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3 Things You Need to Know About Ohio Gun Laws

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What Are the Gun Laws in Ohio?

Ohio law acknowledges the right to bear arms, but there are some regulations regarding the possession, use, and sale of firearms and ammunition. While federal law provides restrictions on gun transactions and ownership, Ohio law is mostly concerned with the transportation and carrying of guns.
If you or someone you love is facing a gun-related charge in Ohio, you deserve to know your rights and know that our criminal defense attorneys are prepared to help you defend them at all costs.

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Is Ohio an Open-Carry State?

Ohio Gun Law

Ohio is an open-carry state, which means that anyone who legally possesses a firearm in Ohio is allowed to open-carry the firearm either with or without a license. A gun owner does not need a license to transport an unloaded firearm in their vehicle; however, it must be properly secured and located in an area of the vehicle where the gun owner must exit the vehicle in order to access it. Ammunition must also be stored separately.

Even though Ohio is an open-carry state, it is illegal to transport firearms or have a firearm on your person if you have any alcohol in your system. It is also illegal to carry a handgun in an establishment that has a liquor permit if you do not have a concealed carry permit. If you do have a concealed carry permit, you cannot consume alcohol while on the premises.

Adults over the age of 21 are allowed to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun, providing they meet the requirements. These requirements include a minimum of 8 hours of training from a certified instructor (6 hours of classroom instruction and 2 hours of range time), passing certain competency tests, meeting certain residency requirements, and passing a background check.

Penalties for Violation of Open-Carry Requirements

Ohio law prohibits carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you’re found in violation of these laws with a BAC over the legal limit, it may result in misdemeanor charges, leading to fines, imprisonment, and/or suspension of the concealed carry license. Violations such as failing to complete required training, carrying in a prohibited location, or not carrying the proper permit can also lead to various penalties, including fines, jail time, and the loss of the concealed carry permit.

Ohio Firearm Laws: How Old to Buy a Handgun?

In Ohio, the age requirements for purchasing and possessing firearms vary based on the type of firearm and whether the purchase is made by a licensed dealer or a private individual.

  • Handguns: Individuals must be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer. This includes purchasing handguns for self-defense or other lawful purposes.
  • Long Guns (Rifles and Shotguns): For long guns, the minimum age for purchase from a licensed dealer is 18 years old.
  • Private Sales: Ohio law allows for private sales of firearms, and the age requirements for private transactions might differ from those for licensed dealers. It’s advisable to consult with a legal expert in Ohio if you are considering a private firearm transaction.

Additionally, there may be other factors that affect a person’s ability to purchase or possess a firearm in Ohio, such as criminal history or mental health status. It’s recommended to consult with an attorney or local law enforcement agency to understand the full extent of the law as it applies to individual circumstances.

Penalties for Violation of Age Requirements to Buy a Gun

Federal law sets minimum age requirements for purchasing firearms, and violations may result in fines, imprisonment, or both. On a state level, Ohio has its own penalties that could include fines, jail time, or other legal consequences, depending on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the individual purchase. Licensed dealers found selling firearms to underage buyers may face significant fines, license revocation, and possibly imprisonment. 

If you or someone you love has been charged with any of these violations, consult an Ohio criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn about how you can best defend your rights and work to minimize the potential for long-term consequences. 

How Close to a Residence Can You Shoot a Firearm?

Ohio’s regulations on discharging firearms near residences can vary based on location, purpose, and the nature of the property. Here’s an overview:

  • Urban and Suburban Areas: Many municipalities in Ohio have specific ordinances prohibiting the discharge of firearms within city limits or near residences. The exact distances can vary by locality, so checking with local authorities or consulting local ordinances is essential.
  • Rural Areas: In more rural settings, Ohio law might be less restrictive, but local ordinances may still apply. Property owners must ensure that their activities comply with any applicable zoning laws, township resolutions, and county regulations.
  • Hunting Regulations: Ohio hunting regulations might specify distances from residences where hunting is allowed. This distance could vary based on factors such as the type of game, weapon used, and location.
  • Safety Considerations: Even in areas where discharging a firearm near a residence may be legal, safety should always be the primary consideration. It is the shooter’s responsibility to ensure that the act is done safely and without endangering others. 

Penalties for Violation of Shooting Distance in Ohio

Violating these regulations can result in legal penalties, ranging from fines to imprisonment, depending on the nature of the violation and local laws. For example, a violation that led to the injury of another person, property damages, or that involved recklessness or gross negligence could result in harsher penalties, including jail time. It is highly advisable to consult an attorney knowledgeable in Ohio gun laws to understand the specific requirements for shooting near residences in your area and what can be done if you’re facing gun-related charges. 

Accused of a Gun Crime? Call Patituce & Associates Today.

If you have been accused of a crime involving a gun in Cleveland, it is essential that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. When you choose to work with Patituce & Associates, we can review the facts of your case, inform you of your rights, and ensure that they remain protected as we fight for a reduction or dismissal of your charges. Backed by more than 70 years of combined experience, our team of former prosecutors has an extremely high rate of success because we know how to gather evidence, challenge cases against our clients, and effectively represent them at trial.

Call us at (216) 208-4579 or contact us online to speak to a criminal defense attorney near you during a free and confidential case review.