The laws around concealed carry handguns might vary from state to state, but your gun safety course doesn’t. Carrying a concealed handgun comes with unique requirements, both legally and practically. A concealed carry training course is designed to give you the knowledge and know-how to ensure your safety and that of those around you. 

Find out what you learn in an Ohio concealed carry training course. Learn why concealed carry training is important to ensure responsible ownership, and about the laws, regulations, and safe practices for concealed carry. And, see what kind of training activities course attendees engage in on the shooting range, so that you know what to bring on your training day.

Gun Safety Course on Concealed Carry in Ohio: What to Expect

If you are brand new to shooting and have yet to complete an introductory gun safety course for beginners, you may want to sign up for an upcoming training session. While concealed carry courses are considered basic courses, they also build upon the basic firearms safety training you receive from an entry-level gun class. An introduction to handgun safety training course teaches you the fundamentals of firearm safety, local and state laws, how to shoot and clean your gun, and other basics.

In a concealed carry course, your instructor recaps some of the handgun’s basic components and functions and expands to cover other types of handguns, as well. You learn about the options for concealing your firearm, and how to avoid the most common mistakes that lead to misfires and malfunctions. Often, most of the course takes place in the classroom, with at least 2 hours on the shooting range – totaling 8-hours in the state of Ohio.

For the best experience, come prepared for a focused day of coursework and hands-on training. Before you arrive, make sure to pre-register for the concealed carry training course you want to attend. To prepare you for your course, here is a brief overview of what you can expect and what to bring with you on the day of your training session:

What You Need to Know about Ohio Gun Laws for Concealed Handguns

In your concealed carry gun safety course, part of your classroom learning centers around state gun laws. In Ohio, you do not need a permit to own or sell a firearm, but a concealed carry permit is required to carry a concealed handgun. Ohio is a shall-issue state, and concealed carry permits are issued through a county sheriff. Shall-issue means the sheriff must issue a license unless there is a valid legal reason not to.

Except for vehicles and stores that sell alcohol – Ohio allows legal open carry of firearms without any permit or licensing requirements. To own, sell, and open carry a firearm, Ohio state law defers to the federal minimum age requirement of 18. But, you must be at least 21 years old to qualify for and obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). 

What is Required by Ohio Law to Get a Concealed Handgun License?

To get a concealed carry permit in Ohio, you must be 21 years old with valid state-issued identification. Ohio requires you to complete an 8-hour training course from an authorized firearms training center – unless you are a veteran or active service member. Active service members do not need a license to concealed carry in Ohio, and veterans can apply for a CHL without completing an 8-hour training course. Veterans should check with their county sheriff to confirm the exact requirements for application.

What Should You Bring to Class?

Be sure to contact the training center you plan on attending to find out what you need to bring and what is supplied by the instructor. If you have a handgun that you intend on using, bring it to class. If you do not yet have a handgun, be sure to choose a training center that provides firearms to use during the course. AimHi provides all firearms, ammunition, and safety gear required for their concealed carry courses.

If you are bringing your handgun to class, be sure to check with the instructor first for specific requirements, but ensure it is not loaded upon entering the classroom. The firearm should be visibly unloaded, with the slide locked back, cylinder empty, and safety on – as well, any magazines you bring should be empty. Most instructors will ask you to check-in your handgun at the classroom door.

If you do not have a holster yet, do not buy one before your course. The instruction you receive in class helps you decide what type of holster you prefer. 

Since a concealed carry training course is at least 8-hours long, it is a good idea to bring plenty of water and some snacks. Check with your specific instructor about opportunities for lunch. And, since a portion of the course will take place on the shooting range, be sure you dress appropriately if your range is outdoors. 

Finding a Concealed Carry Training Center: What to Look For

When you are ready to sign up for your concealed carry training course, look for a center that regularly conducts firearms training. Concealed carry courses are appropriate for experienced shooters and beginners, alike. The best training courses will provide students with eye protection, hearing protection, and all other necessary equipment to complete the course. And, if you’re planning to attend in the winter, look for a training center with an indoor shooting range.

By the time you complete the course, you will have instructions on how to safely load, unload, draw, shoot, and holster a concealed handgun. At AimHi, your 8-hour CCW course can take place over two days of 4-hour sessions to more easily accommodate your busy schedule, or you can sign up for a one-day class to get it out of the way. Sign up for an upcoming training session, and talk to an AimHi associate for more information on how to prepare for your upcoming gun safety course.