Q: Will I get my CHL after the class?
A: No. This Course trains you in the needed requirements to obtain your OH CHL. After successfully passing the written and practical range exam, you will be issued a Certificate of Course Completion, which is needed to start the process to get your CHL at your local Sheriff's Office. Of course extra fees and application is needed with this Certificate, as well as an extensive background check and your fingerprints scanned.
Q: Do I really need to get a CHL? What are the ramifications if I carry without one?
A: Typically this offense is a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. However if the weapon is a firearm and it is loaded or has ammunition within reach, the offense is elevated to a 4th degree felony punishable by 6-18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Likewise if this is not your first concealed weapon charge or if you have been convicted of a violent crime in the past, you will also be charged with a 4th degree felony. Of course, if you are caught in this action, you've totally lost your ability to get a CHL anywhere, or own a firearm.
Q: Can I walk into a restaurant or a bar carrying?
A: Yes, as long as you are NOT consuming ANY alcohol.
Q: Can I open carry in the State of Ohio?
A: Yes. Ohio is a traditional open-carry state. The open-carry of firearms by those who legally possess the firearm is a legal activity in Ohio with or without a license. One must have a concealed handgun license to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle regardless of whether or not it is concealed.
Q: If I get pulled over driving my vehicle, do I have to inform the peace officer I'm not carrying at that time?
A: There is no concrete answer for this question. As soon as the officer runs your plate or drivers license, the computer (and maybe the dispatcher) will inform that the owner of the car is a CHL holder. If you're lending out your car, advise the driver of this fact as well. It's suggested after the stop and the officer gets to your window, with your hands on the steering wheel, advise the officer of your status. (Hello, before we continue, I have to inform you I am a CHL holder, and I am currently (or not), carrying. You'll not only show you're a responsible citizen, you'll give the peace officer a peace of mind knowing, s/he is dealing with someone that may be carrying a sidearm that is licensed to do so.
Q: Is it wise to have a round loaded in the chamber while carrying?
A: Only you can answer that question. Having a round in the chamber, ready to go, reduces the time to rack the slide and charge the firearm. Some people are afraid of accidental discharge if there is a round in the chamber. A properly made holster that covers the trigger guard should prevent that from happening. Also most new firearms can be dropped without it discharging. Do some research on the firearm you have/going to get and holsters and see what you come up with.
Q: How many guns can I carry on me?
A: As many as you can comfortably and without impeding your range of motion. If you leave your house looking like Rambo and can't walk or move your arms normally, you might want to reconsider how many you're carrying at that time.
Q: Do I always have to inform a a peace officer that I'm carrying, if I see one?
A: No. Unless you're being stopped for something. For example if you're standing in line at your local fast food place and there is a peace officer in line with you, no. If a traffic officer directs YOU to go in a certain direction, no. If you are stopped for a traffic event, or pulled aside for anything, then yes. Be polite, be professional, do NOT be afraid.
Q: What are your favorite sidearms?
A: My most favorite at the time of this writing is my Beretta 92FS. It's beautiful, accurate and just feels great. Left or right-handed shooters will appreciate this firearm. (For buffs and the curious - it's the JS92F300M model - made in Italy and it's 15+1 rounds at 9mm. For those of you in the Armed Service, it's called the M9.)
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