WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OHIO FIREARM RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
Can a person under 21 years of age possess a handgun in Ohio?
Yes. It is not a crime for a person under 21 to possess a handgun. It is a crime for another person to “furnish” a handgun to a person under 21, except for use in hunting, sporting, or educational purposes such as instruction in firearms or handgun safety, care, handling or marksmanship under the supervision or control of a responsible adult. See Ohio Revised Code 2923.21
Can I carry a firearm outside of my home in Ohio?
Yes. The Ohio constitution protects the “open carrying” of firearms, but some restrictions apply. The firearm must be visible to the naked eye and not concealed. Open carry does not extend to vehicles. Open carry is not allowed in some places. Private businesses and private property owners can refuse to allow you to enter based on your openly carrying a firearm. Open carry is not allowed while you are intoxicated, or even if you are just drinking alcohol and not yet inebriated. Although open carrying is legal in Ohio, often the sight of a firearm in public will cause unnecessary panic and unwanted attention. See Ohio Revised Code 9.68(C )(1)
May I be fired for bringing a firearm to work if I have a concealed handgun license and my employer has not posted a “no firearms allowed” sign?
Yes. Ohio is an at-will employment state, and your employer may reprimand you or even terminate your employment for bringing a firearm to work, regardless of whether the employer has posted a sign.
Do I have to register my firearms in Ohio?
No. There is no gun registry anywhere in Ohio. Currently, under Ohio Revised Code 9.68 local governmental bodies are not authorized to institute a gun registry. Be aware that Ohio Senate Bill No. 202 is proposed legislation from 2019 to restore local authority to generally regulate firearms-related conduct.
Can I own machine guns and other title II firearms in Ohio?
Yes. Under Ohio law if you properly register what is known as “Dangerous Ordinance” with the Federal Government it is possible to own items such as machine guns, short barreled rifles and short barreled shot guns.
Can a person with a drug crime conviction own firearms?
No. Anyone convicted of a any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse is prohibited under state law from possessing firearms. See Ohio Revised Code 2923.13
If I have been convicted of a crime that prohibits me from owning a firearm can I have my rights restored?
Yes. This is an extensive and not easily answered question as it depends on your specific facts and circumstances. Ohio has several processes for restoring your firearm rights – but not everyone is eligible. See Ohio Revised Code 2923.14
Can I buy a firearm from a friend and not from a store licensed to sell firearms?
Yes. Person to person gun sales are currently legal in Ohio. Private sellers are not required to conduct a background check. However, the seller must make sure you are at least 18 (21 if you are buying a handgun) and are a resident of Ohio. See Ohio Revised Code 2923.20
If I lose my gun, must I report it?
Yes. In Ohio failing to report the loss of theft of a firearm or dangerous ordinance is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. See Ohio Revised Code 2923.20
Does Ohio have “stand-your-ground” laws?
Yes. As of March 28, 2019 Ohio adopted a stand your ground provision in self-defense when it removed the duty to retreat when faced with a threat. A person lawfully in his/her residence has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of his/her residence. In addition, a person lawfully in his/her vehicle, or lawfully in a vehicle owned by an immediate family member, has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of another. See Ohio Revised Code 2901.09
What about concealed carry in Ohio?
Ohio issues conceal carry weapons permits. For the most up to date information on carrying a concealed handgun, visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
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