Just finished reading the new laws and need clarification. If I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon but I am not carrying at the time, do I still have to declare to the LEO that I have a CCW?
No, not at all. You must only advise the officer if you are actually carrying at the time, and if it is an 'official encounter' such as a traffic stop or call for service at your house.
Page 14 of the Ohio Attorney General's handbook:
(emphasis added by me)
Traffic Stops and Other Law Enforcement Encounters
If a person is stopped for a law enforcement purpose and is carrying a
concealed handgun as a CCW licensee, whether in a motor vehicle or not,
he shall inform the law enforcement officer that he is carrying a concealed
handgun. If in a vehicle, the licensee shall remain in the vehicle and
keep his hands in plain sight at all times. Violating this section of law
is a first-degree misdemeanor, and in addition to any other penalty
handed down by a court, may result in the suspension of the persons
concealed handgun license for one year.
This means if you casually run into an officer, such as in a restaurant or shopping in a store, just smile and pass on by.
o Right, I'm not touching the firearm even IF told to by the officerThis is what the new handbook says:
Do not touch or attempt to touch your handgun unless specifically toldto by the officer.
Comply with all lawful orders given by the officer.
If you are a licensee and are not carrying a concealed handgun, this section does not apply to you.
i'm with you 110%When I picked up my CHL, the deputy mentioned that my having it would be entered into the LEADS (Law enforcement automated data system), but not provided to outside entities like the newspapers and such.
I recently decided to pick up a scanner to listen in on my local goings-on, and within the firs day or two I heard the dispatcher giving the rundown on a dudes DL and she ended the conversation with "CCW". My thinking is that there's a pretty good chance that the cop pulling you over already knows you have a CHL, so any attempts to obfuscate its possession MAY put one in a bad light from the get-go.
Naive as it may sound to some of you guys, I still consider the cops as being the good guys (that jackwagon in Canton and other exceptions side), and I consider myself as a good guy. At the time of a law enforcement encounter, I still feel it's in my best interest to let the guy know we're on the same team.