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  • Ohio Gun Owners covers topics from self defense training, concealed carry information, to purchasing your first gun and everything in between!

    TheThirdDon
    No one is the perfect driver, chances are good you have been or will be pulled over at some point in your life. Some of us more than others! If you are legally carrying a concealed weapon and you'll pulled over in Ohio with a CHL the process is going to be different. Many times it will be a completely new process for you, and navigating through it to ensure no further legal issues can be confusing. I am here to help clear up that confusion and give you proven tips (and the law) about when and how to alert police you are carrying. What to do, and what not to do. First lets talk about what the law in Ohio states about being pulled over when carrying a concealed weapon. These are taken directly from the Ohio Concealed Carry Laws Handbook from Attorney General. If you have any questions or are unsure of any of these terms/procedures I suggest consulting a local attorney. If you are stopped for a law enforcement purpose and are carrying a concealed handgun as a CHL licensee:
    You shall inform the law enforcement officer you are carrying a concealed handgun*. You will keep your hands in plain sight at all times. You will remain in the vehicle at all times unless given other specific instructions by police officers. You will not touch or handle or attempt to do either of those unless in accordance with directions given by a law enforcement officer*. You will not knowingly disregard or fail to comply with any lawful order given by any law enforcement officer*. Failure to do any of the above instructions can result in additional criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies and having your CHL suspended for a period of 1 year to lifetime bans. If you are instructed to surrender your firearm then you also have the following rights
    If the firearm is not returned at the completition of the stop, the law enforcement officer is required to return the firearm in "the condition it was in when it was seized" If a court orders the firearm's return, and the firearm has not been returned to the licensee, the CHL licensee can claim reasonable costs and attorney fees for the loss and the cost of claiming the firearm. Things to remember when being pulled over while carrying a concealed handgun.
    Before the officer approaches, roll down your window and place your hands in plain view on the steering wheel. (10 and 2 o'clock position) Calmly tell the officer that you have a license to carry a concealed handgun and that you have the handgun with you and the location of the gun. Ask the officer if he has any particular instructions concerning the handgun. Do not touch or attempt to touch your handgun unless told to by the officer. Do not exit your vehicle unless instructed by the officer to do so Comply with all lawful orders given by the officer. Remember if you have a valid CHL and are not carrying a concealed handgun, none of this applies to you. Remember that Ohio has strict laws about the transportation of firearms in vehicles. What a typical interaction with law enforcement should be like when you have a CHL and are carrying a firearm. Police Officers jobs are dangerous and tough enough. Throw in the mix law abiding citizens also being able to conceal handguns and they can get even tougher and more dangerous. Its important you exercise common sense at all times during interactions with law enforcement (even if you think its some illegal BS, liberty depriving reason at the time it occurs). Below is how a typical scenario should play out if you are ever stopped for a law enforcement reason
    Officer: Hello sir/madam I am Officer Whatever and do you know why I stopped you today?
    You: Officer Whatever I have a valid CHL permit and I am carrying my handgun, it is currently holstered on my right hip. Do you have any specific instructions for me?
    Officer: Please follow the guidelines from your Concealed Carry Laws for the state of Ohio. If you are unsure of those please keep your hands visible, and do not attempt any fast or rapid movements toward your gun.
    You: Okay officer, how many I further assist you
    Every interaction I've had with police while carrying a concealed weapon as been a positive one. However making the interaction positive is your responsibility. You want to make sure the officer feels safe and knows that you present no threat or harm to him. Following the guidelines laid out in the Ohio Attorney General Handbook is the best way to make that happen.

    Ohio Gun Owner
    When it comes to defending your home having the right tool for the job is essential to everyone making it out alive with as little collateral damage as possible. I hope to help new and experienced firearm owners choose the most effective home defense firearms. Often times we only have one home defense plan, and perhaps only one firearm available to us as well. You only have one chance to make the right choice so be sure to understand what you are getting in to first.
    Shotguns as home defense weapons.
    Shotguns have the potential to be an effective deterrent before even firing a shot. The classic sound of a shell being racked is enough to make the most hardened criminals think twice about what they are doing. Shotguns provide a strong tactical advantage when loaded with different shells suited for the environment. Firing down a long narrow hallway with nothing on the other side your bullet could potentially strike? Throw a slug in that shotgun and send some projectiles down the hallway at the intruder(s). Watch it punch a 4" hole right in someone's chest. If you need to cover a wider area (shorter effective range) or want something that won't penetrate as far as that slug then think about putting some 00 buckshot in the shotgun and get it ready to unload as the intruders approach. Shotguns are powerful weapons and can provide great tactical advantages. However you always need to be aware of what is going to stop your projectiles. Slugs have the ability to travel through most home construction materials, and buckshot will spray out in unpredictable patterns.
    Handguns as home defense weapons.
    Handguns also make excellent home defense weapons. Handguns provide anywhere from 5-20+ rounds of ammo to defend yourself with. Handguns are also more mobile then shotguns and rifles too. Handguns can provide adequate stopping power should you need it and choose a large enough caliber. When considering a handgun for your home defense weapon you want to consider the caliber of handgun you are purchasing. While a .380ACP is great for concealment and everyday purposes I wouldn't want my life depending on it during a home invasion situation. The minimum caliber I suggest is a 9mm with top quality defensive ammo. Even better would be opting for a .45 or .357. No matter your choice be sure you can control whatever caliber you chose to shoot. Often times selecting a full size handgun over a compact will help with recoil issues and be a more comfortable fit.
    AR15/Rifles as home defense weapons.
    The AR15 rifle is the most versatile rifle in modern history. It is highly customizable and easy to shoot. Even most novice shooters are surprised with the low recoil, along with high accuracy of the .223/5.56 round. The AR15 has an uncanny ability to shoot anything from one foot away, to something clean across the house with superior accuracy. The AR15 makes mobility in tight quarters a problem, but if you have open, spacious living spaces that need defended the AR15 platform may make the most sense. You probably will not have to shoot 300 yards to disable your defender, but having that ability should you need it is nice.
    Conclusion
    Defending your castle is no easy task, and neither is figuring out which firearm best suits your needs. Each platform has their benefits, and each has their drawbacks. Remember for shotguns you may not be able to put the butt stock in your shoulder properly. Handguns can be inaccurate and lack stopping power if the proper caliber is not chosen. The AR15 platform can be cumbersome and heavy for small framed shooters. Be sure to practice your home defense plans often, and then refresh yourself on them at least once a month. The key is to buy something you can afford to shoot, and get out and shoot if often.

    Ohio Gun Owner
    Most of us probably own at least one firearm for home defense. Some of us have even probably shut all the lights off at night and explored our homes inch by inch mentally mapping out it. Preparing for the day, should it ever come that intruders enter your home unwelcome. But what would happen if an intruder came between you and that firearm? Or if your single home defense plan failed because it didn't take in to account any number of uncontrollable variables?
    Preparing more than one home defense plan can keep you, your family and your property safe and secure. You can minimize the chance for damages by being prepared and always having a backup plan. This means you'll need to evaluate your current home defense plan, and make an alternative version of it. I think for most of us our idea of home defense is the firearm in the nightstand or nearby, and maybe a flashlight and taking off to the noise to investigate and eliminate any threats. While not a terrible plan, what happens if you have multiple intruders or the intruders are also armed.
    Home defense plan number two should make available a secondary firearm and equipment to hold down a singular "safe-room" in case things go from bad to worse. Having a place to retreat to isn't a bad thing in fact it is a necessity, and being prepared in that room will make things better. Especially when police response time can be minutes to or even hours away.
    Prepare your plan around choke points.
    A good home defense plan involves the use of choke points that limit the ability for incoming and outgoing persons. In my house, which is two stories, choke point number one is at the top of the stairs which has a 90 degree turn at the top, which also provides excellent cover. No one gets up those stairs unless I have been mortally wounded, or am dead. No one is going down those stairs past me (kids, pets, family members), unless the all clear is given by myself or the police.
    My wife knows that if an intruder comes in she immediately grabs a cell phone and calls 911. She then gets the children and brings them in to our bedroom, where she has a shotgun waiting for anyone who enters that isn't myself or the police. I'm sure many of you self defense aficionados can see the short comings in that plan. What if somehow someone gets behind the choke point (entry though another room/level in the home). What if a child or animal runs past me and unknowingly puts themselves in harms way.
    Remember a lot of things can go from bad to worse under stressful situations. That is why having a backup plan is essential and it could save not just your life, but your families life as well. How many home defense plans do you have and practice? Let me know in the comments or by taking the poll. Don't have a plan and want help creating one, then just ask our experts in the community! 

    TheThirdDon
    In Ohio it is perfectly legal to openly carry firearms, it is your god given natural right, exercise it. You must know the rules and regulations that go along with open carry in Ohio before making a fool of yourself. According to information directly from Ohio Attorney General's Handbook on CCW Laws it clearly states on page 23 that "Open Carry. Ohio’s concealed carry laws do not regulate “open” carry of firearms. If you openly carry, use caution. The open carry of firearms is a legal activity in Ohio." To follow that up and give it actual code behind it we are going to give you information directly from the Ohio Revised Code. This code is what Ohio uses to interpret and enforce the laws and gives you rights and also places the rules for Ohioans to follow. Section 9.68 of the Ohio Revised Code deals with the Right to bear arms - challenge to law. (A) The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition. Except as 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.)
    Avoid these areas with your open carry firearms
    Before you load your firearm up and waltz around your town square shouting about your second amendment rights at the top of your lungs, understand that there are still places you can not carry that weapon. Please note that if you possess a valid concealed handgun license for the state some exceptions to these rules apply. This article however assumes that you DO NOT have a valid CCW Permit for whatever reason.
    You cannot, I repeat CANNOT open carry your firearm into a Class D Liquor establishment (a place that serves alcohol on premises for the purpose of consumption, IE: Bars, Restaurants, Night Clubs etc.). You cannot operate a motor vehicle with a loaded firearm unless you have a valid CCW Permit. Remember you can never, ever carry your long guns loaded in a vehicle in Ohio under any circumstance. You cannot open carry your firearm within 1000 feet of a k-12 school safety zone.  Criminal Protection Zones (CPZ's), yes business still have a right to disallow firearms on their property regardless if it is open carry or concealed carry. The usual places barred by Ohio Revised Code Statutory Locations like police stations, sheriff's office, highway patrol stations, courthouses, universities, aircrafts, government buildings etc. How do you define "Open" vs "Concealed" Carry
    Well lucky for you the court has already decided that debate. Concealed is when your firearm is situated as not to be discernible by ordinary observation by those near enough to see it if it were not cncealed. Absolute invisibiity is not a requirement of concealment, and ordinary observation did not extend to an unusually careful, thorough or detailed search. (Shipley v. State of Maryland)

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