The State of Ohio has an entire chapter of the Penal Code dedicated to firearm rules and regulations. Failure to obey these laws can lead to criminal penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the violation.

As a gun owner, it can be extremely difficult to obey all of these rules. We understand that good people can get caught on the wrong side of the law. While the Second Amendment provides some constitutional protections to your right to own a firearm, society today makes it hard to exercise these rights in accordance with the law.

Below we discuss some of the most common gun laws in Ohio.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Concealed handguns are one of the most common ways people get in trouble with guns. In fact, people with valid Concealed Carry Permits (CCW) get in trouble in Dayton just as often as those without a CCW license. 

If you plan on carrying a concealed handgun, you are going to need to obtain a CCW permit from the State Attorney General’s Office. Otherwise, it is illegal. Before applying for a permit, you must complete an approved firearms course demonstrating competency and safety — and meet all the other requirements

Carrying a handgun is a huge responsibility. You should carefully study the law on self defense and lethal force. There is a word in the legal community for illegal use of force with a gun: homicide. 

Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is typically a misdemeanor unless you have prior convictions or there are aggravating circumstances. 

Even if you do have a valid CCW permit, there are still many ways to find yourself in trouble with the law, including things like:

  • Carrying in the wrong place
  • Carrying while intoxicated
  • Brandishing a firearm

Dayton criminal defense lawyers have helped numerous clients facing gun related charges. They know how to fight to prove your innocence or even craft innovative resolutions when it aligns with your goals. 

Brandishing a Firearm in Dayton Ohio

One common way folks find themselves in hot water with the law is brandishing a firearm. Brandishing is when you flash or show a gun to someone. Sometimes CCW permit holders facing a threat will brandish their firearms to deter violence.

However, brandishing can be charged as a crime known as “Menacing.” Menacing is defined in Ohio statute as “knowingly causing another to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the person.” 

Take a road rage incident for example. If someone is following and screaming at you, and you flashed your gun to deter the threat, the police could respond and arrest you. You would be charged with menacing.

There are different types of menacing. Even as a law-abiding gun owner with a permit to carry, you could still go to jail for menacing. A firearm is only to be used as a last resort when reasonably faced with imminent death and after complying with a duty to retreat. 

Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated

There’s an old saying that a lot of gun owners know: guns and alcohol don’t mix. Ohio law backs up this maxim with a statute criminalizing carrying a firearm while intoxicated. Violating this provision is a first degree misdemeanor.

As a concealed carry permit holder, you can find yourself in trouble very easily due to this law. Many times gun owners want to carry a firearm for safety when they are out late at night or in a new area with strangers. Going to the bars fits both of these situations! However, it is critical to leave your firearm at home if you are drinking to avoid legal trouble. 

Contact a Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help

If you were charged with a gun crime, a Dayton criminal defense lawyer can help. They can negotiate with the prosecutors for a favorable plea deal. They can even take your case to trial and protect your rights. Contact a lawyer today for help with your charges.