Ohio

Updated as of Tuesday, November 01, 2011.

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

“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.”

Article 1, Section 4.

Important/Relevant Gun Laws

RIFLES AND SHOTGUNSHANDGUNS
Permit to PurchaseNoNo
Registration of FirearmsNoNo
Licensing of OwnersNoNo
Permit to CarryNoYes

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.  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.

Reciprocity

  • These states recognize Ohio permits:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming
  • Ohio recognizes permits from:
  • Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

Map of states recognizing Ohio permits:

A synopsis of Ohio state laws on purchase, possession and carrying of firearms.

PURCHASE

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

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

 


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POSSESSION

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

Unless relieved from disability as provided in section 2923.14 of the Ohio Revised Code, no person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance, if any of the following apply:

(1) The person is a fugitive from justice.

(2) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense of violence or 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.

(3) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse.

(4) The person is drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence, or a chronic alcoholic.

(5) The person 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 hospitalization by court order, or is an involuntary patient other than one who is a patient only for purposes of observation. As used in this division, “mentally ill person subject to hospitalization by court order” and “patient” have the same meanings as those found in section 5122.01 of the Ohio Revised Code.

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. READ ALL

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 minimum is $67 depending on the extent of the background check.  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.

First time 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.

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 (an exception exists if the possesor is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and does not consume any alcohol on the premisis, although owners may still prohibit possession on their premisis by posting no-gun signs).

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

•  Any place of worship (unless they have elected to allow firearms).

•  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 at their discretion, but must exercise caution regarding access to the firearm (i.e. if their are children in the car and the firearm can be accessed by them, a case of child endagerment may exist).

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 a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle.

•  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.

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.

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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. READ ALL

“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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Preemption

The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition READ ALL

OHIO REV. CODE ANN. §9.68 (2008)

(A) The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition. 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, may own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition.

(B) In addition to any other relief provided, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to any person, group, or entity that prevails in a challenge to an ordinance, rule, or regulation as being in conflict with this section.

(C) As used in this section:

(1) The possession, transporting, or carrying of firearms, their components, or their ammunition include, but are not limited to, the possession, transporting, or carrying, openly or concealed on a person's person or concealed ready at hand, of firearms, their components, or their ammunition.

(2) “Firearm” has the same meaning as in section 2923.11 of the Revised Code.

(D) This section does not apply to either of the following:

(1) A zoning ordinance that regulates or prohibits the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for residential or agricultural uses;

(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.


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Range Protection

The owner, operator, or user of a shooting range is not liable in damages in a civil action to any person for harm that allegedly is caused by the creation of noise at the shooting range or the failure to limit or suppress noise at the shooting range.... READ ALL

OHIO REV. CODE ANN. §1533.85 (2011)

§1533.85 Immunities regarding noise at shooting ranges

(A)(1) The owner, operator, or user of a shooting range is not liable in damages in a civil action to any person for harm that allegedly is caused by the creation of noise at the shooting range or the failure to limit or suppress noise at the shooting range if the owner, operator, or user substantially complies with the chief's noise rules.

(2)(a) Division (A) of this section does not create a new cause of action or substantive legal right against an owner, operator, or user of a shooting range.

(b) Division (A) of this section does not affect any immunities from or defenses to civil liability established by other sections of the Revised Code or available at common law to which the owner, operator, or user of a shooting range may be entitled.

(c) Division (A) of this section shall apply only to harm that occurs on or after the effective date of this section.

(d) Division (A) of this section 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 the chief's noise rules.

(B) The owner, operator, or user of a shooting range is not subject to criminal prosecution under any section of the Revised Code, or under 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.

(C) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, the courts of common pleas, municipal courts, housing divisions of municipal courts, and county courts of this state shall not grant injunctive relief under Chapter 3767. or any other section of the Revised Code, under an ordinance, resolution, or regulation of a political subdivision, or under the common law of this 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 the chief's public safety rules, whichever apply to the nuisance action.

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MISCELLANEOUS

It is unlawful to knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle. It is unlawful to carry or use any firearm while under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. It is unlawful to knowingly fail to report to law enforcement authorities forthwith the loss or theft of any firearm. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm on or across a roadway, or near buildings.  READ ALL

No person shall knowingly convey, or attempt to convey, or possess any deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance onto any property owned or controlled by, or to any activity held under the auspices of, a board of education, of a city, local, exempted village, or joint vocational school district or of a governing body of a school without authorization.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm at, in or into an occupied structure or a school safety zone.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm upon or over a cemetery or within one hundred yards of a cemetery.  This does not apply to a person who, while on his own land, discharges a firearm.

It is unlawful 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.  This does not apply to a person who owns the type of property described and who, while on his own enclosure, discharges a firearm.

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.

With limited exceptions, the owner of a shooting range is not liable in damages in a civil action to any person; subject to an injunction in a nuisance action; or subject to criminal prosecution, for harm that allegedly is caused by the creation of noise at the shooting range, if the range substantially complies with the noise rules.


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Source:  Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.11 to § 2923.24. § 2305.401; § 1533.85

CAUTION: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. This summary does not include federal or local laws, ordinances or regulations. 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.

This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.