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What are the Gun Laws in Ohio?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.

Quick Reference

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No

Handguns

  • Permit to purchase handgun? No
  • Registration of handguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes

Purchase

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

It is unlawful to sell a handgun to a person under 21, or any firearm to a person under 18. It is unlawful to furnish any firearm to a person who is under 18 or furnish any handgun to a person under 21, except for lawful hunting, sporting or educational purposes.

It is unlawful to recklessly sell, lend, give, or furnish any firearm to any person who may not possess a firearm, or who is under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse.

Any adult resident of Ohio, not prohibited from acquiring firearms, may purchase a rifle, shotgun or ammunition in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.

Any adult resident of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania or West Virginia, not prohibited from acquiring firearms, may purchase a rifle, shotgun or ammunition in Ohio. Any such purchase must be for such purposes and under such circumstances as required by federal law.

Possession

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

It is unlawful for the following persons to knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm:

  • Fugitives.

  • Persons indicted for or convicted of a violent felony or adjudicated delinquent child for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult, would have been a violent felony.

  • Persons indicted for or convicted of a drug offense, or adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been an offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse.

  • Alcoholics and drug-dependent persons.

  • Adjudicated mental incompetents.

  • Persons disqualified under the second or third item above may obtain relief from disability from the court of common pleas by presenting facts showing fitness for relief from the state disabilities.

Carry

It is unlawful for a person without a concealed handgun license to carry a handgun concealed on his or her person.

Exempt from this prohibition are officers, agents, and employees of a state agency or the federal government or law enforcement officers authorized and acting in the scope of their employment.

State law does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms except in certain locations, but a person should exercise caution when carrying a firearm in public.

Application to carry a concealed handgun is made to the local sheriff on a form prescribed by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission.

Along with the application, the applicant must provide a color photograph taken within the last 30 days, a set of fingerprints and certification of competency with a firearm. An applicant must be 21, a resident of Ohio for 45 days, and a resident of the issuing county (or an adjacent county) for 30 days.

The application fee shall not exceed $55. All concealed handgun licenses issued on or after March 14, 2007 are valid for 5 years.

If an applicant is denied, the sheriff shall provide the reasons for such a denial. The applicant may appeal such a denial.

The renewal process for an expired permit is the same as that for an original, except that the applicant may demonstrate competency within the last 6 years or submit evidence of a renewed competency certification.

A licensee must provide notice of a change of address.

A licensee who wishes to renew a license may do so no earlier than 90 days before expiration date on the license or no later than 30 days after the scheduled expiration date.

A temporary emergency license to carry can be issued under extraordinary circumstances if a sheriff determines that a person, not prohibited from obtaining a license, has provided evidence that he is in imminent danger. The temporary emergency license lasts for 90 days and may be renewed only once every four years.

The following categories of individuals are ineligible to obtain a concealed handgun license:

  • Fugitives from justice.

  • Those under indictment for or convicted of a felony.

  • Those under indictment for or convicted of a crime involving drugs.

  • Those who within the preceding 3 years have been convicted of a crime of violence or a misdemeanor of crime of violence.

  • those who within the preceding 5 years have been convicted of assault or aggravated assault.

  • Those who within the preceding 10 years have been convicted of resisting arrest, or convicted of interfering with the lawful arrest of another person. Those who have not been adjudicated mentally defective or has been committed to any mental institution.

  • Those subject to a civil protection order or a temporary civil protection order issued by the court of any state.
Applicants must provide proof of training, completed within the last 3 years, by submitting an original or photocopy of a certificate of completion of a training course.

The applicant must attest that he has reviewed the pamphlet prepared by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission that reviews firearms, dispute resolution and the use of deadly force.

An approved training program shall include the following:

  • The course must be open to the general public.

  • Must utilize qualified instructors who were certified by the National Rifle Association or the Executive Director of the Peace Officer Training commission.

  • Any course offered by a law enforcement agency.

  • A course offered by a university, a public or private college in this or another state.

  • A firearms training school course offered in this or another state.

  • Any state, county, municipal or Department of Natural Resources course approved by the Executive Director of the Ohio Peace officer training commission.
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