Non-Resident Licenses: When the Ohio Concealed Handgun License Isn't Enough (revised & expanded)

Editor's Note, September 2010: Laws and rules change. While the author sought to ensure accuracy at the time this article was published, it is incumbent upon the reader to verify any potential changes since then.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This article is no longer being updated by the author and will become increasingly out-dated.

By Ken Cormack

This article attempts to explain the concept of non-resident concealed carry licenses and permits, describes the application processes for some of the states that offer them, and lists the factors you should consider when choosing which non-resident licenses to obtain. It makes no attempt to describe the differences in the laws of the various states, with regard to firearms ownership in general, or concealed carry specifically.

Even if you choose not to obtain a non-resident license from any state, the following point still bears mentioning with regard to your Ohio Concealed Handgun License, since it too, allows you to carry concealed in several states other than Ohio - It is up to you to research and understand the laws of each state you plan to visit, whether simply transporting, or carrying a firearm in any state. This cannot be overstated as it can mean the difference between a pleasant trip, and an arrest. These laws vary widely from state to state, and the laws of the state you are in at the time, apply. Know the laws of the states into which you plan to bring your handgun. Professional legal assistance is advised, to answer any questions.

To this, Buckeye Firearms Association's Legislative Chair Ken Hanson adds the following: "Most federal law exemptions for CHLs apply only to a resident license, in the resident's home state. For example, the school zone law doesn't apply to someone with a CHL, but only if it is a resident license, and inside the state of residence". So again readers are cautioned to perform careful legal research, and consult professional legal assistance.


Simply stated, a non-resident license is a license from a given state, offered to citizens who do not live in that state. For states that offer both resident and non-resident classes of licenses, this can be a factor in where those licenses are valid. Possession of a non-resident license generally allows legal carry in any state that recognizes a resident class license from the issuing state. However, this is not universally the case. Colorado (CO), Florida (FL), Michigan (MI), New Hampshire (NH), and South Carolina (SC) only honor licenses for residents of the issuing state. They do not honor non-resident licenses. Careful selection of non-resident concealed handgun licenses can greatly expand the number of states in which you could legally carry your handgun, beyond the states already available with an Ohio CHL.

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