Open Carry and Vehicles?

Open Carry is carrying a firearm unconcealed in Ohio. OC does not require a concealed handgun license, but the practice requires intimate knowledge of the law since there are places and situations where OC is prohibited but carrying concealed would be permitted. OC is also likely to attract attention. This forum is for discussion of OC, not for debating the pro's and con's or coordinating any type of protest events.

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Open Carry and Vehicles?

Postby ShawnK1017 » Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:06 pm

The title basically says it all! How is it possible to legally open carry in Ohio when you're in a vehicle? I'm currently working on getting my CHL but I'd like to open carry in the meantime. I find it rather pointless since I'm a delivery driver and spend most of my day in the car. I've read the laws but they're very confusing. I know if the gun and magazine aren't in enclosed separate containers the gun has to go in the trunk or a rack or "holder" made for the purpose. So would it be legal to have my gun holstered openly on my hip with a snapped thumb break and have the magazine in a separate magazine holster or pouch so that way I can load it easily in the event someone trys to rob me? I'm just trying to find a way to legally protect myself until I get my CHL so if anyone has any experience or advice here I'd really appreciate it. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Open Carry and Vehicles?

Postby JustaShooter » Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:49 pm

ShawnK1017 wrote:So would it be legal to have my gun holstered openly on my hip with a snapped thumb break and have the magazine in a separate magazine holster or pouch so that way I can load it easily in the event someone trys to rob me?

I'm afraid not, sorry.

The way I read Ohio law, however, you *could* do something like this: Gun in the closed center compartment of a range bag, and loaded magazine(s) in an external pocket that completely encloses the magazine(s).
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Re: Open Carry and Vehicles?

Postby ShawnK1017 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:26 am

Ok thanks....that may actually be doable for the next couple weeks.
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Re: Open Carry and Vehicles?

Postby EricTheBald » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:14 am

I am not a lawyer, so I cannot give legal advice.

I CAN however, tell you how I read the law and how I would interpret it as pertains to ME and MY decisions.

However, MY interpretation of the law AS WRITTEN in Section 2923.12 and Section 2923.16 is that if I did not have a CCL and I was in a car, I could open carry using a chest holster PROVIDED that the ammunition (whether loose, or in a speed loader, clip or magazine) was stored in in a place that I could not reach without leaving the driver's seat.

Section 2923.16
(C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the person may lawfully possess that firearm under applicable law of this state or the United States, the firearm is unloaded, and the firearm is carried in one of the following ways:

(1) In a closed package, box, or case;

(2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;

(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;


Note that (2) says "In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle"
As a practical matter this is usually interpreted to mean leaving the driver's seat, since in most cars you could climb THROUGH the vehicle to reach the cargo area and in many cases, the trunk.


All that being said, I would NOT choose to do so for one very simple reason: Not being in violation of the law does NOT prevent me from being CHARGED with a violation of the law and having to defend myself in court.

The simple truth is, cops are people and as such are subject to having all sorts of different reactions to any given situation, which in turn depends on numerous factors including whether they are just having a bad day.
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Re: Open Carry and Vehicles?

Postby JustaShooter » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:49 am

EricTheBald wrote:I am not a lawyer, so I cannot give legal advice.

I CAN however, tell you how I read the law and how I would interpret it as pertains to ME and MY decisions.

However, MY interpretation of the law AS WRITTEN in Section 2923.12 and Section 2923.16 is that if I did not have a CCL and I was in a car, I could open carry using a chest holster PROVIDED that the ammunition (whether loose, or in a speed loader, clip or magazine) was stored in in a place that I could not reach without leaving the driver's seat.

Section 2923.16
(C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the person may lawfully possess that firearm under applicable law of this state or the United States, the firearm is unloaded, and the firearm is carried in one of the following ways:

(1) In a closed package, box, or case;

(2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;

(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;


Note that (2) says "In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle"
As a practical matter this is usually interpreted to mean leaving the driver's seat, since in most cars you could climb THROUGH the vehicle to reach the cargo area and in many cases, the trunk.

The section you quoted refers to how the *firearm* can be transported, it does not apply to how the ammunition must be transported when transporting a firearm without a CHL.

FYI
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