Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

GUN LAWS  

Ohio Gun Laws

Friday, July 24, 2020

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - Article 1, Section 4.

“The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.”

Gun Laws Overview

RIFLES & SHOTGUNS HANDGUNS
Permit to Purchase No No
Registration of Firearms No No
Licensing of Owners No No
Permit to Carry No Yes

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition. 

RECIPROCITY NOTES:  Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire. Pennsylvania and South Carolina recognize Ohio’s RESIDENT permit only.  See http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Law-Enforcement/Concealed-Carry/Concealed-Carry-Reciprocity-Agreements.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

STATE STATUS
Castle Doctrine Enacted
No-Net Loss No Legislation
Right to Carry Confidentiality Enacted
Right to Carry in Restaurants Legal
Right To Carry Laws Shall Issue
Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition Outright Recognition
Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions With Provisions
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Select Map
Click on a State to see the Gun Law Profile

 

Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

Possession

No state permit or license is required to possess a handgun, rifle, or shotgun.

MORE

State law makes it a felony for any of the following persons to acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance:

  • a fugitive from justice.
  • any person who is under indictment for, or who has been convicted of any felony offense of violence (including anyone who has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense of violence).
  • any person who is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, a felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse (including anyone who has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would qualify under this provision).
  • a person who is “drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence, or a chronic alcoholic.”
  • a person who is under adjudication of mental incompetence, has been adjudicated as a mental defective, has been committed to a mental institution, has been found by a court to be a “mentally ill person subject to court order,” or is an involuntary patient other than one who is a patient only for purposes of observation.

This law does not apply to any indictment, a conviction, or adjudication where the person has obtained a restoration of their firearm rights as provided in Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.14 or otherwise by operation of law or legal process. As used in this law, “firearm” means any deadly weapon capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant, and includes an unloaded firearm and any firearm that is inoperable but that can readily be rendered operable. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.13(A) (prohibited persons); 2923.11(B)(1) (definition of firearm).

“Dangerous ordnance” generally includes an automatic or sawed-off firearm, zip-gun, or ballistic knife; a firearm suppressor; and any explosive device or incendiary device, but excludes any firearm that employs a percussion cap or other obsolete ignition system or that is designed and safe for use only with black powder; any firearm with an overall length of at least 26 inches that is approved for sale by the federal ATF as not regulated under the National Firearms Act, and  item that is inoperable or inert and cannot readily be rendered operable or activated, and that is kept as a trophy, souvenir, curio, or museum piece. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(K) and (L).

With limited exceptions, state law prohibits any person from knowingly having, acquiring, carrying, or using any dangerous ordnance. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.17(A). This does not apply to authorized persons in the military or law enforcement. owners of “dangerous ordnance” registered in the national firearms registration and transfer record pursuant to federal law, persons who own a firearm suppressor attached to a gun that is authorized to be used for hunting by state law and who have a valid hunting license and are authorized to possess the suppressor under federal law. See Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.17(C) for all exceptions.

Ohio law makes it a felony for any person who is a “violent career criminal” to knowingly use a firearm or dangerous ordnance. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132(B).

It is a crime for a person to carry or use firearm or dangerous ordnance while under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.15.

Age-based prohibitions in state law make it a crime to sell or otherwise provide any firearm to a person under 18 years of age or a handgun to a person who is under 21. This does not include providing a firearm or handgun to the minor for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes, including instruction in firearms or handgun safety, care, handling, or marksmanship under the supervision or control of a responsible adult. The sale and providing law also does not apply to a handgun if the minor is at least 18 years old and either a law enforcement officer who is properly appointed or employed and has received firearms training approved by the Ohio peace officer training council or the equivalent, or an active duty member of the US armed forces who has received firearms training that meets or exceeds the training requirements needed to obtain a state concealed carry license. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.211.

It is illegal to transport or carry a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, if the gun is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle. One of the exceptions is a person transporting or carrying a loaded handgun who either has a valid concealed handgun license, or is an active duty member of the US armed forces of the United States with a valid military ID card and documentation of successful completion of firearms training that meets the permit requirements. To qualify for this exemption, the person cannot be in any of the places that are prohibited for carrying under Section 2923.126(B) (see the section on Carrying). Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(B), (F)(5) (exception).

State law prohibits knowingly transporting or having a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle if, at the time of that transportation or possession, the person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them, or the person meets the criteria for driving while under the influence of alcohol or a listed controlled substance, or controlled substance prohibited for persons operating a vehicle, regardless of whether the person is the operator of or a passenger in the motor vehicle. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(D).

State law allows a person, who is not prohibited by law from possessing firearm, to have or transport a firearm in a motor vehicle if the gun is unloaded (as defined below) and carried in one of the following ways: in a closed package, box or case; in plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for that purpose; for long guns, in plain sight, with the action open or the weapon stripped, or if the firearm’s action will not stay open or it cannot be easily stripped, in plain sight. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(C).

“Unloaded” means (1) for a firearm employing a percussion cap, flintlock, or other obsolete ignition system, the weapon is uncapped or the priming charge is removed from the pan. (2) For other firearms, that no ammunition is in the firearm, no magazine or speed loader containing ammunition is inserted into the firearm, and either there is no ammunition in a magazine or speed loader that is in the vehicle and that may be used with the firearm, or any magazine or speed loader that contains ammunition that may be used with the firearm is stored in a compartment within the vehicle that cannot be accessed without leaving the vehicle or is stored in a container that provides complete and separate enclosure. Ammunition held in stripper-clips or in en-bloc clips is not considered ammunition that is loaded into a magazine or speed loader.

A “container that provides complete and separate enclosure” includes, but is not limited to, a package, box, or case with multiple compartments, as long as the loaded magazine or speed loader and the firearm either are in separate compartments within the package, box, or case, or, if they are in the same compartment, the magazine or speed loader is contained within a separate enclosure in that compartment that does not contain the firearm and that closes using a snap, button, buckle, zipper, hook and loop closing mechanism, or other fastener that must be opened to access the contents or the firearm is contained within a separate enclosure of that nature in that compartment that does not contain the magazine or speed loader. It also includes a pocket or other enclosure on the person of the person that closes using a snap, button, buckle, zipper, hook and loop closing mechanism, or other fastener that must be opened to access the contents. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(K)(5) and (6).

(A person who is carrying a valid concealed handgun license may have one or more magazines or speed loaders containing ammunition anywhere in a vehicle as long as no ammunition is in a firearm other than a handgun in the vehicle. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(L).)

A business entity, property owner, or public or private employer is prohibited from establishing or enforcing a policy that prohibits a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in a privately-owned vehicle. This applies only if the vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be, and any firearm and all of the ammunition remain inside the vehicle while the person is physically present inside the vehicle, or are locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the vehicle.

A business entity, property owner, or public or private employer  that violates this law is liable to a civil action for injunctive relief brought by any individual injured by the violation. The court may grant any injunctive relief it finds appropriate. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1210(A), (B).

State law prohibits any person who is “under detention at a detention facility” from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon. “Detention” includes arrest and confinement in any vehicle subsequent to an arrest; confinement in any public or private facility for custody of persons charged with or convicted of crime or alleged or found to be a delinquent child or unruly child; hospitalization, institutionalization, or confinement in any public or private facility for criminal commitments or transport to and from such facilities. “Detention facility” includes any public or private place used for the confinement of a person charged with or convicted of any crime, or alleged or found to be a delinquent child or unruly child. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.131(B); 2921.01(E) and (F) (definition of “detention” and “detention facility”).

Other places where possession of any firearm is prohibited include:  

Liquor permit premises. Guns are prohibitedin any room in which any person is consuming beer or intoxicating liquor in premises for which a D permit has been issued under the state liquor licensing law, or in an open-air arena for which a permit of that nature has been issued. This prohibition has a number of exceptions and affirmative defenses, including an exception for any person carrying pursuant to a valid concealed handgun license, or any person who is an active duty member of the US armed forces carrying a valid military ID and documentation of successful completion of firearms training that meets the permit standards, as long as the person is not consuming alcoholic beverages or is under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.121(A), (B)(1)(e) (exception).

School safety zones.” “School safety zone” means a school, school building and school premises (regardless of whether instruction, extracurricular activities, or training provided by the school is being conducted), school activity, and any school bus. A “school activity” includes “any activity held under the auspices of a board of education, joint vocational, or cooperative education school district or a governing authority of a community school. It is a crime to knowingly convey or attempt to convey a firearm or dangerous ordnance into a school safety zone. It is a crime to knowingly possess a firearm or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone. It is a crime to possess, in a school safety zone, an imitation firearm and indicate that it is an actual firearm. There are some exceptions. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.122(A), (B), (C); 2901.01(C)(1), (3) (definition of “school safety zone” “school activity”).

The exceptions include:

  1. any person who has written authorization from the board of education or governing body of a school and who conveys or possesses the firearm or dangerous ordnance in accordance with that authorization;
  2. a person with a handgun and a valid concealed carry license (or carrying as an active duty member of the armed forces with valid military ID and proof of qualifying training) if, at the time, the person does not enter into a school building or onto school premises and is not at a school activity, and is not in any other location for which carrying a handgun is prohibited, and is otherwise compliant with federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(B);
  3. a person with a handgun and a valid concealed carry license (or carrying as an active duty member of the armed forces with valid military ID and proof of qualifying training) if, at the time, the person leaves the handgun in a motor vehicle, the handgun does not leave the motor vehicle, and if the person exits the motor vehicle, the person locks the motor vehicle.

See Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.122(D) for the complete list of exceptions.

Courthouses. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.123(A) and (B) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring a firearm or dangerous ordnance into a courthouse or any building or structure in which a courtroom is located. It is also a crime to knowingly possess or have under the person’s control a firearm or dangerous ordnance in a courthouse or any building or structure in which a courtroom is located.  Exceptions to this ban include a person in possession of a valid concealed handgun license (or carrying as an active duty member of the armed forces with valid military ID and proof of qualifying training) in a courthouse that provides a type of “gun check-in” service, where the person carrying turns over the handgun to the officer who has charge of the courthouse or building. The officer is required to secure the handgun until the person carrying is leaving the premises. However, these services are provided at the discretion of the officer, and a rule adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court or an applicable local rule of court may still prohibit all persons from conveying or possessing a firearm/dangerous ordnance into a courthouse or a building or structure in which a courthouse is located. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.123(C)(6), (E).

State Capitol buildings, grounds. A regulation, Ohio Admin. Code § 128-4-02(G)(9), states “firearms or other weapons, concealed or otherwise, are prohibited within the capitol buildings without the express written permission” of the capitol square review and advisory board. “Capitol buildings” include the capitol, atrium connector, senate building and state underground parking garage. Ohio Admin. Code § 128-4-01(A) (definition). An exception in state law allows a person to possess a firearm in a motor vehicle, or store and leave a firearm in a locked vehicle, in the state underground parking garage at the state capitol building, if the possession and transport of the firearm is otherwise compliant with the state law (for guns in vehicles, see below). Ohio Rev. Code §§ 105.41(N), 2923.16(F)(7).

See also Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126(B)(1) (summarized in the section on Carrying) for places where the possession of a concealed handgun is prohibited, even for persons with a valid concealed handgun license.

LESS
Purchase and Transfer

No state permit or license is required to purchase a handgun, rifle, or shotgun.

MORE

State law makes it a felony for any of the persons listed in Section 2923.13 to purchase or acquire firearms or dangerous ordnance (see the section on Possession for information on these prohibited persons).

It is unlawful to recklessly sell, lend, give, or furnish any firearm or dangerous ordnance to any person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law, or any person who is under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. The law also prohibits possessing a firearm with the purpose of disposing of it in violation of this restriction. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.20(A)(1), (A)(2).

State law prohibits any person, with the intent to deceive, to knowingly providing materially false information to a federally licensed firearms dealer or private seller, unless the person is a law enforcement officer or a person acting in accordance with directions given by a law enforcement officer. A “private seller” means a person who sells, offers for sale, or transfers a firearm or ammunition and who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer. “Materially false information” means information regarding the transfer of a firearm or ammunition that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.20(A)(4), (B), and (D)(4) (definitions).

It is a crime to knowingly solicit, persuade, or encourage a federally licensed firearms dealer or a private seller to transfer a firearm or ammunition to anyone who is prohibited from possession by state or federal law, or to otherwise transfer a firearm or ammunition in a manner prohibited by law. It is a crime to knowingly procure, solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice any other person to act in violation of these prohibitions. This does not apply to a law enforcement officer or persons acting in accordance with directions given by a law enforcement officer. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.20(A)(3), (A)(5), (B), and (D)(4) (definitions).

State law prohibits a person under 18 years of age from purchasing, or attempting to purchase, a firearm. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.211(A).

It is a felony to sell or furnish a firearm to a person under 18 years old. One exception allows furnishing a firearm to a person under 18 years old if it is for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes (including, but not limited to, instruction in firearms or handgun safety, care, handling, or marksmanship) under the supervision or control of a responsible adult. It is also illegal to sell or furnish a firearm to a person aged 18 years old or older if the seller knows, or has reason to know, that the person is acquiring the gun to sell or furnish the gun to someone under 18 (other than as allowed above). It is illegal to buy a firearm with the intent to sell or furnish it to someone under 18 years old, unless it comes within the exception above. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.21(A)(1), (A)(3), (A)(4), (A)(6).

State law prohibits anyone under 21 years old from purchasing or attempting to purchase a handgun. This does not apply to anyone at least 18 years old who is either: a law enforcement officer with firearms training approved by the Ohio peace officer training council or the equivalent, or an active or reserve member of the US armed services or the Ohio national guard, or who was honorably discharged from military service (active, reserve, or Ohio national guard) if the person has received firearms training. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.211(B).

It is a felony to sell or furnish a handgun to a person under 21 years of age. The exceptions include (1) selling or furnishing to a person at least 18 years old who is either a law enforcement officer with appropriate firearms training or an active duty member of the armed forces, or (2) furnishing a handgun for lawful hunting, sporting, or educational purposes (including, but not limited to, instruction in firearms or handgun safety, care, handling, or marksmanship) under the supervision or control of a responsible adult.  Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.21(A)(2), (A)(3), and (B).

It is a felony to sell or furnish a handgun to anyone at least 21 years or older if the seller or furnisher knows, or has reason to know, that the person is acquiring the handgun to furnish or sell it in violation of the prohibition on sales/furnishing to those under 21. It is also illegal to buy a handgun with the intent to sell or furnish it in violation of the prohibition on sales/furnishing to persons under 21. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.21(A)(5), (A)(7).

The division of criminal justice services in the department of public safety is required to prepare a poster and a brochure describing safe firearms practices, and provides these free of charge to every federally licensed firearms dealer in Ohio. Ohio Rev. Code § 5502.63(A).

Ohio does not specifically regulate gun shows.

LESS
Carrying

It is generally unlawful to carry concealed on the person or concealed ready at hand a handgun without a concealed handgun license. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12(A), (C)(2).

MORE

The concealed carry prohibition also doesn’t apply to (1) an active duty member of the US armed forces who is carrying a valid military ID card and documentation of successful completion of firearms training that meets or exceeds the training requirements for a license,  (2) law enforcement or a state or federal officer, agent, or employee authorized to carry concealed weapons or a handgun, when acting in the scope of official duties, (3) peace officers, corrections officers, parole or probation officers and others employed in Ohio, authorized to carry concealed weapons or a handgun, and who have completed a firearms requalification program, (4) transportation or storage of a firearm in a motor vehicle for any lawful purpose if the person is not carrying the gun on his person, or (5) the storage or possession of a firearm in a person’s own home for any lawful purpose. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12(C).

State law does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms except in certain locations. The state attorney general’s handbook on carrying reads: “Ohio’s concealed carry laws do not regulate 'open' carry of firearms. If you openly carry, use caution. The open carry of firearms is a legal activity in Ohio.”

Licenses. Ohio is a “shall issue” state; the issuing authority must issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant who meets all of the license requirements. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1).

Ohio law allows both state residents and nonresidents who are employed in Ohio to apply for an Ohio license. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(B). The license of a licensee who is no longer a resident of Ohio or no longer employed in Ohio remains valid until the date of expiration on the license, but the licensee is prohibited from renewing the license. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(F)(5).

The application for a concealed handgun license is made to the local sheriff where the applicant lives or any adjacent county, or in the case of a nonresident, the sheriff of the county where the applicant is employed or any adjacent county. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(B).

Along with a completed application form and fee, the applicant must provide a color photograph taken within 30 days of the application date, a set of fingerprints, proof of competency/training (see below), and a certification that he or she has read the Ohio peace officer training commission pamphlet (on firearms, dispute resolution, and use of deadly force) and desires a legal means to carry a concealed handgun for defense of the applicant or a member of the applicant’s family while engaged in lawful activity. If the applicant is a nonresident, proof of employment in Ohio is required; if the applicant is a non-US citizen/national, the applicant must specify the country of citizenship and their alien registration number. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(B)(2) to (7), (D)(1)(k) (certification).

Applicants must be at least 21 years old and lawfully resident in the United States (an applicant who became nonresident due to military or naval orders as an active or reserve member of the US armed forces is not disqualified as a nonresident). Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1)(a), (b).

A state and federal criminal background check is done on all applicants. No person is eligible to receive a license unless the person is eligible lawfully to receive or possess a firearm in the United States. The following persons are also not eligible for a license:

  • Fugitives from justice.
  • Anyone under indictment for or charged with a felony, certain illegal drug offenses, a misdemeanor offense of violence, negligent assault, or falsification of a concealed handgun license.
  • Anyone convicted of a felony or specified crimes involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, or distribution of or trafficking in a drug of abuse (including those adjudicated a delinquent child for offenses that would qualify if committed by an adult).*
  •  Anyone convicted of, or adjudicated a delinquent child for any other misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for a term over one year, or for committing an assault where the victim was a peace officer.*
  • With limited exceptions, anyone convicted within the preceding three years of a misdemeanor offense of violence, including those adjudicated a delinquent child for offenses that would qualify if committed by an adult.*
  •  Anyone who has been convicted of assault or negligent assault within the preceding five years (including those adjudicated a delinquent child for offenses that would qualify if committed by an adult).*
  • Anyone who has been convicted of resisting arrest or interference with a lawful arrest of the person or another person within the preceding ten years (including those adjudicated a delinquent child for offenses that would qualify if committed by an adult).*
  • Anyone who has been adjudicated as mentally defective or incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
  • Anyone subject to a current civil protection order or a temporary civil protection order issued by the court of any state.

*Does not apply if a court has ordered the sealing or expungement of the records of that conviction, guilty plea, or adjudication or the applicant has otherwise been relieved under operation of law or legal process from the firearm disability imposed due to the conviction, guilty plea, or adjudication. The sheriff is not to consider “minor misdemeanor offenses.” Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.125(D)(1)(c) to (i); exceptions at § 2923.125(D)(4) and (5).

Proof of firearms competency or training. First-time applicants must show competency with firearms by a “certificate of competency” (proof of training) completed within the three years of the application date. This includes:

  1. completion of a firearms safety, training, or requalification or firearms safety instructor course, class, or program that is open to the general public, uses qualified instructors certified by a national gun advocacy organization, the executive director of the Ohio peace officer training commission or a governmental official or entity of another state, and is offered by or under the auspices of a state or federal law enforcement agency, a public or private college, university, or other similar postsecondary educational institution, a firearms training school, or another type of public or private entity or organization, and complies with the minimum requirements in Section 2923.125(G).
  2. completion of a firearms safety, training, or requalification or firearms safety instructor course, class, or program that was offered by or under the auspices of a national gun advocacy organization and that complies with the minimum requirements in Section 2923.125(G).
  3. completion of a firearms training, safety, or requalification or firearms safety instructor course, class, or program that is not otherwise described, conducted by an instructor who was certified by an official or entity of the government or by a national gun advocacy organization, and that complies with the minimum requirements in Section 2923.125(G).
  4. completion of a state, county, municipal, or department of natural resources peace officer training school approved by the executive director of the Ohio peace officer training commission, or other state basic firearms training program, firearms requalification training program, or another basic program offered for special police officers, security guards, peace officers, correctional staff and other authorized to carry a firearm. 
  5. documentation showing that the applicant is an active or reserve member of the US armed forces (or has retired from or was honorably discharged from military service) or  is a retired state trooper, retired peace officer or federal law enforcement officer and that as a result, the applicant acquired experience with handling firearms that was equivalent to the required training.
  6. documentation establishing that the applicant successfully completed the Ohio peace officer training program.

The minimum requirements in Section 2923.125(G) mandate at least eight hours of training in the safe handling and use of a firearm, including a minimum of two hours of in-person range time and live-fire training. The applicant must pass a competency examination that includes a written component plus an in-person physical demonstration of competence in the use of a handgun and in the rules for safe handling and storage. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.125(B)(3) and (G).

If an application is denied, the sheriff must provide written reasons for the denial, and the applicant may appeal that denial within 15 days after the mailing of the notice of the denial. If the denial is based on a failure to pass the criminal background check, the applicant may challenge those results and the time to appeal is suspended while that challenge is pending. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.125(D)(2)(b), 119.12 (appeal requirements, procedures).

The license renewal process is much the same as the initial application except the applicant is not required to meet the proof of competency/training requirement. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(F)(2). There is a special rule for renewal for licensees on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or in service with the peace corps, volunteers in service to America, or the foreign service of the United States (incl. a licensee spouse or dependent of any such person on active duty or in service), allowing an exemption from the residency requirements during the time of active duty or service and for six months thereafter, provided the person was a licensee while on active duty or service. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(F)(1)(b). According to the Ohio Attorney General's handbook on carrying, “active duty” does not include full-time National Guard duty.

Concealed handgun licenses are valid for five years. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.126(A). Ohio licenses issued on or after March 23, 2015 qualify as NICS-exempt: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/permanent-brady-permit-chart (last checked July 2020).

Military Carry Without a License. Ohio law has an exception to the unlawful carry offense (Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12) that allows a person to carry a concealed handgun without a license if, at the time of the carrying or possession, the person is an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States and is carrying a valid military ID card and documentation of successful completion of firearms training that meets or exceeds the training requirements for a license. The person cannot knowingly be in any place where carrying a handgun is prohibited, even for a licensee (see below). Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.12(C)(2), 2923.16(E)(2) (stating person has the same right to carry a concealed handgun in Ohio as a person who was issued a concealed handgun license and is subject to the same restrictions).

Persons carrying under this exemption who possess or carry a handgun in a vehicle (as driver or occupant) are also required to comply with the law that applies to licensees carrying or having a concealed handgun in a vehicle (see below). This includes a requirement to “promptly inform any law enforcement officer who approaches the vehicle” on a stop for any law enforcement purpose that he or she is in possession of a gun and is authorized to carry a concealed handgun as an active duty member of the US armed forces. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(E).

Temporary emergency license. Ohio law allows for the issuance of a temporary emergency license without proof of competency/training, based on extraordinary circumstances. The application must be made to the sheriff of the county in which the person resides or, if the person usually resides in another state, to the sheriff of the county in which the person is temporarily staying. The applicant must provide “evidence of imminent danger to the person or a member of the person’s family,” and a sworn affidavit that indicating that the person is at least 21 years old and is otherwise not disqualified from eligibility for a regular license. Fingerprints are required and a background check will be done. The temporary emergency license lasts for 90 days and may be renewed once, after at least four years from the date of initial issuance have expired. A person who holds a temporary emergency license has the same right to carry a concealed handgun as a person who was issued a regular concealed handgun license and is subject to the same restrictions, duties, and sanctions that apply to a person who carries a regular license. A sheriff’s denial of a temporary emergency license must be in writing and may be appealed. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1213.

Law Enforcement/Retired Law Enforcement. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(E)(1) states that a “peace officer has the same right to carry a concealed handgun … as a person who was issued a concealed handgun license,” provided that the officer when carrying a concealed handgun also carries “validating identification” (photo ID issued by the agency for which an individual serves as a peace officer that identifies the individual as that agency’s peace officer). For purposes of reciprocity with other states, a peace officer shall be considered to be a licensee of Ohio.

A qualified retired peace officer who possesses a retired peace officer identification card and a valid firearms requalification certification pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(F)(2) and (3)  has the same right to carry a concealed handgun in Ohio as a person who was issued a concealed handgun license, and is subject to the same restrictions. For purposes of reciprocity with other states, a qualified retired peace officer with the qualifying ID and requalification certification shall be considered to be a licensee in Ohio. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(F)(1).

An establishment serving the public may not prohibit or restrict a law enforcement officer or investigator who is carrying “validating identification” from carrying a weapon on the premises that the officer or investigator is authorized to carry, regardless of whether the officer or investigator is acting within the scope of that officer’s or investigator’s duties while carrying the weapon. This does not apply if the officer or investigator is not acting within the scope of their official duties, the weapon is a firearm issued or approved by the law enforcement agency served by the officer or by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation with respect to an investigator, and the agency or bureau has a restrictive firearms carrying policy. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1214(A) and (B).

Reciprocity/Out-of-state licenses. Ohio Rev. Code § 109.69 authorizes the Ohio Attorney General to negotiate specific reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions. A non-resident of Ohio with a valid concealed handgun license issued by another state, regardless of whether the other state has entered into a reciprocity agreement with the Ohio attorney general, may carry in Ohio while the person is temporarily in Ohio, and their license shall be recognized in Ohio and grants the person the same right to carry as a person with an Ohio license.

The section also deals with Ohio residents who hold a valid carry license issued by another jurisdiction. If the other state’s licenses have been recognized through a reciprocity agreement with the attorney general or the attorney general has determined that the license eligibility requirements imposed by the other state are “substantially comparable” to the eligibility requirements for an Ohio license, that other state’s license shall be accepted and valid in Ohio and grants the resident the same right to carry as a person with an Ohio license. Otherwise, absent a reciprocity agreement, an Ohio resident holding a license from another jurisdiction may carry based on that license for a period of six months after the person became a resident of Ohio. After that six-month period, he or she must apply for an Ohio license to be able to continue to carry. Ohio Rev. Code § 109.69(B)(1) and (2).

Confidentiality of licensing records. The records that a sheriff keeps relative to the issuance, renewal, suspension, or revocation of a concealed handgun license, including completed applications for the issuance or renewal of a license, affidavits submitted regarding an application for a license on a temporary emergency basis, reports of criminal records checks and incompetency records checks, and applicants’ social security numbers and fingerprints, are confidential and are not public records. No person shall release or otherwise disseminate records that are confidential unless required to do so pursuant to a court order. However, law enforcement agencies may use the information a sheriff makes available through the use of the law enforcement automated data system for law enforcement purposes only. The information is confidential and not a public record, and a person who releases or otherwise disseminates information obtained through the law enforcement automated data system in a manner not authorized by law commits a violation of Section  2913.04.  Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.129(B), (D).

It is a felony to illegally provide or release information that is protected from disclosure. In addition to criminal sanctions, any person who is harmed by a violation has a private cause of action against the offender for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is a proximate result of the violation and may recover court costs and attorney’s fees related to the action. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.129(E).

Places where carrying a handgun, even with a license, are prohibited. Concealed carry of a handgun by a licensee is prohibited in the following places:

  • police stations, sheriff’s offices, or state highway patrol stations, premises controlled by the state bureau of criminal identification and investigation; a state correctional institution, jail, workhouse, or other detention facility; and any area of an airport passenger terminal that is beyond a passenger or property screening checkpoint or to which access is restricted.
  • state facilities for the care, treatment, and training of persons with intellectual disabilities or for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons.
  • courthouses or other buildings or structures in which a courtroom is located, except a judge of a court of record, a magistrate, or other authorized person, or unless the officer in charge of the courthouse or building has authorized transfers of possession of the handgun to a designated official for the time the licensee is in the building, pursuant to Section  2923.123(C)(6).  
  • on property of a public or private college, university, or other institution of higher education, unless the licensee is specifically permitted, or the handgun is in a locked motor vehicle or the licensee is in the immediate process of placing the handgun in a locked motor vehicle.
  • any place of worship, unless it posts or permits otherwise.
  • Licensed Class D liquor permit premises, if the concealed carry licensee is consuming beer or intoxicating liquor or is under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse. If the licensee is not consuming alcoholic beverages and is not under the influence, the licensee may carry unless there is a conspicuous sign prohibiting carry. According to the state attorney general’s handbook on carrying, “Possession of a concealed firearm is allowed in a retail store with a D-6 or D-8 permit if the licensee is not consuming liquor. Class D permits are generally issued to an establishment that sells alcohol for consumption on the premises. In any event, do not consume beer or intoxicating liquor before carrying a concealed handgun into a licensed premises or while on the premises.”
  • any building that is a state or local government facility other than a courthouse, or one used primarily as a shelter, restroom, parking facility for motor vehicles, or rest facility (see above for the specific rule on courthouses or other buildings in which a courthouse is located).
  • “school safety zones.” “School safety zone” means a school, school building and school premises (regardless of whether instruction, extracurricular activities, or training provided by the school is being conducted), school activity, and any school bus. A “school activity” includes “any activity held under the auspices of a board of education, joint vocational, or cooperative education school district or a governing authority of a community school. A school includes everything up to the property boundary. Under Section 2923.122(4), a licensee may bring a handgun into a school safety zone if the handgun is in a motor vehicle, the handgun does not leave the vehicle and, if the licensee leaves the vehicle, the vehicle is locked.
  • any place in which federal law prohibits the carrying of handguns.
  • property that is owned or leased by a private entity, that been posted to prohibit persons from carrying firearms or concealed firearms on or onto the property. However, a landlord may not prohibit or restrict a tenant who is a licensee, or the tenant’s guest while the tenant is present, from lawfully carrying or possessing a handgun on residential premises covered by a rental agreement between the tenant and landlord, unless the property is a dwelling unit that is owned or operated by a college or university.

Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.126(B), 2923.122 (school safety zones), 2923.123 (courthouses). See the section on Possession for places where possession of any firearm is prohibited.

Vehicles. Ohio law generally prohibits transporting or having any loaded firearm in a motor vehicle if the gun is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle. There is an exception for a person who transports or possesses a handgun in a motor vehicle (including a motorcycle) and has a valid carry license or is carrying under the “military carry without a license” provisions (see above). Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.16(B), (F)(5) (exception for licensee, military carry).

The person transporting or possessing the handgun under the exception above cannot knowingly be in any place where carrying of a handgun is prohibited. In addition, he or she cannot have a loaded handgun in a vehicle while under the influence of a drug of abuse or alcohol, or if he or she otherwise meets the criteria for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (applies whether the person is the driver or a passenger). Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(D).

State law allows a person, who is not prohibited by law from possessing firearm, to have or transport a firearm in a motor vehicle if the gun is unloaded (as defined below) and carried in one of the following ways: in a closed package, box or case; in plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for that purpose; for long guns, in plain sight, with the action open or the weapon stripped, or if the firearm’s action will not stay open or it cannot be easily stripped, in plain sight. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(C).

“Unloaded” means (1) for a firearm employing a percussion cap, flintlock, or other obsolete ignition system, the weapon is uncapped or the priming charge is removed from the pan. (2) For other firearms, that no ammunition is in the firearm, no magazine or speed loader containing ammunition is inserted into the firearm, and either there is no ammunition in a magazine or speed loader that is in the vehicle and that may be used with the firearm, or any magazine or speed loader that contains ammunition that may be used with the firearm is stored in a compartment within the vehicle that cannot be accessed without leaving the vehicle or is stored in a container that provides complete and separate enclosure. Ammunition held in stripper-clips or in en-bloc clips is not considered ammunition that is loaded into a magazine or speed loader.

A “container that provides complete and separate enclosure” includes, but is not limited to, a package, box, or case with multiple compartments, as long as the loaded magazine or speed loader and the firearm either are in separate compartments within the package, box, or case, or, if they are in the same compartment, the magazine or speed loader is contained within a separate enclosure in that compartment that does not contain the firearm and that closes using a snap, button, buckle, zipper, hook and loop closing mechanism, or other fastener that must be opened to access the contents or the firearm is contained within a separate enclosure of that nature in that compartment that does not contain the magazine or speed loader. It also includes a pocket or other enclosure on the person of the person that closes using a snap, button, buckle, zipper, hook and loop closing mechanism, or other fastener that must be opened to access the contents. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(K)(5) and (6).

A person who is carrying a valid concealed handgun license may have one or more magazines or speed loaders containing ammunition anywhere in a vehicle as long as no ammunition is in a firearm other than a handgun in the vehicle. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(L).

A licensee or person carrying in compliance with the military carry provisions who has a loaded handgun in a vehicle must do the following in any law enforcement stop (and, for commercial vehicles, stops by an employee of the motor carrier enforcement unit):

  • “promptly inform” the officer who approaches the stopped vehicle that the person has a concealed handgun license or is authorized to carry pursuant to the military carry, and that the person possesses or has a loaded handgun in the vehicle;
  • remain in the motor vehicle while stopped and keep the person’s hands in plain sight once the officer begins approaching the person while stopped and until the officer leaves, unless the officer directs the person to do otherwise.
  • refrain from touching the loaded handgun in the vehicle at any time after the officer begins approaching until the officer leaves, unless the person has contact with the loaded handgun in accordance with directions given by the officer.
  • comply with any lawful order of any officer given while the motor vehicle is stopped, including, but not limited to, a specific order to keep the person’s hands in plain sight.

Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.16(E), 2923.126(A). 

State law prohibits operating a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle while transporting any firearm that is not unloaded and securely encased. Ohio Rev. Code § 4519.40(A)(5).

Ohio’s law on parking lot storage provides that a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer may not establish or enforce a policy that prohibits a person with a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition if (1) the gun and ammunition remain inside the person’s privately-owned vehicle while the person is physically present inside the vehicle, or are locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the person’s privately-owned motor vehicle; and (2) the vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1210.

LESS
Antiques and Replicas

Antique and antique replica rifles, shotguns, or handguns are treated like modern arms for possession, carrying and purchase purposes, unless specifically exempted. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(B)(1) (definition of “firearm” as “any deadly weapon capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant. ‘Firearm’ includes an unloaded firearm, and any firearm that is inoperable but that can readily be rendered operable.”).

 

Machine Guns, Assault Weapons, Magazines, Ammunition, etc.

Ohio has no laws generally restricting “assault weapons” or “large capacity” magazines. Ohio state law regulates “dangerous ordnance,” which includes certain firearms and ammunition, suppressors, and other items.  

MORE

“Dangerous ordnance” includes automatic firearms, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, “zip guns” (firearms of “crude or extemporized manufacture” and devices that are not designed as firearms but can be adapted for use as firearms), firearm suppressors, any firearm “designed and manufactured for military purposes and the ammunition for that weapon,” and any combination of parts that is intended by the owner for use in converting any firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(K).

An “automatic firearm” means any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a succession of cartridges with a single function of the trigger.  Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(E).

A “sawed off firearm” is defined as a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches long, or a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches long, or a shotgun or rifle less than 26 inches long overall, but does not include any firearm with an overall length of at least 26 inches that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) finds is not regulated under the National Firearms Act. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(F).

The law on “dangerous ordnance” specifically excludes:

  • a firearm, including a military weapon and the ammunition for that weapon, regardless of its actual age, that employs a percussion cap or other obsolete ignition system, or that is designed and safe for use only with black powder;
  • any pistol, rifle, or shotgun, designed or suitable for sporting purposes, including a military weapon as issued or as modified, and the ammunition for that weapon, unless the firearm is an automatic or sawed-off firearm;
  • any firearm with an overall length of at least 26 inches that is approved for sale by the federal ATF as not otherwise regulated under the federal National Firearms Act;
  • any item that is inoperable or inert and cannot readily be rendered operable or activated, and that is kept as a trophy, souvenir, curio, or museum piece.

Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(L) (exceptions to “dangerous ordnance”).

It is generally unlawful to knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any dangerous ordnance. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.17(A). Exceptions are:

  • Owners of dangerous ordnance registered under the federal National Firearms Act.
  • Authorized state and federal officers, agents, and employees, members of the armed forces or organized militia, and law enforcement officers when acting within the scope of their duties.
  • Importers, manufacturers, and dealers with the appropriate federal license.
  • Persons who own a firearm suppressor attached to a gun that is authorized to be used for hunting under state law, and who are authorized to possess the suppressor under state and federal law.
  • The holders of a license or temporary permit under Section 2923.18 (see below) and where the dangerous ordnance is lawfully acquired, possessed, carried, or used for the purposes and in the manner specified in such license or permit.

The sheriff of the county or safety director or police chief of the municipality where the applicant resides or has its principal place of business may issue a license or temporary permit to acquire, possess, carry, or use dangerous ordnance for certain purposes. A temporary permit is issued for the casual use of explosives and explosive devices, and other consumable dangerous ordnance, and expires within 30 days of issuance. A license is issued for the regular use of consumable dangerous ordnance, or for any nonconsumable dangerous ordnance. It does not need to specify an expiration date, but the issuing authority may specify an expiration date “as it considers advisable” but that can’t be less than a year. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.18(A),(E).

The allowable purposes for a license or permit include: contractors, wreckers, quarriers, mine operators, and other persons regularly employing explosives; explosives and explosive devices used by farmers for agricultural purposes; scientists, engineers, and instructors, with respect to dangerous ordnance acquired, possessed, carried, or used in the course of bona fide research or instruction; financial institution and armored car company guards, with respect to automatic firearms lawfully acquired, possessed, carried, or used by any such person while acting within the scope of the person’s duties; and in the discretion of the issuing authority, “any responsible person, with respect to dangerous ordnance lawfully acquired, possessed, carried, or used for a legitimate research, scientific, educational, industrial, or other proper purpose.” Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.18(A).

An application for a license or temporary permit must be in writing, under oath, and include the appropriate fee. The issuing authority cannot issue a permit or license unless, upon investigation, it confirms that the applicant is not prohibited by law from acquiring, having, carrying or using dangerous ordnance; has sufficient competence to safely acquire, possess, carry, or use the dangerous ordnance, and that proper precautions will be taken to secure the dangerous ordnance and ensure public safety; and that the dangerous ordnance will be lawfully acquired, possessed, carried, and used by the applicant for a legitimate purpose. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.18(B), (C).

It is unlawful to negligently fail to take proper precautions to secure dangerous ordnance against theft, acquisition or use by an unauthorized or incompetent person, and to negligently fail to take precautions to insure the safety of persons and property. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.19.

It is a felony to recklessly sell, lend, give, or furnish dangerous ordnance to any person who is prohibited by state law from acquiring or using any dangerous ordnance. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.20(A)(1).

It is a crime to knowingly convey or attempt to convey into, or possess dangerous ordnance at, a school safety zone. “School safety zone” means a school, school building and school premises (regardless of whether instruction, extracurricular activities, or training provided by the school is being conducted), school activity, and any school bus. A “school activity” includes “any activity held under the auspices of a board of education, joint vocational, or cooperative education school district or a governing authority of a community school. There are some exceptions. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.122(A), (B); 2901.01(C)(1), (3) (definition of “school safety zone” “school activity).  

With limited exceptions, Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.123(A) and (B) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring dangerous ordnance into a courthouse or any building or structure in which a courtroom is located. It is also a crime to knowingly possess or have under the person’s control dangerous ordnance in a courthouse or any building or structure in which a courtroom is located.

It is a crime to carry or use any dangerous ordnance while under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.15.

LESS
Preemption

The Ohio preemption law, Ohio Rev. Code § 9.68(A), reserves to the state legislature the right to regulate the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, other transfer, manufacture, taxation, keeping, and reporting of loss or theft of firearms, their components, and their ammunition, and prohibits “any manner of ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, practice, or other action enacted or enforced by a political subdivision in conflict” with this provision.

MORE

Ohio Rev. Code § 9.68(A) begins by recognizing the individual right to keep and bear arms as a “fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution,” that is “a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio.” The general assembly “also finds and declares that it is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves or others.”

According, the section states that “except as specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process, including by any ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, practice, or other action or any threat of citation, prosecution, or other legal process, may own, possess, purchase, acquire, transport, store, carry, sell, transfer, manufacture, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition. Any such further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process interferes with the fundamental individual right described in this division and unduly inhibits law-abiding people from protecting themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers and from other legitimate uses of constitutionally protected firearms, including hunting and sporting activities, and the state by this section preempts, supersedes, and declares null and void any such further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process.”

The preemption law does not apply to two kinds of zoning ordinances: (1) one that regulates or prohibits the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for residential or agricultural uses; and (2) a zoning ordinance that specifies the hours of operation or the geographic areas where the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms may occur, provided that the zoning ordinance is consistent with zoning ordinances for other retail establishments in the same geographic area and does not result in a de facto prohibition of the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for commercial, retail, or industrial uses. Ohio Rev. Code § 9.68(D).

The preemption law authorizes any person, group or entity that is adversely affected by any manner of ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, practice, or other action enacted or enforced by a political subdivision in conflict with the preemption law to bring a civil action against the political subdivision for damages, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief. A court must also award reasonable expenses (“reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and compensation for loss of income”) to any person, group, or entity that brings the action, to be paid by the political subdivision, if the person, group, or entity prevails in the lawsuit or the ordinance, rule, regulation, resolution, practice, or action or the manner of its enforcement is repealed or rescinded after the lawsuit was filed but prior to a final court determination of the action. Ohio Rev. Code § 9.68(B), (C) (definitions).

A separate state law prohibits a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer from establishing or enforcing a policy that prohibits a person who has been issued a valid concealed handgun license from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in a privately-owned vehicle. This applies only if the vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be, and any firearm and all of the ammunition remain inside the vehicle while the person is physically present inside the vehicle, or are locked within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or container within or on the vehicle. A business entity, property owner, or public or private employer that violates this law is liable to a civil action for injunctive relief brought by any individual injured by the violation. The court may grant any injunctive relief it considers appropriate. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1210(A), (B).

LESS
Restoration of Rights

A person who is prohibited from acquiring, having, carrying, or using firearms may apply to the court of common pleas in the county in which the person resides for relief from such prohibition. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.14(A)(1).

MORE

Restoration of rights under this law is not available to anyone who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132 (unlawful use of a weapon by a violent career criminal) or a person who, two or more times, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony and any of the specifications listed in that section regarding firearm possession, discharge, or the display, brandishing, or use to facilitate the offense, while committing the offense. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.14(A)(2).

The application for restoration of rights must list all indictments, convictions, or adjudications upon which the applicant’s firearm disability is based, the sentence imposed and served, and any release granted under a community control sanction, post-release control sanction, or parole, any partial or conditional pardon granted, or other disposition of each case, or, if the disability is based upon a factor other than an indictment, a conviction, or an adjudication, the factor upon which the disability is based and all details related to that factor. It must also list the facts showing the applicant to be a fit subject for restoration of rights.

A copy of the application must be served on the county prosecutor, who must then investigate the matter and report to the court any objections to granting relief that the investigation reveals.

Relief is at the discretion of the court. The court may restore the firearm person’s rights on finding that (1) if the disability is based upon an indictment, a conviction, or an adjudication, the applicant has been fully discharged from imprisonment, community control, post-release control, and parole, or, if the applicant is under indictment, has been released on bail or recognizance; or, if the disability is based upon a factor other than an indictment, a conviction, or an adjudication, that factor no longer is applicable to the applicant; (2) the applicant has led a law-abiding life since discharge or release, and appears likely to continue to do so, and (3) the applicant is not otherwise prohibited by law from acquiring, having, or using firearms.  

If relief from disability is granted it restores the applicant to all civil firearm rights to the full extent enjoyed by any citizen, but subject to the following conditions:

  • it applies only with respect to indictments, convictions, or adjudications, or to the other factor, recited in the application as the basis for the applicant’s disability;
  • applies only with respect to firearms lawfully acquired, possessed, carried, or used by the applicant;
  • may be revoked by the court at any time for good cause shown and upon notice to the applicant; and
  • is automatically void upon commission by the applicant of any offense (not conviction or indictment) that disqualifies a person from firearm possession under state law, or upon the applicant becoming a fugitive from justice; drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence, or a chronic alcoholic; or adjudicated as mentally incompetent or a mental defective, committed to a mental institution, found by a court to be a mentally ill person subject to court order, or become involuntary committed due to mental illness.

This restoration provision is apparently unavailable to non-residents due to the requirement that the applicant initiate the proceedings in the county in which he or she resides. In a 2013 court case, State v. Cantwell, 2013-Ohio-1685 (Ct. App., 5th Dist. 2013), the court held that it did not have jurisdiction over an applicant who applied in Ohio but was a resident of Kentucky.

For additional information, see the Ohio Legislative Service Commission’s bill analysis on HB 0054, the 2011 amendment to the law at https://www.lsc.ohio.gov/documents/gaDocuments/analyses129/11-hb54-129.pdf, and The Restoration of Rights Project at https://ccresourcecenter.org/restoration.

LESS
Range Protection

A 1997 law, Ohio Rev. Code § 1533.85(A), provides that the owner, operator, or user of a shooting range is not liable in damages in a civil action to any person for harm allegedly caused by noise at the shooting range, or the failure to limit or suppress noise at the range, if the owner, operator, or user substantially complies with noise rules prescribed by the Chief of the Division of Wildlife pursuant to Section 1533.84.

MORE

That subsection does not confer an immunity from civil liability in relation to an owner’s, operator’s, or user’s actions or omissions that constitute negligence, willful or wanton misconduct, or intentionally tortious conduct, if those actions or omissions are not the subject of the chief’s noise rules or are not in substantial compliance with those rules. Ohio Rev. Code § 1533.85(A)(2)(d).

The owner, operator, or user of a shooting range is not subject to criminal prosecution under any state law or any ordinance, resolution, or regulation of a political subdivision that relates to the creation, limitation, or suppression of noise, if the conduct of the owner, operator, or user that allegedly violates the section, ordinance, resolution, or regulation substantially complies with the chief’s noise rules. Ohio Rev. Code § 1533.85(B).

State and municipal courts in Ohio are prohibited from granting injunctive relief pursuant to an ordinance, resolution, or regulation of a political subdivision, or under the common law of the state against the owner or operator of a shooting range in a nuisance action, if the court determines that the owner’s or operator’s actions or omissions that are the subject of a complaint substantially complied with the chief’s noise rules or chief’s public safety rules, whichever apply to the nuisance action. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 1533.85(C), 1533.83 (definitions).

A regulation, Ohio Admin Code § 1501:31-29-03, sets out the rules and standards for shooting ranges established by the chief of the division of wildlife. These address noise levels, hours of operation, and safety.

LESS
Miscellaneous

With limited exceptions, a member of the firearms industry is not liable in damages in, and is not subject to a grant of injunctive relief in, a tort or other civil action for harm allegedly sustained by any person as a result of the operation or discharge of a firearm. “Member of the firearms industry” means any manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms, firearms components, or firearms ammunition or any trade association the members of which, in whole or in part, are manufacturers, dealers, or importers of firearms, firearms components, or firearms ammunition. Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.401.

MORE

It is unlawful to knowingly fail to report “forthwith” to law enforcement authorities the loss or theft of any firearm or dangerous ordnance in the person’s possession or under the person’s control. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.20(A)(8).

It is a crime to alter, remove, or obliterate the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer’s serial number, or other mark of identification on a firearm, or to possess a firearm knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the name of the manufacturer, model, manufacturer’s serial number, or other mark of identification on the firearm has been altered, removed, or obliterated.  This does not apply to any firearm on which no manufacturer’s serial number was inscribed at the time of its manufacture. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.201.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm upon or over a public road or highway. If the discharge caused serious physical harm to any person, the offense becomes a felony of the first degree. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.162(A)(3), (C)(4).

Unless the person is on his or her own property, it is a crime to discharge a firearm on a lawn, park, pleasure ground, orchard, or other ground appurtenant to a schoolhouse, church, or inhabited dwelling, the property of another, or a charitable institution. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.162(A)(2), (B)(1) and (2).

It is generally unlawful to discharge a firearm at or into an occupied structure that is a permanent or temporary habitation of any person, or at, in, or into a “school safety zone.” It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 1,000 feet of any school building or of the boundaries of any school premises, with the intent to: cause physical harm to another who is in the school, in the school building, or at a function or activity associated with the school; or cause panic or fear of physical harm to another who is in the school, in the school building, or at a function or activity associated with the school; or cause the evacuation of the school, the school building, or a function or activity associated with the school. A “school safety zone” means a school, school building and school premises (regardless of whether instruction, extracurricular activities, or training provided by the school is being conducted), school activity, and any school bus. A “school activity” includes “any activity held under the auspices of a board of education, joint vocational, or cooperative education school district or a governing authority of a community school. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.161(A), 2901.01(C)(1), (3) (definition of “school safety zone” “school activity”).  

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm upon or over a cemetery or within 100 yards of a cemetery.  This does not apply to a person who, while on his own land, discharges a firearm, or who has permission from the proper officials. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.162(A)(1), (B)(1).

It is unlawful to knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(A). This does not apply to law enforcement and to certain hunting activities that fall within the exact exemptions in Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.16(F)(2) and (3).

It is unlawful to carry or use any firearm while under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.15.

LESS
Ohio NEWS
Ohio: Governor Signs Legislation to Extend Current Concealed License Expiration

Friday, October 2, 2020

Ohio: Governor Signs Legislation to Extend Current Concealed License Expiration

Yesterday, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 614 into law, legislation that should help to relax the concerns ...

Ohio: Legislation to Extend Current Concealed License Expiration Heads to the Governor

Friday, September 25, 2020

Ohio: Legislation to Extend Current Concealed License Expiration Heads to the Governor

Currently heading to the desk of Governor Mike DeWine is House Bill 614, legislation that should help to ...

Ohio: Senate Passes Emergency Powers Legislation – Bill Heads to the House

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Ohio: Senate Passes Emergency Powers Legislation – Bill Heads to the House

Last night, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 360, important legislation that prevents the closure of federally licensed ...

Ohio: Emergency Powers Legislation Passed Out of Senate Committee

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Ohio: Emergency Powers Legislation Passed Out of Senate Committee

Late yesterday, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee passed legislation that prevents the closure of federally licensed ...

Ohio: Senate Committee to Consider Emergency Powers Legislation Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Ohio: Senate Committee to Consider Emergency Powers Legislation Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee will consider legislation that prevents the closure of federally licensed ...

The Washington Free Beacon  

Monday, September 14, 2020

Swing States See Gun Sales Boon, Activists Look to Capitalize

Former mechanic Shawn Shriver bought a storefront about an hour outside Pittsburgh years ago. He created a 400-square-foot ...

The Daily Signal  

Friday, September 11, 2020

These 10 Examples of Defensive Gun Use Underscore Second Amendment’s True Purpose

In announcing the launch of “Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden,” the former vice president’s campaign demonstrated earlier this ...

Cincinnati.com  

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Opinion: Trained, Armed Teachers Ready to Defend Kids

It is obvious to me that many people simply do not understand the concept behind armed teachers in ...

Ohio: Senate Committee to Consider School Security Legislation Tomorrow

Monday, August 31, 2020

Ohio: Senate Committee to Consider School Security Legislation Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee has scheduled a hearing to consider Senate Bill 317.

Ohio: School Security Legislation to be Considered this Afternoon in Senate Committee

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Ohio: School Security Legislation to be Considered this Afternoon in Senate Committee

Later this afternoon, important school security measure Senate Bill 317 is scheduled to be considered in the Senate ...

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.