LIMA — Law-abiding Ohioans will no longer need to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun come June 13.
But Ohio’s much-anticipated Constitutional carry law shifts the burden of knowing who is legally permitted to carry a concealed firearm to the individual, which could expose those who previously would have failed a background check to prosecution for carrying a weapon under disability, a felony.
“It’s up to you to make sure you’re not carrying that gun illegally,” Allen County Sheriff Matthew Treglia told the Lima Rotary Club on Monday.
The sheriff was joined by Destiny Caldwell, chief assistant prosecutor for the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, to answer questions and dispel confusion about the law before it takes effect June 13.
Ohio is the 23rd state to adopt a permitless-carry law, eliminating the need for background checks, firearms training and filing fees that were once required to obtain a concealed carry license.
Individuals must be at least 21 years old and lawful U.S. citizens who are legally permitted to possess or receive firearms under state and federal law.
But there are many exclusions, including those for individuals with felony convictions, civil protection orders against them or a history of drug dependency, which are currently identified by background checks.
Treglia estimated his office sees an average of one ineligible application per month. Now, he anticipates those individuals may mistakenly believe they are permitted to carry a concealed handgun, which could expose them to criminal charges, imprisonment and fines.
Constitutional carry does not eliminate other gun laws either, such as those prohibiting guns in schools.
“So you need to know the law regarding where you can carry that handgun and where you cannot,” Caldwell said.