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Gun / Firearm / Weapons Charges

Individuals who are in Ohio may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony weapons offense without even realizing they were committing an illegal act. For example, some prior convicted felony offenders are not permitted to possess a firearm, and individuals who possess a concealed handgun license are required to follow certain requirements when approached by a law enforcement officer. Some of the most commonly prosecuted firearm and weapon offenses in Columbus are:

Firearm and weapon offenses could lead to serious consequences, even if the alleged offender had no intention of committing a crime, including jail or prison sentences, a criminal record and/or fines.

Columbus Gun Arrest Lawyer

If you have been charged with a firearm or weapons offense in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Joslyn Law Firm. It is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable with Ohio’s weapon offenses and laws. Call Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a free consultation about your firearm or weapon charges.


Ohio Firearm and Weapon Law Information Center


What is a Firearm or Weapon in Ohio?

Firearms, guns and weapons are defined in Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.11 as the following:

Deadly Weapons – These include any instrument, device or thing capable of inflicting death and designed or adapted for use as a weapon or possessed, carried or used as a weapon.

Handguns – This term includes any firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by a single hand, or any combination of parts that can be used to assemble a handgun.

Dangerous Ordnances – These include any automatic or sawed-off firearm, zip-gun, ballistic knife, explosive device, incendiary device, explosive chemicals, high explosive compositions, blasting agents, any other explosive substance, any weapons design and manufactured for military purposes, and the ammunition for such weapons, firearm mufflers or silencers


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Common Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Ohio

Carrying Concealed Weapons – Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12:

  • An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly carry or have concealed on their body or ready to use:
    • A deadly weapon besides a handgun,
    • A handgun other than a dangerous ordnance, and/or
    • A dangerous ordnance.
  • This offense is punishable as a minor misdemeanor, misdemeanor of the first degree, felony of the fourth degree or felony of the third degree.

Improper Discharge of a Firearm – Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2923.161 – 2923.162:

  • An individual commits this offense if they knowingly discharge a firearm:
    • At or into an occupied habitation of an individual,
    • At, in or into a school safety zone,
    • Within 1,000 feet of any school building or school premises with the intent to cause physical harm, panic or fear of physical harm to someone in the school, or the evacuation of the school,
    • Upon or over a cemetery,
    • On a lawn, park, or other ground near an inhabited building (except for the person’s own land),
    • On or over a public road or highway.
  • These offenses are punishable as a misdemeanor of the fourth or first degree, or a felony of the third degree, second or first degree.

Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon (Having Weapons While Under Disability) – Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.13:

  • A person can be charged with this offense if they knowingly acquire, have carry or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance if they are:
    • A convicted felon of any violent offense,
    • Under indictment for any felony offense of violence,
    • Adjudicated a delinquent child for an offense that would be a felony offense of violence if they were tried as an adult,
    • A fugitive from justice,
    • Convicted of any illegal drug offense,
    • Under indictment for any illegal drug offense,
    • Adjudicated a delinquent child for an offense that would be an illegal drug offense if they were tried as an adult,
    • They are drug dependent or a chronic alcoholic,
    • They have been adjudicated mentally incompetent, as a mental defective, as mentally ill or have been committed to a mental institution.
  • A violation of this statute is punishable as a felony of the third degree.

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Ohio Laws for Individuals Licensed to Carry Concealed Weapons

According to Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.12(B), a person who has been licensed to carry a concealed handgun must do the following:

  • If the person is carrying the concealed firearm and is stopped by law enforcement, the individual must immediately inform the officer they have been licensed to carry a handgun and currently have the gun.
  • If the person is carrying the concealed firearm and is stopped by law enforcement, the individual must keep their hands in plain sight once the officer begins approaching the individual and until the officer leaves, unless instructed to do otherwise by the officer.
  • If the person is carrying the concealed firearm, is stopped by law enforcement, and approached by law enforcement, the individual must not knowingly remove or attempt to remove the loaded handgun from the holster, pocket, or other place, or hold or have contact with the handgun at any time once the officer begins approaching the individual and until the officer leaves, unless instructed to do otherwise by the officer.
  • If the person is carrying the concealed firearm and is stopped by law enforcement, the individual must not knowingly disregard or fail to comply with any lawful order of the officer while the person is stopped.

If an individual violates any of these requirements, they will be charged with a minor misdemeanor, misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the fifth degree, and their concealed license may be suspended.


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Penalties for Firearm and Weapon Charges in Ohio

Listed below are Ohio’s suggested statutory sentencing guidelines; however, these penalties may vary depending on whether the alleged offender has previously been convicted of a firearm or violent offense, the specific offense violated, where the offense was committed, and whether the person possessed a concealed handgun license.

  • Minor Misdemeanor - Fines up to $150;
  • Misdemeanor of the Fourth Degree – Jail time not more than 30 days and/or fines up to $250;
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – Jail sentence up to 180 days and/or fines not exceeding $1,000;
  • Felony of the Fifth Degree – Prison sentence from six to 12 months and/or fines not more than $2,500;
  • Felony of the Fourth Degree – Prison time from six to 18 months and/or fines up to $5,000;
  • Felony of the Third Degree – Sentence ranging from one to five years and/or fines not exceeding $10,000;
  • Felony of the Second Degree – Prison sentence ranging from two to eight years and/or fines not more than $15,000; and
  • Felony of the First Degree – Prison sentence ranging from three to 10 years and/or fines not exceeding $20,000.

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Resources

Ohio Firearm and Weapons Statutes – This link is to Ohio’s laws regarding gun, firearm and weapon charges, and outlines the penalties for misdemeanor and felony offenses. The laws can be found in Title 29, Chapter 2923 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry – This Ohio organization is a political activist organization for all firearms related rights in the state. The group’s mission is to refine concealed carry laws in the state and expand and preserve the rights of all gun owners in Ohio.

National Rifle Association – The NRA is promoted to civilian firearms education throughout the nation, and is the nation’s leading advocate for citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – The ATF is a national law enforcement agency that is dedicated to protecting United States citizens and local communities from violent crimes, criminal organizations, acts of terrorism, the illegal use of alcohol and tobacco items, and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Firearm and Weapon Charges Defense Attorney

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today to discuss the facts of your particular firearm or weapon charge in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus criminal attorney, Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm will make every effort to help you avoid the most severe penalties and punishments for the charges against you. Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your firearm or weapon offense in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.