Free CCW Licenses for Military Members
Senate Bill 81, sponsored by Senator Terhar (R-8), was signed into law in August and became effective today, Monday, November 5, 2018.
SB 81 specifies that active duty military and retired and honorably discharged veterans will have their fees waived for initial and renewed Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs).
NOTE: This does NOT mean military members can carry concealed without a license. You must still go through the same licensing process, and your fee will be $0.
Veterans are reminded that many sheriff offices still require applicants to bring an approved passport size photograph with their completed application. Sheriffs also vary greatly in the forms of payment they accept. Check with your sheriff’s office to follow their particular rules.
Ohio residents may apply for a CHL in the county of residence, or any adjoining county. Non-residents may apply in the county they work in, or adjacent counties.
There is a statewide cap of $1,500,000 per year for this benefit. This equates to 19,480 to 30,000 licenses depending on the mix of people obtaining or renewing their CHL. (Temporary licenses not considered.) Last year, there were 131,345 licenses issued. Military members would need to exceed 15 - 23% of all licenses for the state to reach the cap.
Military members' training does not expire, so their DD-214 or a statement of accepted training satisfies the requirement for proof of training (minimum 8 hours, including a minimum of 2 hours range time). The requirement for “competency training” was removed years ago, so anyone with an expired license can renew their CHL using their expired license as proof of training.
Military members and veterans are cautioned to review the Attorney General book on concealed carry and use of deadly force. The “rules of engagement” are much different in the military than under Ohio law. In cases of self-defense, Ohio law is different than every other state, and the United States. Hopefully that can be addressed in the coming weeks. See HB 228.
Many of our military members have paid for our freedoms with their lives. Those who are still active, retired, or honorably discharged should not have to pay for a license to exercise their God-given right to self-defense.
Our veterans thank Senator Terhar, Senate President Obhof, Speaker Smith and all members who voted for this legislation.
The Act is only 10 pages. Click here to download SB 81.
Franklin County Sheriffs department has published a video explaining their procedures.
Jim Irvine is Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman, recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award and CCRKBA's 2012 Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award.