Columbus Lawyers for Gun Charges

America’s “founding fathers” knew that the right to have firearms was extremely important to keeping this country free from an over-reaching government. So much so that it was the second on the list of the Bill of Rights (Second Amendment). Though the original thought behind this right has changed over the years to more of a right to have firearms for protecting your family, yourself, and other people from dangerous and violent situations, this right remains equally as important to many Americans.

Because of the inherent danger involved with handguns, rifles, and other weapons, they remain heavily regulated.  The laws regarding weapons possession and use are often long as well as confusing.  You also need to be aware that there are state laws and federal laws to consider when possessing, owning, and using guns.  I will attempt to simply cover how to carry and/or transport a gun in Ohio as well as Ohio’s most frequently broken gun laws.

Concealing Firearms in Ohio

Section 2923.12 of the Ohio Revised Code makes it illegal to possess and/or carry guns in a certain way unless you have a valid permit to handle them differently.  A person who does not have a permit cannot carry a gun in public if it is hidden on your person or so close to you that it is easily accessible and within your immediate physical reach.

Even if you have a license that allows you to carry or have close by you a gun that is not visible, there are still rules to follow when you are carrying. 

What Should a Person with a Concealed Carry License do if They are Pulled Over and They Have a Gun with Them?

When a person carrying a gun is stopped for a “law enforcement purpose,” they must stay in the vehicle and quickly inform the law enforcement officer(s) that they have a license to carry and that they have their gun.  Additionally, they must keep their hands visible at all times and never touch the gun or guns unless given specific instructions by the officer to act differently.  Lastly, they cannot fail to comply with any lawful instructions given to them by the officer or officers.

What if a Person Without a Permit is Pulled Over and They Have a Gun with Them?

When pulled over under the same circumstances as a person with a concealed carry license (stopped for law enforcement purpose), a person will want to follow the same set of rules for those with a permit (stay in the vehicle, inform, hands visible, don’t touch it).  If the person is not otherwise prohibited by law from carrying a firearm, they may have a completely valid defense and therefore not be committing a crime.  These defenses include:

  1. They were transporting and/or storing the firearm in a vehicle and the gun was not on them
  2. They were in their own home

What if The Gun in The Car is Loaded?

If you do not have a concealed carry license commonly called a CCW license, loaded guns must be transported differently than those that are unloaded.  If you know a loaded gun is in your vehicle, it must be placed in such a way that it is not accessible to you or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.  Even if the gun in the car is not loaded, those who do not have their CCW license must store the gun in one of the following ways:

  1. In a closed package, box, or case,
  2. Inn a compartment that cannot be reached without leaving the vehicle, or
  3. In plain sight (openly visible) and secured in a rack or holder made for that purpose.

What Does it Mean to have a Firearm Disability?

Having a firearm disability essentially means you cannot acquire, have, carry, or use a gun.  The following people are considered to have a weapons disability:

  1. Fugitives
  2. People with a pending felony “offense of violence” charge and/or a felony conviction considered an “offense of violence” (aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, permitting child abuse, aggravated menacing, menacing by stalking, menacing, kidnapping, abduction, extortion, trafficking in persons or human trafficking, rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, aggravated arson, arson, terrorism, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, inciting violence, aggravated rioting, inducing panic, domestic violence, intimidation, escape, improper discharge of a firearm into a habitation or in a school safety zone, patient abuse or neglect, burglary, endangering children, any non-traffic offense involving physical harm or a risk of serious physical harm to persons committed purposely or knowingly, and conspiracy to commit, attempt to commit, or complicity in committing any of these offenses)
  3. People with a pending felony drug charge and/or a felony drug conviction
  4. People who are drug dependent, in danger of being drug dependent, and chronic alcoholics
  5. People who have been found mentally incompetent or mentally defective by a judge
  6. People who have been committed to a mental institution, found to be mentally ill by court order, or is an involuntary patient other than for the purpose of observation.

Can Someone Who is Considered to Have a Firearm Disability Get Rid of the Disability?

Ohio law does allow someone to get rid of this so called “disability”. It is done by applying for relief in the common pleas court in the county in which they live.  The application must provide certain information and some people do not qualify for relief.

What Other Acts or Behavior Can be Considered a Crime When a Firearm is Involved?

As you likely know, firearms can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.  To help protect people from that danger, people cannot carry, use, or possess a gun while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  They also must follow specific rules when having a gun in their car, be above a certain age (18 or 21 depending on the type of gun), and cannot sell, lend, or give a gun to someone who isn’t allowed to have one or who is intoxicated at the time.

Contact Columbus Gun Crime Defense Attorney

If you can’t legally have a gun but would like to or if you have been charged with a crime involving a gun, a Columbus Ohio Firearm lawyer from The Maher Law Firm may be able to help.  Attorney Colin Maher can be contacted directly at 614-205-2208 for a free phone consultation or you can contact him online.

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