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Legal Information: Ohio

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
November 5, 2019

I have a protection order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

Ohio law does not specifically allow a judge to restrict an abuser’s access to firearms as part of a temporary order or a final civil protection order; however, the law does allow a judge to grant any relief that s/he believes is “equitable and fair” to protect the protected party.1 For a firearm restriction to be enforced by local police, you can ask the judge to write in your order that the abuser cannot use or have a gun.

The standard protective order forms in Ohio have a line on page 3, under #10, that says “DEFENDANT SHALL NOT POSSESS, USE, CARRY OR OBTAIN ANY DEADLY WEAPON.”

There is a space after #10 for the judge to write instructions for the abuser to give up his/her guns.2 If the judge sees the abuser’s firearm as a serious enough threat, the judge might decide to write this in.

Some judges in Ohio have decided that there must be a connection (nexus) between firearm use and the incident that led to the protective order for them to include gun restrictions.3 In those districts, the courts may use forms for their protective orders that do not have the default gun restriction language. If you live in a district that requires a nexus, be sure to include information in your petition about how the abuser used a gun to threaten or abuse you, if you want to ask the judge to include a firearm restriction

Federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person’s right to have a gun under certain circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

1 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(E)(1)(h)
2 See FORM 10.01-H: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER (CPO) EX PARTE and FORM 10.01-I: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER (CPO) FULL HEARING
3 See Maag v. Maag (Mar. 28, 2002), 3d Dist. No. 16-01-16, 2002 WL 468585