How to Buy a Gun in Ohio (2022 UPDATED) Don’t Miss Out

Alfred Mendoza

Although federal law protects your right to own a firearm, state-specific gun laws still apply. Therefore, if you want to possess a gun in Ohio, you need to be familiar with the Ohio gun laws. 

Our team spent 48 hours researching and compiling the essential procedures for purchasing a gun in the state of Ohio.

5 Essentials in Buying a Gun in Ohio

1. Age

You must present proof of age for you to buy a firearm legally. If you’re at least 18 years old, then you’re eligible to own long guns like rifles or shotguns. Meanwhile, gun owners need to be 21 years old and above to buy a handgun. 

2. Proof of Residency 

After meeting the age requirement, you need to prove that you’re a legal resident of Ohio. You must be residing in Ohio for at least 45 days and a county resident where you’re applying for at least 30 days. If you’re a non-resident trying to possess firearms, you must prove that you are working within Ohio.

3. Firearms Transaction Record Form

A completed application form (ATF Form 4473) is required before buying firearms from a licensed dealer or manufacturer. However, this form doesn’t serve as a “permit to purchase” during gun shows.

4. Background Check

Buying from a gun store requires background checks to determine your lawful eligibility to own a firearm. If you’re not convicted of felonies, the federal background check is usually approved. 

It is only delayed if further research is required to check in on an individual. A background check is denied once it is revealed that you have violated certain laws and don’t meet the criteria.

Background Check

5. Waiting Period 

Ohio gun laws are not restrictive when it comes to owning a firearm. There is generally no waiting period before you can purchase guns. As long as all of the above requirements check out, then you can leave the gun shop in less than 20 minutes. However, there are more Ohio gun laws concerning carrying firearms than just owning them.

Why Would Someone Be Restricted From Buying a Gun?

The legal process involved to let you legally buy a firearm is quite easy to follow.

However, Ohio prohibits the following individuals from owning firearms: [1]

  • Being judged as incompetent or mentally ill
  • Having drug or chronic alcohol abuse problems
  • Convicted or indicted for a felony drug offense
  • Convicted or indicted for a felony violent offense (like gun violence)

If you have been prohibited from purchasing a gun and think that the decision is questionable, you may seek legal advice and counter the decision. Take note that owning a gun while violating the above parameters may result in several criminal liabilities.

Licensed Seller vs Private Dealer

The state and federal laws on buying firearms are a bit byzantine. One law may apply to one class of sellers while it might not work for others.

Licensed sellers require background checks for the legal sale of weaponry. On the other hand, buying from a private dealer in gun shows lets you skip the federal background check while still retaining the legality of the transaction. This is why many dealers refuse to join these gun events to avoid selling firearms to the wrong hands.

Licensed Seller vs Private Dealer

Some pro-gun advocates like Buckeye Firearms Association executive director Dean Rieck want private dealers to follow the same pattern as online transactions. You sell, they buy, you ship – as simple as that. Here’s a list of the best gun shops in Ohio

Open Carry vs Concealed Carry in Ohio

Open Carry vs Concealed Carry in Ohio

Owning firearms is easy, but what you do with it is what Ohio laws on guns focus on. Open carry laws allow gun owners to openly carry in most public places. 

As long as your gun is legal, you can bring them in public places even without licenses or permits. However, there are certain places where you’re prohibited to openly carry firearms.

Some places include: 

  • Schools
  • Airports
  • Courthouses
  • Bars
  • Private property which expressly states that open carry is prohibited

Using firearms in a school safety zone is punishable by law. Also, be advised that using assault weapons like machine guns and large-capacity firearms is prohibited unless you belong in law enforcement and military service.

It would be best if you secure a permit to carry a concealed weapon. You may give the Sheriff’s office a visit in the county where you reside and apply for an Ohio concealed carry license. You also must not have a history of resisting arrest for 10 years before application.

The approval to carry concealed weapons comes after you complete training for at least eight hours.


Yes, it is, since there is no state permit needed to buy firearms in Ohio. However, there are various criteria you need to meet first to ensure firearms safety. Some people opt to buy guns from gun exhibits to escape the process of background checking from legal dealers.

Not really. There is no gun registry in the state of Ohio. This is what background checks are for – to determine a buyer’s eligibility before gun ownership. As long as you check out as clean after the background investigation, your firearm is technically legally owned.

It depends. Some Ohio Rev. Codes state that carrying a gun in a private vehicle is allowed as long as it’s unloaded and inaccessible from the inside (like the trunk) unless it is a concealed weapon. You can only hide a firearm within reach if you have a concealed carry permit.

So, What Do I Need to Buy a Gun in Ohio?

Buying firearms in Ohio is not difficult at all. Provided you meet all the requirements, you can visit a legal dealer and get a gun within 20 minutes.

You have to pass the following criteria to purchase a gun:

  • Age requirement
  • Residency
  • ATF Form
  • Background check

Once your data checks out with the above requirements, you can now legally possess firearms. Additional state laws regulate what happens after the purchase, including openly carrying or bringing a concealed firearm.



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