New Ohio Gun Laws Reduce Training Hours for Concealed Carry: Good Idea?

Gun collectors, hunters and sportsmen in the Buckeye State should be celebrating this week as a bevy of pro-gun laws took effect Monday, including one that allows the use of suppressors during hunting.

Among the other new laws are one that allows one to buy rifles, shotguns and ammo from any state; one that reduces the number of training hours required for one to obtain a concealed carry permit; one that makes all out-of-state concealed carry permits valid in Ohio; and an expanded background check process for CCW permits.

“This is a very comprehensive bill,” Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told the Columbus Dispatch. “Over time, people will look back and see this as a watershed law that fixed a lot of little things.”

“For the first time, Ohio is going to do real background checks,” Irvine continued. The new law empowers county sheriffs to check three national databases directly, instead of just one maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation of the Ohio attorney general’s office. The federal databases contain voluminous criminal-history records, including warrants, protection orders and lists of people who don’t qualify for a permit because of a prior arrest or dishonorable military discharge.”

While many within the firearms community are on board with the new changes, some see the cut down in training hours as a threat to public safety. The firearms instructor featured in the video above argues that eight hours is too few to properly train a concealed carry applicant.

Yet the obvious rebuttal to that argument is that the Second Amendment is a fundamental and Constitutionally-protected right, one that many believe shouldn’t be subject to restrictions, i.e. mandatory training. To put this in a different light, one doesn’t need training to exercise one’s right to free speech or to practice a religion.

No one would argue that gun owners and concealed carry permit holders should train as much as possible. But whether a certain number of hours of training should be required before one is allowed to carry in the public squares remains a topic for debate.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Dave April 27, 2018, 8:19 am

    Having taken a CCW course, a son as a cop and being quite familiar with fitearms and their aftermath I believe 8 hrs is too short! It is like getting a learners permit. Ohio should go back to 12 hrs and stress the actions and responsibilities needed AFTER starting to carry.

  • Russ April 1, 2015, 3:48 am

    It’s funny how righteous guys disagree here about the number of hours any one person needs to CC.
    That’s because everyone’s skills and mindsets are different. Of course your all going to disagree.
    None of us know exactly how many hours of training an individual needs, so don’t act like you do.
    Did you argumentive folks not hear what Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association explained?
    He said that the trainer will use his discretion to determine how much time the student needs to be signed off for a permit.
    The trainer is the ONLY one who knows the number of hours the individual needs.
    It all sounds plain and simple to me, and I’m agreeing with Ohio’s wise decision.
    It’s a step forward in the right direction.

  • FirstFreedom March 30, 2015, 11:16 pm

    My state of Georgia has ZERO requirement for training to “qualify” for a concealed carry permit. Our streets aren’t awash in blood. Firearms related accidents occur but not as many as some of the other states.

    During my years as a peace officer in Atlanta (metro fugitive squad), I didn’t encounter any situation where a citizen’s training, or lack thereof, had significant impact.

    That’s not to say that training isn’t worthwhile. I trained shooters in the civilian world and was a weapons instructor for 14 years in the Army.

    But requiring training in order to exercise one’s Constitutional Second Amendment rights is reprehensible. No other Constitutionally protected right requires training–although I do wish elected officials and appointed bureaucrats would be required to have training in the Constitution before taking office.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth.

    • Russ April 1, 2015, 3:09 am

      You got it right FF.

  • Ken March 30, 2015, 4:16 pm

    I’m a Ohio CCW instructor with several hundred students to by credit. I can say this with certainty, eight hours is not enough. I know why Ohio reduced the time from 12 to 8 hours, for purposes of reciprocity with other states who had fewer training hours. That being said and not bringing the 2d Amendment into the argument, the law is fickle when it comes to use of force with a firearm and no two situations are ever the same. In my classes, two hours were dedicated to nothing but the law. Two hours of supervised range time and the remaining six hours or so (because of breaks) were dedicated to the basics of firearms knowledge and handling. Many of my students were first time firearms users with no experience; older folks, women, younger folks. Less than a third on an average were experienced firearms handlers that were taking the class solely for the CCW permit. Just my two cents worth but I think the reduction in training hours was hasty.

    • tyler kent October 28, 2016, 10:14 am

      I don’t need training to vote. I don’t need training to hire a lawyer. I don’t need training to express my opinion. I don’t need training to protest government action and seek redress of a grievance. I don’t need training to enter into a contract. In fact, I don’t need training to exercise any constitutional right, including the right own and carry a firearm.

    • Kuby November 11, 2016, 11:18 am

      I’m also a OH CCW, NRA 7x Cert, and OH WDNR Hunter Ed instructor. The OH CCW program can be based off the NRA Pistol that is merely a pistol safety and basic orientation course that does not teach anything about when to pull and when not to pull or even how to pull your pistol. That type of training is in the NRA PP outside course that is still quite lame. But the dumb down of training is much like OH WDNR Hunters Ed course – a complete and ONLY book course. No video or outside how-to or what-if’s. But due to proclaimed “heritage” if you are old enough to pass the 100 question book course you can hunt with a gun – I’ve had children as young as 8yrs old get their Hunter Ed card. Safety is not a real consideration in OH. Another case in point – muzzle-load rifles using sabot rounds are allowed for deer hunting but not 30-30 rifle – what is the range/accuracy difference, not much, it’s just a single shot vs. multi-shot. Yet, OH is a shotgun only Deer gun hunt over range/safety concern. But there is no rule against using a 7mm or even 50cal if you’re varmint hunting – where is the Safety concern now.

      I’m glad I got my Wisconsin DNR Hunters Ed when I was 12yrs old the age we were allowed to go gun hunting with a parent, first year to go pheasant and deer hunting too. As we had a field course and a range course and well as a test to take to prove we understood. Even Boy Scouts back in those days had 22 rifle training/shooting. I’m glad I was Military trained, just not the Vietnam use of it; I also got some special NIS training that really taught me CCW methods, use, awareness. I do not carry often but I feel comfortable when I do – there are times/locations/situations one should not pull that is lacking in current State CCW training and even NRA courses.

  • Rev. Charles Deaton March 30, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I am a certified instructor here in Kentucky. Eight hours is plenty to teach everything you need to know. This includes two hours range time to fire your weapon

    • Dutro March 31, 2015, 4:02 pm

      Reverend, you miss the point. The issue is whether in 8 hours the instructor can *teach* well enough, and whether all applicants can *learn* well enough to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens to be “well-regulated” carriers in public.

      In the 2nd Amendment, we gun zealots ignore the part which predicates the right to bear arms upon the purpose of maintaining “… the security of a free State, …” Achieveing a free state includes requires its citizens to behave responsibly for the freedom of harm by each other.

      There were people in my ccw class who passed the training to achieve ther 2A “right” to carry, but who I would consider incompetent handle or use a firearm in public. Where will the obligation for a well regulated militia to behave responsibly and carefully enough for the safety of public come from if we limit or eliminate training requirements?

      I won’t be traveling to Georgia anytime soon.

  • Karl March 30, 2015, 12:58 pm

    In watching the video about reduced required training time I had Two thoughts go through my head the instant the video concluded. 1st was this is great it allows people to enjoy their 2nd amendment rights without having to spend so much MANDATORY time in class, now its 8 hours and your free to carry on! 2nd was if I were a prosecutor in the United States today and I was prosecuting an honest never been involved in any kind of trouble with the law guy who murdered a known drug dealer in self defense, who was at the time armed with an illegal gun, of course the bad guy was a Felon and had a criminal history 6 pages long and was already under suspicion for murder in another state. Well I am prosecuting the guy who murdered MY client, even though he looks to be a great family guy with no criminal history in his life, he has a family and a good job BUT he murdered my client in a claimed self defense situation! Hmm, lets see he only completed the 8 hr course for CC, and not the 12 hr course he should have, even though the state only requires the 8 hr course! I see attorneys defending scum hitting on this so hard that our legal system will be even MORE tied up in erroneous red tape! * hours is enough for 90% of applicants the others will benefit greatly from the 12 hour minimum! I see both sides but in this case I will side with keeping the course `12 hours!

    • Russ April 1, 2015, 3:00 am

      Bullshit, the defendant easily proves the armed criminal was intent on causing great bodily harm.
      Case dismissed, cremate the asshole.

  • Dan March 30, 2015, 11:30 am

    Here’s an idea. How about not having a training requirement for a CCW at all; but, if you do have certain specific training on various issues regarding firearms, that you earn legal protection against prosecution for proper use of your firearm. That way you can take steps to educate yourself and that education is rewarded by reducing the risk that you will be penalized for the proper use of your weapon.

    I like the reciprocity feature of the new law. Wish the Federal law would pass. Perhaps a President Kasich could make that happen.

  • Kenneth March 30, 2015, 11:19 am

    Training hours. What does that really mean? In Texas class time to go over the laws is between 8-10 hours. Is that really training? The proficiency portion, or shooting, is 50 rounds with a 70% score to pass under range officer supervision. Is that enough? In some of the classes I’ve been to over the years I’ve seen people bring in a brand new pistol they’ve never fired or some who have not been to the range since they last renewed the CCL (5 years). I’m told that our classes are more stringent than other states. While I am probably in the minority I think some should take the responsibility of having a CCL more seriously. Knowing the laws of the state and the consequences firing a weapon brings is one thing. Knowing that the bullet you fire has a high probability to hit the intended target is another. If you do not practice I’m not sure you have the real knowledge to carry responsibly. And yes I believe in the Second Amendment and the right to carry. I just think it should be done responsibly.

  • Larry R March 30, 2015, 11:11 am

    Arizona eliminated the refresher training for renewal of our CCW permits, then it made concealed carry legal for anyone, without a permit. As a CCW holder, I am not comfortable with any person being able to get a handgun and carry it concealed any time they want with no training whatsoever. Nor am I comfortable with some of the obviously deranged persons carrying either openly or concealed with no training whatsoever. I see people carrying whom I would not even be comfortable seeing them with a pocket knife. That being said, it has not resulted in any real problems, but it increases the potential for problems. I have had my CCW for 16 years, and I have carried open since the 70’s, I have been hunting since I was 7 or 8 years old. I am a firm believer that anyone who wants a gun should have training before getting it. Even if it is the NRA hunter safety training class, at least it is better than nothing.

  • Doc Loch March 30, 2015, 10:53 am

    Isn’t everyone forgetting the second amendment, here? The 2A does say, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but it also says that the militia is to be “well-regulated.” Now the term regulated, does not mean burdened by onerous laws at all. It actually means, “trained.” So an argument for training is a very good on. However, concealed carry permits are technically in and of themselves a violation of the 2A. Everyone wants a 2nd amendment right, but maybe everyone doesn’t want a 2nd amendment responsibility. What should the requirement be for regulation/training? You can’t have part of the amendment! You have either all of it or none of it.

  • R.S. March 30, 2015, 9:31 am

    Yes I am a firearms instructor and the new laws have gotten me more business. I’ve given almost 300 MarylandHandgun Qualification Licenses for free since SB 231 was passed because I think that owning a firearm is a right. Maryland also went from no training to training for both the initial and renewal wear and carry applications. The quality of the renewal applications have been for from good. This was a real eye opening to me because most had no ability to draw, aim, and fire a firearm in a concealed carry condition on the street. None had really thought of whats behind the target and the type of ammo necessary to protect others in a self defense situation . None had the real understanding of what the self defense laws of Maryland are and the aftermath of deadly force encounter. WE want our police to be trained and qualified to carry a gun but most don’t want the average citizen to do the same. I know driving is a privilege but driver training is a real plus for public safety. Even if your state doesn’t require it you owe it to the public to get quality education in firearms training besides shooting targets at the range. If people don’t even know the basic nra firearm safety laws and carrying a gun then we are in trouble.

  • Papa214 March 30, 2015, 8:27 am

    Well more training hours is a good idea for some folks, you all know not all get it right the first time through. So
    you might be a great shot and a safe shooter and even use common sense as a CCW, not all wanting to CCW are
    qualified and may need a few more hours. If only 1 or 10 don’t catch on and screw up a situation can back fire on the
    right to carry. You know how the media reacts ! Guess what saying is more is better it can protect all of us from the
    AGD (anti – gun dogs)

  • Austin Fox March 30, 2015, 7:32 am

    1st time I’ve heard any gun guy in Ohio complain about the reduction in required training hours. I did the 12 hour class and it was 8 hours too long. It shouldn’t be a considered a primary introduction to handguns. Primarily, it should be an examination of legal rights and responsibilities of a CHL holder.

  • Jeff March 30, 2015, 7:25 am

    As an Ohio CCW/Firearm Instructor I was against lowering the hours. Now that I did my first 8 hour class I think it will be good. I found people more alert and grasped all the info in the 1 day class 8hr than the 12hr. When the 2hr range portion would start I found people were getting tired and that’s when things would make me nervous. What I believe is the real problem most of the people who take CCW will never carry their firearm correctly and will never train. Also the new says if you are a resident of Ohio your out of state permit will no longer cover you i.e FL. You now have to get Ohio.

  • PudbertSavannahGA March 30, 2015, 6:54 am

    Know what training hrs are required here in GA?

    ZERO ! !

    Know what training CLASS is required here in GA?

    ZERO ! !

  • Jim Kramer March 30, 2015, 6:33 am

    I won’t mind needing a permit for my 2A rights as soon as sombody can show me their 1st Amendment permit.

    • Edgy March 30, 2015, 5:46 pm


    • OldGunGuy March 31, 2015, 6:40 am

      For a part of the First Amendment, that would be my voter’s registration card. Recognizing a right first, can also permit rationale discussion thereafter. The Court has clarified this as an individual right now as responsible gun owners we should be willing to engage in reasonable discussions.

    • Russ April 1, 2015, 2:41 am

      That’s one confounding riddle Jim.

  • Clark March 30, 2015, 6:00 am

    I also agree this is comprehensive. Every law has to be fair and this law certainly is. It’s pretty rare that you see a law that puts guns in the hands of the righteous versus the hands of the wrong doing. Psychotics usually don’t take the time to apply for CC. And even Zimmerman was never accused of being psychotic. People with CC are usually the people you want with CC. There’s just not enough of them.

    That’s not to say that someone might get a CC to prove me wrong. We don’t want that. But, otherwise, yes. I’m all for it.

  • Mark March 25, 2015, 10:55 am

    It’s not about whether it’s a good idea. I believe we all have a constitutional right to carry our firearms, whether it be open or concealed carry. No state should require a permit, or any training, before allowing citizens to conceal their weapons.

    • petru sova March 30, 2015, 9:14 am

      I have attended CCW classes as well and observed peoples behavior on public and private ranges and can tell you from 56 years experience that comprehensive training is an absolute must to prevent needless accidents and shootings that may result in expensive lawsuits. In one of my classes several people including a Doctor were handling guns in such a careless manner and with a lack of skill or knowledge of operation that the Doctor was admonished by the Class Teacher for not being familiar with the safe operation of his firearm.

      I might add that even the Doctor was unaware that in a shooting incident that even if your State has a Castle Doctrine Law on the books this does not prevent you from being sued in Civil Court even though Law Enforcement may have exonerated you in the shooting as justifiable self-defense. In other words the CCW permit is not a license to kill even if you are in the right. Like it or not that is judicial reality in the U.S. as well as in other countries as well.

      All this is why even the older more comprehensive CCW classes often did not go far enough in warning people about the legal consequences of a shooting even if you were in the right. Having less training can only lead to more anti-carry propaganda when a controversial shooting occurs.

      I will agree though that training should be free and paid for by the State because it is a Constitutional right unlike applying for a Drivers License which is not a Constitutional right.

      • angus March 30, 2015, 9:18 am

        If I have to take a class, “free” or not, it’s not a right.

        Further, I shouldn’t have to be forced to pay for your ccw training.

      • Johnny B Goode March 30, 2015, 12:06 pm

        I have seen police officers who have had “extensive” training that were a safety hazard. I have also seen range officers who were so anal the only people that could shoot at that range and enjoy themselves are people they trained. Sadly, the anal range officer is much bigger threat to our sport than people who are not safe with firearms. If you take all the fun out of shooting it is extremely hard for our sport to grow. We can train new shooters but we cannot get rid of the safety NAZI’s.

        • Matt March 31, 2015, 7:42 pm


      • Russ April 1, 2015, 2:23 am

        You can’t save the world.
        People should be able to make choices good or bad, and have consequences for them.
        I do like your idea of having the State pay for firearms training.
        I’ll go a step further and say, it should be a nation wide program that involves our school systems, and paid for Federally.
        Led by an organization that knows more about firearms and firearm safety than anyone else in the world; The NRA.
        Nobody should be made to have to train, but who would turn down free training from top qualified instructors?
        That’s the world I want to live in, and it will save itself.

    • Edgy March 30, 2015, 5:44 pm

      Required classes is as far as I’m concerned is an Infringement on my right to Bear arms !

      • Russ April 1, 2015, 2:34 am

        No shit!
        That ZZ Top fan was farcical, and his concern was transparent.
        Why did I feel like his T-Shirt was exploiting the two groups I have a great respect for?
        Ya Edgy, he lives off us. You can tell by that set up of his.

  • Slim March 24, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Way to go Ohio. Your moving back to the pure constitution interpretation. Your laws are still not completely constitutional but your getting closer. Congrats. Oh and thank you to all the NRA members who help make this possible.

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