The following is a video transcript.
Can I use my firearm to defend my home or property? How about while I’m out trick-or-treating with my kids or grandkids? Generally, there isn’t going to be anything different regardless of the fact that it’s Halloween. The State of Ohio doesn’t change anything based on the day or special activity, nor can local municipalities do anything to infringe upon your state given right to carry your loaded firearm during Halloween activities.
So first of all, let’s talk about defending property because as we all know, Halloween is a time where some people, usually teenagers, take the opportunity to cause damage or commit thefts from houses or businesses around the area. It certainly can be more than a little distressing to come out one morning and find all of your pumpkins smashed or your decorations destroyed or even stolen. While we try to make sense of the why, we must remember that in the State of Ohio you can never use deadly force to protect property.
So, don’t let your emotions overcome you and cloud your judgment. If you hear vandals outside and you confront them, do not act in a rash fashion and threaten to use deadly force to prevent the activity because you will quickly find yourself in a serious legal predicament. Even if they are streaming toilet paper through your trees or have a pumpkin over their head, ready to smash it to the ground, use restraint. Obviously, call the police and take whatever other non-deadly measures you find appropriate and safe for you and your family. The pumpkins and decorations are simply not worth being arrested and prosecuted for a serious criminal offense.
Now how about trick-or-treating? Well, you certainly can carry your concealed firearm with a permit to do so or open carry if you do not have a permit. Both are legal in the State of Ohio. There are no special restrictions, as I said, simply because it’s Halloween. All the same rules apply, and you must not use or display your weapon in a manner unwarranted by the situation. You must still have that important, bonafide belief that you are going to suffer potential death or great bodily harm before you can display and use your firearm. That being said, you can protect yourself and others just as if it was any other day.
On a side note, remember that children are obviously going to be out and about while trick-or-treating activities are going on, so extra precautions should be taken when we carry and potentially decide to use our firearms.