Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that we receive from some of our customers.
Q. Where do I apply for a permit?
A. At the sheriff's office where you reside or in an adjacent county.
Q. When can I apply?
A. The law goes into effect April 8, but the Ohio Attorney General's office must submit rules governing the permit process within 30 days after that to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. Within 30 days of the rules taking effect, the application form, instructional pamphlet and license form must be available to county sheriffs.
Q. Do I have to get a permit before I get training?
A. No. In fact, it's recommended that people get training now.
Q. If I have been trained already, do I have to do it again?
A. No, as long as the training occurred within three years of your application for a permit and it was done by a certified instructor who teaches the law's minimum educational requirements.
Q. How much training do I need?
A. A minimum of 8 hours, including two hours on a firing range, and a written and physical test provided by a certified trainer.
Q. Is cost of training part of the permit fee?
Q. What does the permit cost?
A. The law says up to $67. However, if a federal criminal history check is made of an applicant who has been an Ohio resident for less than 5 years, the fee can be the actual cost of the federal check, plus the $67.
Q. Once I start the process, how long before I get my permit?
A. The sheriffs expect a high demand initially. The law requires the sheriff to issue a permit within 45 days of receipt of a completed application unless you do not qualify. Therefore, it could take 45 days, "even if you're first in line."
Q. What takes so long?
A. In addition to high demand, it takes time to check background, fingerprints, addresses, criminal records and mental competency.
Q. Aren't mental competency records confidential?
A. The Attorney General's office and the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association are working on how that information can be protected while using it to meet the requirements of the law.
Q. Who keeps all this information and is it public?
A. The county sheriff keeps permit information. Supporting documentation, which is not a public record, must be destroyed within 20 days. Journalists may obtain the permit holder's name, date of birth, county of issuance and the type of license granted. The Attorney General's office must keep statistical information about permits. The first report will be issued no later than July 8, 2005.
Q. Do I have to carry the permit with me?
A. Yes, as long as you have the gun with you, either on your person or in your vehicle.
Q. Do I have to tell a police officer I have a concealed weapon?
A. Yes, if you are stopped by an officer and transporting a loaded weapon inside the vehicle, you must promptly announce that you have a permit, and that a weapon is in the vehicle or on your person. Officials recommend that anyone, with a weapon or not, put their hands on the steering wheel of their vehicle. Do not reach for anything. Do not get out of the vehicle and comply with all instructions. Doing so may suggest to an officer that you are reaching for a gun.
Q. Should I bring my gun with me when I apply for a permit at the sheriff's office?
A. No. You cannot carry a gun into a sheriff's office. Leave it at home or in your vehicle.
Q. Can I carry the gun concealed everywhere else?
A. No. Weapons are prohibited at some locations such as schools and government buildings. Also, local businesses will decide whether to allow guns on their property. And employers will decide whether employees can bring guns to work.
Q. How will I know?
A. Those who prohibit guns must post a sign at the entrance of their facility. For the full Concealed-Carry Weapons law, go to www.ag.state.oh.us. .