyer.

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Full Answer

The Second Amendment to the United States constitution protects Americans rights to bear arms. Taking that further, the state of Ohio protects the right to bear arms under Article 1, Section 4 of their state constitution ratified in 1851, according to CriminalDefenseLawyer. According to Ohiocarry.org, this means it is and has been 100 percent legal to openly carry firearms in Ohio with or without a license for over 150 years.

For some of those years however, cities in Ohio such as Cleveland had tougher gun laws that included an open-carry ban. This changed in 2006 when the Ohio legislature passed a state law that invalidated any gun law opposing the state law, states The Daily Banter. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld this decision in 2010, and as such there are no city-wide open-carry bans in Ohio as of 2015.

There are some restrictions. Individuals cannot openly carry an armed weapon inside an automobile. Weapons must remain unloaded, and either locked away or fully transparent on the outside of an automobile on a gun rack. Also while cities in Ohio are unable to pass any law restricting the open carry of a firearm, they do have laws that restrict the discharging of these weapons, states Ohio Carry, Inc.

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