How to Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in Ohio
Ohio Carry Concealed Weapon Permit Requirements
In Ohio, the Carry Concealed Weapon permit (CCW) has a few hoops to jump through. Overall, when I think of how much responsibility a person takes on when carrying a concealed weapon; the amount of time and the knowledge is very minimal. There are not many requirements to obtaining your CCW, the hardest part for most would be the basic training for handguns or if they have a criminal record.
I am on the fence on the topic of what is enough for people to carry a concealed weapon. For the average person who does not shoot, I do not think that enough information is covered. I have the hope that these people would continue to learn and practice in order to hone their skills if truly interested in carrying a concealed weapon. Sadly, I have the feeling that this is not the case and I think that a lot of people may be as dangerous to those around them as they are to the criminal element they want to be protected from. I say this for two reasons: a lack of knowledge and practice on the carriers part and a lack of effort and involvement on the instructor's part. I will talk about this more in the training section.
In the next sections, I will go over the requirements and if need be I will go into more detail about each individual requirement. Most of them are self explanatory, and if I do gloss over something and you want more information put a comment in so that I know you want to know more.
The most basic requirements for an Ohio CCW
The most basic of all the requirements for an Ohio CCW are quite simple and very direct. These requirements are as follows:
- An individual must be 21 years of age.
- An individual must have been a resident of Ohio for a minimum of 45 days.
- An individual must have been a resident of the current county of resident at least 30 days.
These are all straight forward and I do not think anyone should have any questions about these. I would like to mention now that if you have a criminal background on record that it will make it more difficult or impossible to obtain a CCW depending on the violations. Before gaining a CCW you will have a background check and need to pass this check satisfactory.
Acceptable training for Ohio CCW
In the state of Ohio, you do need to show that you have basic knowledge about handguns. There are two courses offered to show competency in handguns and they are as follows and both must have been taken within the previous three years of you applying for your CCW:
- National Rifle Association's Basic Pistol Course
- Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission Basic Handgun Course
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the most popular class for proving that one is certified as having basic handgun knowledge. This is the course that I took and I have not taken the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission's (OPOTC) course. I have been a hunter and shooter since childhood and I currently make my own guns for self-use. I have to say the coarse was very basic and provided all the information to pass the test.
On that note, I believe that these classes need to talk about tactical issues more. How to draw your handgun from concealment, recommend practice times, and try to steer people more towards improving themselves with firearms. After seeing how easy the course was, I am a little concerned because I understand the average person's ability and knowledge of and with guns. This makes me want to improve even more to prevent unintentional harm from coming to my friends and family in dangerous situations from a criminal element as well as other carriers.
There is a 50 question test after the 10 hours of class work. An individual must receive a 90% to pass the NRA Basis Pistol classroom test. The classroom material covers all of the questions on the written test. I took my time with the test and I think it took me about 6 or 7 minutes. There were several questions on the test that were worded in a way that made me reread them. I did not miss any questions on the test, if I had rushed through the test I probably would have missed one or two questions because of the wording.
And the most fun test is shooting for 2 hours at the range to prove proficiency. I believe an individual must be able to group within 6 inches to pass. With very little practice and a basic understanding of aiming, this is quite easily obtainable to pass the shooting test.
From what I have seen in my area, these rules may not always be followed by instructors. But take the time to make sure that you can be proficient with the stated requirements because they are not hard and it may get you killed if you cut corners. These classes are only the very basics and I strongly believe that people should practice drawing their handgun, aiming, malfunction situations, shooting from various positions, and be as dynamic as possible.
Read the law and know what is legal and illegal when it comes to your CCW permit; ignorance will not protect you. If you have any questions call and talk to either your instructor, an attorney, or even the police. The Ohio Attorney General's booklet on concealed carry law is located the Attorney General's website for easy access.
You should receive a copy of this book from your class. If not, then simply go to the website and download the material for reading. The 2nd Amendment is a big enough and controversial enough topic there are also many interpretations of the laws on the internet if you want to google them. I would simply call the local authorities on this or talk to an attorney to make matters more simply and to know the source the information is coming from.
If you look at the application for the CCW you will see on the left hand side of it an area for a photo. This photo must be provided by the individual applying for the CCW. I have read that it is supposed to be 2 inches squared, but I took in a photo that matched the rectangle box which is roughly 2 inches by 3 inches.
Generally, a good quality photo that is cut to the suggested size can work for the sheriff's office. The photo must be a good quality and at most 30 days old. The more current the photo the better simply because the state of Ohio wants the closest image of you as possible.
The CCW Application
The application is a little more tedious than most everything else in the process. The reason I say this is the address part took me a couple of days to complete to the best of my knowledge. I have moved around 35 times in my life and the application asks for each address in order since the time the applicant turned 18 years of age. But overall, the CCW application is quite simple even if some of the questions are quite wordy. Take the time to fill this out completely before calling the sheriff's office about going to apply for a CCW.
- Carry your firearm
- Bring your firearm with you at all
- Forget documentation or forms
The Sheriff's Office
When you complete all of the steps to be able to apply for the CCW, you need to decide if you are going to visit your sheriff's office or one of the adjacent counties to you. I was planning on going to the next county because my own county had very limited hours for applicants to come in and file. I looked at my county sheriff's website and found the hours are fine. My county does have limited days that they accept applicants, but it still works great for me.
One thing that will prevent you from wasting time and annoying your sheriff's office is to check their website or call them for the hours that they accept CCW applicants. Each county can be different about hours and days that they will allow people to apply. Also, check into the form of payment that your sheriff's office will accept. I notice my county sheriff limits some of the payment options so I need to make a stop by my bank before going to the sheriff's office.
Call and ask if they need you to make an appointment before going. Be considerate and polite. When you do go visit the sheriff's office make sure to bring the following:
- Photo I.D. - driver's license etc.
- Certificate of training - NRA is most popular
- Payment for CCW application - check for methods of payment and amount
- Passport Photo - continues on with application
- CCW Application - completely and legibly filled out
- Finger Printed - electronically or inked
- Attorney General's Pamphlet - attest that you have read it
- Pass Background and Mental Competency Check
The concealed carry goes by several names. I call it a CCW, everyone seems to recognize what I am talking about and that is what I hear the most. The second naming I see is CCL, this stands for Concealed Carry License. I have seen CCH as well, which I assume stands for Concealed Carry Handgun.
The CCW Permit
I have met people who have done everything necessary to obtain a CCW and then decided that they did not want it. There are plenty of liability issues involved with carrying a firearm with you. Make sure that you know the laws, take it serious. Practice and talk to other people who are active in gun activities. You can always learn something new from others. And I will always tell people - practice! I am always on the look for learning something new. I talk to the police, instructors, watch videos, and what ever else I can do to learn something new. I take my family's safety and mine very seriously. The best way for me to do this is to keep learning so I am more efficient and have had more repetition and muscle memory built up when something does happen.