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Ohio Gun Control Laws

A combination of federal and state gun control laws regulate the purchase and use of firearms throughout the country. State gun control laws tend to vary quite a bit. Ohio gun control laws prohibit certain weapons, while restricting gun purchases and ownership by certain individuals.

For instance, no one may possess a sawed-off shotgun, which allows easy concealment and maximum damage; a "zip" gun, which refers to improvised and often dangerous firearms; weapons and ammunition designed specifically for military use; or silencers (unless licensed).

Certain convicted felons (but not all) are prohibited from owning firearms, as are individuals with substance abuse problems or who are deemed mentally incompetent. Ohio does not require a waiting period prior to purchasing a gun and only requires background checks for guns purchased from federally licensed dealers. So if you buy from a private seller or unlicensed dealership, you are not required to have a background check.

If you are subject to a background check, it will be performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database. The FBI will check all available court records to make sure you are eligible.

Additionally, you may apply for a concealed carry handgun license (PDF) in Ohio if you meet the gun safety training requirements and your application (PDF) is accepted.  

The main provisions of Ohio gun control laws are listed in the table below. See Gun Laws for a general overview on the topic.

Code Section 2923.11, et seq.
Illegal Arms Sawed-off automatic firearm; zip gun; firearm or ammunition manufactured and designed for military purposes; silencer or muffler (unless qualified and licensed)
Waiting Period None
Who May Not Own 1. Fugitive from justice; 2. Under indictment or convicted of felony of violence or adjudged juvenile delinquent for commission of such felony; 3. Under indictment or convicted of illegal possession, use, sale of drugs; 4. Drug dependent or chronic alcoholic; 5. Mentally incompetent; 6. Under 18 except for hunting or marksmanship and under adult supervision
Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds Felony. 2923.122

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Ohio attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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