Weapons Under Disability & Weapons Specification

Gun and Gavel

Weapons Charges

Weapons Under Disability

Weapons under disability is a common charge that may occur during traffic stop or search by law enforcement. Being charged with weapons under disability (WUD) or a weapons specification in Ohio should be taken very seriously. WUD is a felony of the third degree that can result in up to five years in prison and hefty fines.

Having weapons while under disability falls under chapter 2923.13 of the Ohio Revised Code, and it determines if an individual is legally allowed to carry, use, or own a weapon.

  • Under the second amendment of the United States Constitution, eligible citizens may possess a firearm unless they are deemed ineligible.

  • Having a mental disability or being convicted of certain crimes is the most common way a person is “disabled” from carrying a weapon.

Once a person is restricted from their 2nd amendment rights, a legal process must be followed to regain those rights. A criminal defense attorney specializing in gun charges may be able to assist in that process.

Firearm Enhancement or Weapons Specification

A firearm enhancement is applied when a weapon is used during the commission of a felony and can cause a mandatory increase in the length of sentence if convicted.

  • If you are merely in possession of the weapon during the commission of a felony, the enhancement is one additional year in prison.

  • If it is brandished or otherwise used in committing a felony, the enhancement is a mandatory three years imprisonment.

  • There are other factors that may additionally increase sentencing if convicted.

Individuals Restricted from Possessing a Gun

  • A fugitive from justice

  • Those who have been indicted or convicted of a felony of violence

  • Those who have been indicted or convicted of a felony of drug possession, trafficking, distribution, or abuse

  • Chronic alcoholic or drug-dependent individuals

  • Those with certain mental illnesses or those deemed by a court to be mentally incompetent or mentally ill

Getting Your Gun Rights Back

  • To re-obtain gun rights a person must submit an application to the court for a Relief of Disability and a hearing must be held. Details can be found in ORC 2923.14. Merely serving out the sentence on a felony conviction is not sufficient.

WUD - If It’s Self Defense?

Can you use a weapon in self-defense if restricted from carrying or possessing a weapon?

You may use a weapon to defend yourself if you are under a WUD because you believe you have no other choice. However, it is very likely you will be charged with weapons under disability. Since each case is slightly different, a criminal defense attorney can uncover the small differences that determine whether using the weapon was a WUD violation or necessary in defense of your life.

Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Gun

The penalties for illegal possession of a weapon or an item indistinguishable from a gun, can vary from a fourth degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony resulting in up to 5 years in prison. Illegal possession or use in restricted areas or multiple times may result in a felony of the first degree and up to 11 additional years in prison.

Should you be charged with any crime where a weapons specification/enhancement, or weapons under disability was added, an experienced Columbus, Ohio defense attorney can help defend your rights.


Written for The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC

  • Dr. Benjamin Jackoby, Dr. “Hank” Jackoby



Baldwin’s Ohio Criminal Law and Practice 2014, Chapter 106

Ohio Laws and Administrative Rules, Ohio Revised Code 2923

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