Ohio strictly adheres to the 2nd Amendment and the constitutionally protected right to bear arms.
However, if you are a convicted felon, this is not the case, and you (under most types of convictions) may lose your 2nd amendment rights. This is especially true if you have been convicted of a felony offense.
Any convicted felon (in most states, including Ohio) is not considered to have the same rights as others and is limited or denied their ability to possess a firearm.
Unfortunately, many legal situations arise where you, as a convicted felon, have broken laws because you don’t fully understand Ohio firearm policies. Even in Ohio, any illegal firearm possession usually inflicts severe penalties on you and can make the dire realities of being a previously convicted felon even worse.
Under current Ohio gun rights laws, you may have severe limitations placed on your ability to acquire, possess, or use firearms if you fall into one of the following categories:
- You are a fugitive from justice.
- You are currently under formal indictment or have been convicted of a violent felony.
- If you have been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing what would be considered a violent felony offense if committed by an adult.
- You are currently under formal accusation or convicted of a felony drug offense. This could include possession, sale, use, distribution, or trafficking.
- If you are adjudicated a delinquent child for a felony drug offense if committed by an adult. This includes possession, sale, use, distribution, or trafficking.
- Current Ohio statute also prevents you, if you have been ruled “mentally incompetent” or a chronic alcoholic or drug-dependent person from possessing, using, or owning firearms.
Also, you may feel that being convicted of felony offenses apply; however, you would be wrong. Misdemeanor offenses, such as domestic violence, can also result in a life-long ban on using or owning firearms. Almost any conviction involving violence, being a misdemeanor or felony, stops you from owning or operating a gun.
Ohio gun laws are usually considered strong proponents of your 2nd amendment rights. However, they can be complex, and if you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, you must discuss these laws with a reputable, knowledgeable Cincinnati weapons charges lawyer. Only by doing so can you be sure you are within your rights and not bring harsh penalties down upon yourself.
What Are Examples of “Violent Offenses” in Ohio?
Violent offenses, whether a misdemeanor or felony, can cause you to lose your “right to bear arms” in Ohio.
Some examples of types of “violent” offenses are:
- Aggravated murder or murder.
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
- Permitting any kind of child abuse.
- Aggravated menacing or menacing by stalking.
- Kidnapping or abduction.
- Human Trafficking, rape, or sexual battery.
- Patient abuse
- Endangering children
There is more, of course, and whatever your conviction is, it’s unique and should be thoroughly discussed with an Ohio weapons charge lawyer in detail. Only by doing so can you be sure that you are still within your rights to own or use a firearm without putting yourself in dire jeopardy.
Is It Possible to Restore My “Gun Rights” in Ohio?
Ohio law, which can be harsh on you if you have a conviction, provides legal paths to restore your Ohio gun rights.
However, to qualify, you must have completed your sentence and cannot be on probation, parole, or under court supervision. The court will determine if you have been living a law-abiding lifestyle since your conviction.
You must note that any subsequent convictions may not disqualify you from restoring your gun rights but will make getting your firearm rights back extremely difficult.
Some of the factors that the Ohio court will look at before restoring your gun rights are:
- How long ago did your conviction occur?
- The overall seriousness of your conviction and precisely what the charges were.
- Your complete criminal history.
- Whether you are leading a law-abiding life presently.
- Whether restoring your firearm rights is in the general public’s best interests.
It must be noted that restoring your gun rights after a conviction can be done but is always highly legally challenging. If you are attempting to get your firearm’s rights back, you must consult with an experienced Cincinnati weapons charge lawyer. They will analyze all aspects of your previous criminal history and advise you on the best possible legal path to get your 2nd amendment rights restored.
What Else Should I Know Concerning My Gun Rights in Ohio
Although Ohio is pro-gun rights, some specific rules and regulations can get you a felony or misdemeanor charge that you may not be aware of.
Most Ohio lawyers have seen numerous law-abiding citizens charged with profoundly severe crimes due to improperly transporting firearms. You must note that simply having a concealed carry license does not give you absolute freedom to transport a gun as you see fit.
If you do not have a concealed carry license (a Concealed Handgun License or CHL), you cannot transport a loaded firearm in your vehicle if the firearm is accessible to you without leaving your vehicle.
You may transport an unloaded firearm anywhere in your vehicle if you lawfully possess it, and the gun is in a closed package, box, bag, or case, or it’s in a compartment that can only be reached by you exiting the vehicle.
Additionally, if you borrow a friend’s car to take a quick trip, and the police pull you over for a traffic violation but find a loaded firearm under the driver’s seat, you could have a severe problem.
Ohio laws pertaining to the improper handling of firearms state that there is a “knowingly” element to your offense. However, the officer will likely issue a criminal charge and let the courts sort out this “sticky” situation.
These are only a few examples, but there are many more. You need to know that you must consult with a local law firm experienced in these situations before even setting foot in a courthouse! The possible penalties are far too harsh to leave anything up to chance.
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I Have a Conviction and Want to Protect My Gun Rights; How Should I Proceed?
If you have been charged with a felony (or even a misdemeanor), especially if any violence is involved, then your right to bear arms is absolutely in jeopardy, and so is your freedom.
The best thing to do for yourself is to consult with a Cincinnati weapons charge lawyer as soon as possible. Your knowledgeable, thorough, and aggressive gun rights criminal defense lawyer will do everything possible to ensure that your 2nd Amendment rights, and freedom, are protected.