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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

Ohio Laws on Deadly Weapons

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

According to Ohio law, you must have a license, be on active duty in the military, or currently be a law enforcement officer to carry a concealed handgun on your person. Otherwise, it is a criminal offense to carry. However, it is against Ohio law to carry any other concealed firearm or deadly weapon on you no matter if you have a license for it or not. If you are illegally carrying a concealed weapon, you will usually be charged with a first degree misdemeanor. If you’ve had a conviction for the same offense before, your penalties will be much worse and if the weapon is loaded while being concealed, you will be charged with a fourth degree felony.

If you have actually been charged with the offense of carrying a concealed weapon (unless it is a handgun or certain other dangerous weapons/explosives) you can make the argument that the reason you were doing so was for your own protection or the protection of your family or others while you were doing a legal act, but that act put you at a certain risk of attack.

When it comes to carrying weapons in your vehicle, Ohio has different rules. You can be charged with a fourth degree felony if there is a loaded gun or unloaded gun in plain sight in the car that anyone has access to in the vehicle, unless you have a concealed carry license or the proper permits during hunting season.

In Ohio, you are not legally allowed to carry a concealed handgun in the following places, even if you have a valid license:

  • places where all firearms are prohibited under Ohio law

  • colleges and universities (if not kept in a locked vehicle)

  • places of worship

  • government buildings, and

  • any private property with a posted sign prohibiting guns or concealed firearms.

If you are in possession of a concealed handgun while you are being stopped by law enforcement, you have to immediately let the officer know that you have a license and currently have the gun in your possession.

Ohio Weapon Laws

Prohibited Weapons

In Ohio, it is considered a fifth degree felony to possess any of the following weapons:

  • automatic and sawed-off firearms

  • ballistic knives

  • explosives

  • bombs, rocket launchers, grenades, mines, or other military weapons/ammunition; and

  • silencers, unless they’re attached to authorized hunting guns.

Legal Help for Weapons Charges

If you have been charged with a weapon offense in Ohio, talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to determine how to move forward with your case. Being convicted of this offense can come with serious consequences, such as hefty fines or even time in jail or prison. These consequences can make it difficult getting jobs in the future or simply passing a background check. An experienced attorney can let you know how the law in Ohio affects your case, let you know what to expect in the process, and help you present a strong defense.

Learn About Ohio Weapon Laws

Ohio’s law dictates that the application and acquisition of a deadly weapon are banned. Still, brass knuckles are not explicitly specified, leaving the discussion of what is a dangerous weapon up to the judge and the court.

Are Butterfly Knives Illegal in Ohio?

Ohio law authorizes the ownership and open carry of any knife. Concealed carry laws in Ohio do not define any blade, other than ballistic knives. Instead, it makes it illegal to conceal carry any deadly weapon.

Are Switchblades Illegal in Ohio?

The law on knives is complicated and hard to comply with and execute. If someone carries a moderately sized blade, provides strong justification as to why he is using it, and, most importantly, respects the city knife regulations, he is unlikely to have any concerns carrying a protective knife.

What Rifles are Legal to Hunt With in Ohio?

Regulations set for firearms are in the best interest of the citizens and wildlife. Only straight-walled cartridge rifles are allowed to be used throughout the state, as well as a variety of other states. This is because they are seen as being a more humane way of shooting deer.

What Size Knife is Legal to Carry in Ohio?

It is generally accepted that a blade 2.5 inches or smaller can be considered a work tool, and therefore can be hidden. With that being said, anything larger can be classified as a concealed weapon.

If you have been charged with a criminal charge related to a weapon, hire The Keating Firm, an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Interested in Ohio's family laws and statutes? The Keating Firm LTD. can help you get the information you are looking for.

Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.


Carol Lawrence
Carol Lawrence
Nov 05, 2023

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Duane Loya
Duane Loya
Mar 11, 2023

You need to update this the law on conceal carry in Ohio has changed and with or without a ccw permit a firearm can be concealed carry. Of course there are rules that have to be followed as always all the same rules apply less a few such as without a conceal license you can never carry in a school zone not even in a locked box in your car. Please go to the Ohio state attorney genera’s page to read about the change in the law. As I said this page is out dated.

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