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Legal Information: Ohio

State Gun Laws

July 12, 2023

I do not have a protection order against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?

Even if you do not have a protection order and the abuser was never convicted of any crime, there can be other reasons why s/he cannot legally have a firearm. Ohio law makes it illegal for someone to have 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 a drug dependency, is in danger of drug dependency, or has chronic alcoholism;
  • has been committed to a mental institution or has otherwise been found to be a person with mental illness or incompetent by a court;2 or
  • has been indicted for a violent felony, or has been found to have committed such an offense as a minor. The following are considered violent felonies:
    • 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:

If any of these apply to your situation, please talk to someone in your area about how this law is being enforced. If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Planning page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our Ohio Advocates and Shelters page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.

For additional information on gun laws in Ohio, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. 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 § 2923.125(D)(1)

I've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm laws and how they apply to you: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2.
  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area - see our OH Advocates and Shelters page.
  • You can write to our Email Hotline.