Yes, your Ohio concealed handgun license is valid in 26 states!
NOTE: The number of states in which your Ohio CHL is valid has increased since this article was published back in 2009. Click here for up-to-date information.
Here's a question people frequently ask:
Actually, we're both right.
The Attorney General's job is to negotiate "reciprocity" agreements with other states.
Here's how Ohio law explains it:
§ 109.69. Reciprocity agreements with states issuing licenses to carry concealed handguns.
(A) (1) The Attorney General shall negotiate and enter into a reciprocity agreement with any other license-issuing state under which a license to carry a concealed handgun that is issued by the other state is recognized in this state if the Attorney General determines that both of the following apply:
(a) The eligibility requirements imposed by that license-issuing state for that license are substantially comparable to the eligibility requirements for a license to carry a concealed handgun issued under section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.
(b) That license-issuing state recognizes a license to carry a concealed handgun issued under section 2923.125 of the Revised Code.
In plain English, if another state has concealed carry rules similar to Ohio's rules, the two states agree to recognize each other's license. To date, that includes Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
That's 18 states. So why do our CCW cards list 26 states? Because while some states don't have concealed carry laws that are "substantially comparable" to those of Ohio, they have decided to "honor" our license. We don't recognize their license, but they recognize ours.
To date, the states that "honor" Ohio's license include Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Vermont.
That's 7. So add the 18 "reciprocity" states to the 7 "honor" states, and you get 25 states where you can carry with your Ohio Concealed Handgun License.
What's the 26th state? Ohio, of course.