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What are the Gun Laws in Ohio?

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


Carry (Cont.)

An applicant alternatively can show competency by providing documentation that shows the applicant is an active member of the military reserve, armed forces or has been honorably discharged, is a retired law enforcement officer or otherwise provides evidence of satisfactory completion of firearms training not otherwise described above and was conducted by an instructor trained by the NRA, any government official or entity of this state or another, or the United States government.

A training course must consist of a minimum 12 hours, with 10 hours dedicated to safe handling, storage and firing of a handgun, and a written exam. Additionally, 2 hours of each course must be dedicated to live-fire training.

Concealed carry of a handgun by a licensee is prohibited in the following public areas:

  • Public schools.

  • Police, sheriff or state highway patrol stations.

  • Correctional facilities, jails or any premises controlled by Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

  • Airport passenger terminals or any airplanes.

  • Any rooms or open-air arenas licensed to serve alcohol for on premises consumption.

  • Premises owned or leased by a public or private college, university or other institution of higher learning.

  • Any place of worship.

  • A child day-care center.

  • A family day-care home.

  • Any building owned or leased by a state government entity or a political subdivision of the state.

  • Any location prohibited by federal law.

  • The owner or person in control of private land or premises, and a private person or entity leasing land or premises owned by a public entity, may post a sign in a conspicuous location on that land or premises prohibiting persons from carrying firearms or concealed firearms on that property.

    A person who violates this prohibition is guilty of criminal trespass. A person who has been issued a concealed handgun license or a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun may transport a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle if the loaded handgun is:

    • In a holster secured on the person

    • In a closed case, bag, box or other container that is in plain sight and has a lid, cover, or closing mechanism and must be opened for a person to gain access to the handgun.

    • Stored in a closed, locked glove compartment or in a case that can be locked. Motorcycles fall under the definition of motor vehicles so the same requirements apply.

  • A firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle is considered loaded if its magazine is loaded or a loaded magazine is ready at hand.

  • Muzzleloading weapons are considered unloaded if the percussion cap or priming powder in the pan is removed.

  • It is unlawful for a person not issued a concealed handgun license or a temporary emergency license to have a firearm in a motor vehicle unless it is unloaded and carried in one of the following ways:
    • In a closed case, box, or package.

    • Secured in a rack in plain sight.

    • 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.

    • In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle.
If a licensee is transporting a loaded concealed firearm and is stopped by a law enforcement officer, he must keep his hands in plain sight, notify the officer that he has a concealed firearm and a license to carry a concealed firearm, and follow all specific instructions issued by the officer.

It is unlawful to possess a firearm in any room in which liquor is being dispensed pursuant to a liquor license.

This prohibition does not apply to a police officer, or to any room used for the accommodation of guests of a hotel, or the possession of an unloaded rifle by a veterans’ organization, or possessing or displaying unloaded firearms in a soldiers’ memorial or in a convention center or other public meeting place by an exhibitor, trader, purchaser, or seller.

Antiques & Replicas

Antique and antique replica rifles, shotguns, or handguns are treated like modern arms for possession, carrying and purchase purposes.

Dangerous Ordnance

In the Ohio code, the term “dangerous ordnance” includes: automatic firearms; short barreled rifles and shotguns; firearms of “crude or extemporized manufacture”; and devices that are not designed as firearms but can be adapted for use as firearms, or are capable of being used as firearms.

“Automatic firearm” is any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a succession of cartridges with a single function of the trigger.

“Automatic firearm” also means any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty-one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.

It is unlawful to knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any dangerous ordnance.

Exceptions are:

  • Owners of dangerous ordnance registered under the 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.

  • Licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers. It is unlawful to negligently fail to take proper precautions to secure a 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.
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