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Legal Information: Ohio

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
November 4, 2020

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Ohio state law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:

  • is under 18 years of age (or under 21 for a handgun) but there are certain exceptions for military and law enforcement officers;1
  • is a fugitive from justice;
  • has been indicted or convicted of any felony drug offense, or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor;
  • is drug-dependent, in danger of drug dependency, or a chronic alcoholic;
  • has been committed to a mental institution or has otherwise been found to be mentally ill, defective, or incompetent by a court;2
  • is a violent career criminal, meaning s/he has been convicted of two or more unrelated violent felonies in the prior eight years;3 or
  • has been indicted or convicted of one of the following “violent felonies,” or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor:
    • aggravated murder;
    • murder;
    • voluntary manslaughter;
    • involuntary manslaughter;
    • felonious assault;
    • aggravated assault;
    • kidnapping;
    • abduction;
    • making terroristic threat;
    • robbery;
    • aggravated robbery;
  • has been indicted or convicted of one of the following crimes but only as a felony, not as a misdemeanor, or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor:

Additionally, a judge in Ohio can include gun restrictions as part of a protection order. The law allows a judge to order any relief that is “equitable and fair” to protect the victim of abuse.5 If the judge includes gun restrictions in your temporary or final protection order, then it may be unlawful for the abuser to have or buy a gun. You can read more in the Guns and Protective Orders section.

There are also certain Ohio state law restrictions about who can get a concealed handgun license in Ohio. In order to qualify for a concealed handgun license, in addition to the restrictions listed above, the person must meet all of the following:

  1. s/he is legally living in the United States (and has not renounced his/her U.S. citizenship);
  2. s/he either lives in Ohio or is employed in Ohio;
  3. s/he is at least twenty-one years old;
  4. s/he is not a fugitive from justice;
  5. s/he has not been convicted of, and is not currently charged or indicted with, committing certain felony or misdemeanor offenses as an adult or as a minor (you can see which offenses in If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?);
  6. s/he has not been discharged from the armed forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions;
  7. s/he certifies that s/he has read the Ohio firearms safety pamphlet, has completed a firearms safety course, and needs a firearm for defense; and
  8. s/he is not currently subject to a civil protection order, a temporary protection order, or a protection order issued by a court of another state.6

If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, may restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

1 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.211(A)-(B)
2 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.13(A)
3 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132
4 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132(A)(2)
5 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(E)(1)(h)
6 Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.125(D)(1)