See our Firearm Prohibitions policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
Similarly, Ohio prohibits the following persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, unless they have obtained a “relief from disability”:1
• Fugitives from justice;
• Persons under indictment for or convicted of any violent felony offense, or who have been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a violent felony offense;
• Persons under indictment for, or convicted of, a felony drug offense (or adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony drug offense);
• Persons who are “drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence” or chronic alcoholics; or
• Persons under adjudication for mental incompetence, adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to a mental institution, found to be mentally ill subject to hospitalization by court order, or involuntary mentally ill patients.2
Ohio also prohibits the “use” of a firearm by a career criminal.3
Ohio law also restricts sales to young people.
Ohio has no law preventing firearm purchase or possession by violent misdemeanants or persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders.
For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see Background Checks in Ohio.
- See Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.14 regarding the procedure for obtaining relief from the prohibition against firearm possession. This provision was amended in 2011 by Ohio H.B. 54.
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.13(A).
- Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132(B). Career criminal is defined as a person who, within the preceding eight years, has been convicted of or plead guilty to two or more violent felony offenses that are separated by intervening sentences and are not so closely related to each other and connected in time and place that they constitute a course of criminal conduct. Ohio Rev. Code § 2923.132(A)(1)(a).