Ohio prohibits any person from knowingly transporting or having in a motor vehicle a loaded firearm that is accessible to the operator or any passenger who has not left the vehicle.1 In addition, no person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the gun is unloaded and the firearm is carried:
- In a closed package, box, or case;
- In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;
- In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose; or
- If the firearm is at least 24 inches in overall length and the barrel is at least 18 inches in length, either in plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.2
A business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when both of the following conditions are met:
- Each firearm and all of the ammunition remains inside the person’s privately owned motor vehicle while the person is physically present inside the motor vehicle, or each firearm and all of the ammunition is locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the person’s privately owned motor vehicle;
- The vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.3
The state prohibits the knowing transportation of a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle if the possessor is under the influence of any alcohol or drug, or the person’s blood, breath, or urine contains a concentration of alcohol, a listed controlled substance, or a listed metabolite of a controlled substance prohibited for persons operating a vehicle.4
In 2011, Ohio repealed a provision prohibiting a concealed handgun licensee from knowingly transporting or having a loaded handgun while in a motor vehicle unless it was in a holster or properly stored.5
Ohio law prohibits the operation of a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle while the operator is transporting any firearm unless the firearm is unloaded and securely encased.6
Finally, Ohio prohibits any person from knowingly transporting or having a loaded firearm in a watercraft vessel if the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger.7 Persons are also prohibited from knowingly transporting or having a firearm in a vessel unless it is unloaded and carried: a) in a closed package, box, or case; or b) in plain sight with the action opened or the weapon stripped or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or that cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.8
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- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(B).
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(C).
- Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.1210.
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(D).
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(E). Certain rules apply to a licensee who is carrying a loaded handgun and is stopped as a result of a traffic stop or for another law enforcement purpose. See Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(E)(3)-(6).
- Ohio Rev. Code § 4519.40(A)(5).
- Ohio Rev. Code § 1547.69(C).
- Ohio Rev. Code § 1547.69(D).