The Law for Concealed Carry in Church


In going through the process of acquiring my ccw permit, I began to learn the ropes of where I could and could not carry. One area where I needed to learn was my church. I stumbled across how the law works for churches and concealed carry quite by accident.

Chance Discussion

While talking to my Pastor, he said that it was not permitted to carry in our church. I responded that I thought that a church was just like a private establishment where it had to post a sign if they did not want a person to carry concealed in their building. If there’s no sign you can carry. But my pastor indicated to me that the opposite was actually true.

The Law

In double checking with my concealed carry instructor (who happened to also be an elder in our church) I learned something new. In Ohio, if the church governing body makes the decision that concealed carry is going to be allowed, no signage is required. all that’s needed is for a decision to be recorded in the church “minutes”.

The opposite is also true. If the church governing body records that concealed carry is not going to be allowed in the building, then that is all that’s needed. Again, no sign is required by law. Violators are considered tresspassers.


The trouble with the way the law is set up in Ohio is that without a sign, visitors are in the dark and left guessing what the church has decided. I’ve been a member of my church for over a decade, and would not have known I wasn’t allowed to carry in the building had it not been for a chance discussion with the pastor (if you believe in chance).

Know the Law

With this Ohio law in mind, I would advise churchgoing conceal carry permit holders to verify what the laws are in your state, and what your individual church’s stance is on carrying a concealed weapon in the building.


Do you know if you can legally carry in your place of worship?

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  1. Legal in Pa unless stated otherwise. We regularly have certain identified folks with concealed firearms for security purposes.

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