Ohio Traffic Stop: Are You Required to Notify Police of Your Gun?

When two people with weapons meet each other for the first time, a reasonable amount of wariness occurs. This wariness is increased when one of those person’s job puts them on the wrong end of a muzzle on a regular basis.

Law enforcement is a tough job that carries with it a significant amount of danger, so it’s reasonable to understand why some states require CHL permit holders to notify police.

In the state of Ohio, a concealed handgun licensee must notify police that they are in possession of both a CHL and a loaded firearm when stopped by officers during a traffic stop or some other law enforcement purpose.

An important detail to this law includes not only the driver and owner of the vehicle, but also the passengers. This means that if you are pulled over on your way to the range with a car full of your concealed carrying friends, you must identify to the officer who has a gun with them.

This is to be done promptly, so you could get into trouble if you fail to mention your loaded pistol until after you get your ticket.

The law additionally details that you are to leave your hands where the officer(s) can see them for the duration of the stop, and you are not allowed to get out of your car, or:

“… knowingly remove, attempt to remove, grasp, or hold the loaded handgun or knowingly have contact with the loaded handgun by touching it with the licensee’s hands or fingers.”

This means don’t be reaching for your gun when the officer is walking up to your window. This can make anyone, and especially officers, twitchy. So just leave your gun in the holster, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and stay in your car unless directed otherwise. These laws apply to being contacted by law enforcement outside a traffic stop as well.

CHL holders who are traveling in a commercial vehicle are also required to notify any motor carrier enforcement unit employee that they are in possession of a loaded handgun.

Now for the disclaimer: I am not, nor do I ever intend to be, a lawyer so this isn’t legal advice. If you have a clarification you feel needs addressing, or if this helped at all, please feel free to leave a comment to let me know.

All information used to write this article was obtained from the Ohio state government site.

Read here for an article by Jacob Paulsen about this topic, and here for an article about the legality of “No Guns” signs.


  1. Tyler Johnson on February 25, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    That’s good to know that some states will require that you tell the officer that you have a gun. I am considering getting my concealed carry permit, and I wouldn’t want to get in trouble legally if I was pulled over while I was carrying. I should make sure I know where I have to tell the officer about the gun if I decide to get one.

  2. Eric Anderson on February 14, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Law enforcement officers have no more of a dangerous job than millions of other hard working Americans. Cops shoot and kill over 1000 citizens each year. In 2018, 44 cops were shot. A citizen is far more likely to be shot by law enforcement than vise versus. It is our constitutional right to carry guns. Why wouldn’t a cop always assume that there is a gun in the car? Don’t they always have a gun? This makes no sense. It’s just another way for law enforcement to pull the wool over our eyes. I never want a cop to be killed or injured…..but they shouldn’t make ignorant laws that infringe on our god given rights.

  3. John on March 7, 2023 at 11:07 am

    Not true after 6/13/2022. Ohio became a “Constitutional Carry state” and at the same time changed the duty to notify law. Law Enforcement will now ask if there are any firearms involved when interacting with you – you no longer have “a duty to inform.”

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