Thanks to a couple laws backed by Buckeye Firearms Association and signed by Gov. DeWine, it’s now legal to carry knives in Ohio. And cities cannot regulate them.
SB 140 went into effect on April 12, 2021, making it legal to carry knives of any kind openly or concealed. They are considered weapons or deadly weapons only if you use them as such.
SB 156 went a step further, going into effect recently on Sept. 13, 2022, adding “knives” to Ohio’s preemption law and prohibiting cities from regulating them.
This includes not just fixed-blade and folding self-defense knives that have long been popular in the state, but also switchblades, springblades, gravity knives, and similar weapons.
But what about other weapons, such as brass knuckles, cestuses, billies, blackjacks, and sandbags? Actually, these were always legal to possess in the Buckeye State. But it was illegal to make or sell them, and there was confusion about whether they were legal to carry.
So yes, it is legal to manufacture, sell, possess, and carry firearms, knives, brass knuckles, and other weapons in Ohio. And per Ohio Revised Code 9.68, no political subdivision in Ohio can regulate firearms, their components, ammo, or knives.
It’s possible that your hometown has laws regulating weapons other than guns and knives, though. So you should check before you start carrying anything not specifically protected by state law. And if you have any doubt about your personal legal status regarding possessing or carrying weapons, consult an attorney.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.