It’s easy to forget the small stuff years after you receive your handgun license. But, if you fail to provide proper notice, you may find that you have unexpected problems.
Under ORC 2923.126, anyone who moves while holding a valid CHL license in Ohio is required to give notice of any change in the licensee’s residence address to the Sheriff who issued the license. The required notice must be given within forty-five days after that change. There are no details as to how that notice must be given. My standard recommendation is that the notice be given 1) in writing properly ad-dressed to the Sheriff’s office where your license was issued, 2) clearly identifying the CHL license number and prior residence address, 3) including a photocopy of the license, 4) clearly spelling out the new residence address, and 5) advising the Sheriff that the move occurred within 45 days of the notice. Do not expect a response from the Sheriff’s office. Do expect the Sheriff to confirm that your new residence makes you still eligible to hold an Ohio CHL. Do expect the Sheriff of the county where your license was originally issued to notify the Sheriff of the new county of residence that you have relocated there. Finally, do keep a copy of the notice you sent as part of your permanent CHL records. You may ask, other than the need to comply with Ohio CHL law, why should we care about this disclosure requirement; how will it ever be caught? Here’s how it could happen to you. You are driving along in your car and you are carrying. You moved many months or even years ago. One of your license plate lights is burned out giving local police probable cause to stop your car. When stopped, you quickly disclose that you have your CHL and you are carrying. The officer asks to see your driver’s license and your CHL. Then, the officer asks about the difference in the address between your driver’s license and your CHL. What do you say? Don’t lie. Suddenly, the officer decides that they don’t like you for some reason, and you are caught in the trap you created. Failure to disclose your move can create problems.
It’s always nice to update readers with logical outcomes to potential problems. You may remember some time ago when I reported that someone I knew was involved in shooting. While he was alone in his home, he woke to the sound of a stranger downstairs. He heard the stranger moving up the stairs toward his bedroom and believed he was about to be attacked. So, he grabbed his handgun and shot the intruder. The local Prosecutor submitted the case to the Grand Jury for possible indictment. The Grand Jury decided not to prosecute. In another case, an individual was the victim in a felony robbery where the bad guy held him at gunpoint. When the bad guy was momentarily distracted by his girlfriend, the individual grabbed his handgun and fired, hitting the bad guy twice in the chest. Then, when the bad guy was on the ground, he walked up and shot him one more time — in the head. He was arrested at the scene but then released. The case was presented to the Grand Jury, who decided not to prosecute. Without comment on the merits of each case, both CHL holders went free. Good for us.
Sometimes, when you think that the CHL laws are stacked against us, the system works in our favor.