Ammunition Regulation in Ohio

Ohio does not:

• Require a license for the sale of ammunition;

• Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;

• Prohibit persons who are ineligible to possess firearms under state law from possessing ammunition, although the federal ammunition purchaser prohibitions apply;

• Prohibit armor-piercing ammunition, although the federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition applies; or

• Otherwise regulate ammunition.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Assault Weapons in Ohio

Ohio has no law restricting assault weapons generally. However, Ohio includes within the definition of “[a]utomatic firearm” 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.1 For further information, see Machine Guns/Automatic Firearms in Ohio.

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(E). ⤴︎

Background Checks in Ohio

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Ohio is not a point of contact state for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Ohio has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background checks prior to transferring a firearm. As a result, in Ohio, firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.1

Ohio does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. See our Private Sales policy summary.

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited May 11, 2015). ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Ohio

Ohio allows a person to carry a concealed handgun in public if the person has a license. A person who knowingly carries or conceals a handgun without a license is criminally liable for a misdemeanor.1

Ohio is a “shall issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a license to carry a concealed handgun if an applicant meets certain qualifications. Ohio defines a handgun as “[a]ny firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.” Any combination of parts from which a handgun can be assembled is also considered a handgun.2

A concealed handgun license applicant will not be granted a license unless he or she:

• Is legally living in the United States and has been an Ohio resident for at least 45 days and a resident of the county in which he or she is applying, or the adjacent county, for at least 30 days;

• Is at least 21 years of age;

• Is not a fugitive from justice;

• Is not under indictment for, and has not been charged with, convicted of or pled guilty to, a felony;

• Is not under indictment for, and has not been charged with, a misdemeanor offense of violence and, within the three years prior to the application, has not been convicted of, or pled guilty to, a misdemeanor offense of violence (with certain exceptions);

• Is not under indictment for, and has not been charged with: 1) negligent assault with a dangerous ordnance (which includes an automatic or sawed-off firearm, zip-gun, any firearm or ammunition designed for military purposes, firearm muffler or silencer, or any combination of parts intended for converting a firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance) or deadly weapon; or 2) falsification or alteration of a license to carry a handgun;

• Is not under indictment for, and has not been charged with, convicted of or pled guilty to, a drug offense;

• Has not, within the five years prior to the application, been convicted of, pled guilty to, or been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing two or more acts of assault or negligent assault with a dangerous ordnance or deadly weapon;

• Has not, within the ten years prior to the application, been convicted of, pled guilty to, or been adjudicated a delinquent child for resisting arrest;

• Has not been adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to a mental institution, or found by a court to be mentally ill subject to hospitalization, and is not under adjudication of mental incompetence or an involuntary patient at any hospital for purposes of mental health treatment;

• Is not subject to a protection order of any state;

• Certifies that he or she desires to carry a handgun for defense of self or family while engaged in lawful activity;

• Submits a certificate of completion of a firearms safety training course;

• Certifies that he or she has read the firearms safety pamphlet prepared by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (“Commission”); and

• Is not subject to suspension of a license to carry a concealed handgun for violating certain state concealed weapons laws.3

Firearm Safety Training

To obtain a license, an applicant must complete a training course that demonstrates competency in firearm use and safety, and must provide evidence of completion of such training course with his or her application.4 The competency certification must have occurred within the three years immediately preceding the application.5

Each acceptable course, class, or program must include at least 12 hours of training in the safe handling and use of a firearm, and include:

• At least 10 hours of training regarding:

o The ability to name, explain, and demonstrate the rules for safe handling of a handgun and proper storage practices for handguns and ammunition;

o The ability to demonstrate and explain how to handle ammunition in a safe manner;

o The ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to shoot a handgun in a safe manner; and

o Gun handling training; and

• At least two hours of training that consists of range time and live-fire training.6

The applicant must also pass a competency examination that includes:

• A written section on the ability to name and explain the rules for the safe handling of a handgun and proper storage practices for handguns and ammunition; and

• A physical demonstration of competence in the use of a handgun and in the rules for safe handling and storage of a handgun and a physical demonstration of the attitude necessary to shoot a handgun in a safe manner.7

Duration & Renewal

An Ohio license to carry a concealed handgun is valid for up to five years if issued on or after March 14, 2007.8 A license issued before that date is valid for up to four years.9

An individual may also obtain a temporary emergency license to carry a concealed handgun. These licenses are valid for up to 90 days, may not be renewed, and may only be obtained once every four years.10

Disclosure or Use of Information

Ohio does not allow the identity of concealed handgun applicants to be made public. Ohio law requires a sheriff to destroy all records created for a background check 20 days after conducting a check for a license application. Sheriffs may retain only the application itself.11

Ohio law also provides that a sheriff’s records relative to the issuance, renewal, suspension or revocation of a license to carry a concealed handgun are confidential and not public records.12 In 2015, Ohio repealed a law that allowed journalists to view information about concealed carry licensees if the information would be in the public interest.13

Reciprocity

Ohio requires the Attorney General to enter into a reciprocity agreement with any state that recognizes a license to carry a concealed handgun issued in Ohio and has eligibility requirements for a concealed handgun license that are “substantially comparable” to those of Ohio.14

See our Concealed Weapons Permitting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12. ⤴︎
  2. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11(C). ⤴︎
  3. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1). ⤴︎
  4. See Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(B). ⤴︎
  5. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(B)(3). ⤴︎
  6. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125 (G)(1). ⤴︎
  7. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(G)(2). ⤴︎
  8. Ohio Rev. Code  § 2923.126(A). ⤴︎
  9. Id., Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(2). See Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(F) for renewal requirements. ⤴︎
  10. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.1213(B)(2). Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension and disqualification information, are detailed under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 2923.125 and 2923.128. ⤴︎
  11. Ohio Rev. Code § 311.41(B), (C). ⤴︎
  12. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.129(B)(1). ⤴︎
  13. 2015 OH HB 64. ⤴︎
  14. Ohio Rev. Code § 109.69(A). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Ohio

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Ohio has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety is required to prepare a poster and a brochure that describe safe firearms practices, and must furnish copies of the poster and brochure free of charge to each federally licensed firearms dealer.1

For information about the Ohio law requiring a locking device to accompany the sale of a firearm, see Locking Devices in Ohio.

Ohio has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

See also Private Sales in Ohio for Ohio laws that apply to gun sales generally.

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Rev. Code § 5502.63. ⤴︎

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Ohio

Ohio has no law imposing design safety standards on handguns.

According to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), Ohio’s Attorney General may have the authority to regulate “junk guns,” as well as promulgate other firearm safety standards.1

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, Ohio Rev. Code § 1345.05. For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/targetingsafety.pdf. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Ohio

Ohio has no law:

• Prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;

• Prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition,1 although federal law applies; or

• Requiring the removal or surrender of firearms at the time a domestic violence protective order is issued.

When a court issues a domestic violence order of protection, Ohio law requires the court to provide the parties to the order with the following notice, orally or in a form:

“NOTICE

As a result of this order or consent agreement, it may be unlawful for you to possess or purchase a firearm, including a rifle, pistol, or revolver, or ammunition pursuant to federal law under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8). If you have any questions whether this law makes it illegal for you to possess or purchase a firearm or ammunition, you should consult an attorney.”2

Ohio law requires a police officer who is responding to the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence or a violation of a protection order to seize any weapon used, brandished, or threatened to be used in the incident.3 Seized firearms must be given permanently to law enforcement, sold at public auction or to a federally licensed firearms dealer, or destroyed.4

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. As part of granting a domestic violence protection order or agreement, a court may grant any appropriate and equitable relief, but state law does not specify whether a firearm prohibition is permissible. See Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(E)(1)(h). ⤴︎
  2. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2151.34(F)(2), 2903.214(F)(2), 3113.31(F)(2). ⤴︎
  3. Ohio Rev. Code § 2935.03(B)(3)(h). ⤴︎
  4. Ohio Rev. Code § 2981.12(A)(2). ⤴︎