Right to Prohibit Arms

A political subdivision’s ability to prohibit firearms is limited.  Everyone knows the Ohio Constitution makes clear “the people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security.”   Likewise, R.C. 9.68 states that unless “specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process, may own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition.”  In other words, Ohio is an open carry state.   In addition to openly carrying a handgun, Ohio law also authorizes individuals to carry a handgun concealed from the public.   R.C. 2923.126(A) permits a CHL holder to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in this state if the licensee also carries a valid license and valid identification when the licensee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.  Unlike private employers or private property owners, political subdivisions can prohibit weapons only in a building that is considered a government facility, but is not used primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility for motor vehicles, or rest facility.  See R. C. 2923.126(B)(9).  Now would be a good time to review your personnel manual and make certain your policy does not go too far and prohibit what the Ohio Constitution and R.C. 9.68 allow.