A stun gun (popularly also known as a Taser, the main maker of stun guns) is a non-lethal weapon used primarily for self-defense. People who have qualms about carrying a firearm, but who are also concerned about self defense, often opt to carry a stun gun as an effective, but less dangerous form of protection.
This article describes Ohio state law regarding how to legally carry a stun gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a stun gun is illegal in the state.
To learn more about how stun guns work, and how permitting laws vary by state, see States Requiring a Stun Gun Permit.
How to Legally Carry a Stun Gun in Ohio
In Ohio, stun guns are classified as a deadly weapon. As such, you must first apply for a concealed carry license before you carry a stun gun in public. (Certain exceptions may apply if you are, for example, a law enforcement officer.) And even with a concealed carry license, you may possess a stun gun only for self defense purposes.
For more information on obtaining your concealed carry license, see Gun Permit Laws in Ohio.
People Who May Not Carry a Stun Gun in Ohio
As part of the application for a concealed carry license, you will have to prove that you are not in a class of people that are prohibited from carrying deadly weapons in the state. These people include:
- fugitives from justice
- those charged or convicted of a felony or specified violent misdemeanors or crimes involving drugs
- those who have been adjudicated mentally defective, or involuntarily committed to a mental institution
- people who have been convicted of resisting arrest during the ten years prior to the application date, or
- those subject to a protection order in any state.
(Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.125(D)(1).)
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Stun Gun is Illegal
It is illegal to carry a stun gun without concealed carry license, and for purposes other than self-defense. However, even with a permit, you may not carry a concealed firearm in the following places:
- a school safety zone or child care center (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.122(B).)
- a vehicle (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.16(B).)
- an airport or aircraft (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(1).)
- a state mental health institution (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.16(B).)
- a police or sheriff’s station or other correctional institution (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(1).)
- a courthouse (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.123.)
- a place of worship (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(6).)
- an establishment that serves liquor (unless you are not consuming any alcohol) (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(1).), or
- government buildings (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.126(B)(9).).
Penalties for Stun Gun Carry Violations
It is a misdemeanor to carry a concealed stun gun in Ohio without a concealed carry license. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both.
Additional penalties apply when you carry a stun gun in one of the prohibited locations described above. For example, carrying a stun gun in a school safety zone or courthouse is a felony in the fifth degree; and penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, between six and 12 months in jail, or both.
Getting Legal Help
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to purchase, carry, or use a stun gun in Ohio, or if you are facing charges for a stun gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.