What Are My Gun Rights in Ohio?

Man getting arrested

What Are My Gun Rights in Delaware, Ohio?

What are Ohio’s gun laws? What are your legal rights if you are charged with a crime involving a gun? What happens if you shoot someone in self-defense?

In Ohio, citizens can openly carry a gun. You do not need a conceal carry permit to carry a gun unless they are prohibited in that location. As of June 2023, if you are 21 years old and eligible (see below), you can also conceal your gun without a conceal carry permit. That means you can have it inside your waist, jacket, or purse.

You cannot open or conceal carry on government property such as schools and post offices or in private businesses that prohibit it. You may keep a gun in your car, but it is still illegal to have the gun in your vehicle when entering a school zone. Therefore it is important to be aware of your surroundings when open or conceal carrying a gun.

How Do I Avoid Legal Trouble When Carrying a Gun?

  • Plain Sight - If you are openly carrying a gun, it will no doubt get the attention of others. Should a police officer approach you when open carrying, it is important to keep your hands in “plain sight” and away from the weapon.
  • Obey Signs - If a “No Guns Allowed” sign is posted, you should comply with the sign. Should you mistakenly carry the weapon into a location where it is prohibited and you are caught by Law Enforcement, you will likely face serious criminal charges. Felony charges of the 3rd or 4th degree, such as Criminal Trespass will apply.
  • Comply with the Law - Should Law Enforcement ask if you are carrying a concealed weapon, failure to tell them can lead to criminal charges. However, it is not illegal to NOT volunteer this information. In other words, you do not have to announce you have a concealed weapon if an officer merely approaches.
  • Don’t Drink and Carry - Not only is it illegal to carry a gun while intoxicated, it is a felony to carry a weapon into a place that has a type D liquor license to serve alcohol.
  • Conceal Carry Permit - Although it is no longer required to conceal your weapon, it is a good idea to have the permit. It can help you avoid legal trouble in a number of ways. Primarily, it will protect your gun rights when traveling through states that do not have an open carry law. To obtain a conceal carry permit, one needs to take an 8 hour course and submit the course completion certificate to the County Sheriff’s Office.

What Are Legal Uses of My Gun

You may use a weapon to defend yourself because you believe you have no other choice at that very moment. However, law enforcement may still charge you with a crime. The steps involved in defending a felony gun offense can be complicated, and your freedom and your life can hang in the balance.

In a self-defense case in Ohio, the burden of proof has been on the defendant. Although that may be changing, if you have used your gun to protect yourself, it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced gun defense attorney to give you the best chance for dismissal or acquittal.

Who Is Restricted from Owning a Gun in Ohio?

  • Those who have been indicted or convicted of a violent felony or drug felony
  • People with certain mental illnesses or those deemed by a court to be metally incompetent
  • Chronic alcoholic or drug-dependent individuals
  • A fugitive from justice
Illegal Guns
  • Any firearm that has the serial number and model altered or removed
  • A firearm and ammunition designed and manufactured for military purposes
  • A sawed-off shotgun
  • An automatic gun or zip gun

Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Gun

A felony gun possession conviction can result in up to 5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for each instance. Therefore, if you or someone you know has been charged with a gun crime in Ohio, do not wait. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to begin investigating your case and stand up for your right to possess a firearm.

Written by The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC

  • Dr. Benjamin Jackoby
  • Dr. Hank Jackoby

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