The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants people the right to bear arms. However, this right is not absolute.
The State of Ohio reduces this Second Amendment right for convicted felons. If you are a convicted felon, it is imperative to know how Ohio gun laws for felons might impact you.
Failure to strictly follow Ohio felon gun laws can lead to severe penalties. Thus, it is crucial that you reach out to an experienced criminal law attorney to discuss your rights under the law.
Understanding Ohio Gun Laws for Felons
A convicted felon in Ohio who is caught with a gun can face potential fines and even jail time. Further, this can be the case even if the gun is not necessarily working or on your body. Accordingly, it is extremely important to understand the law in this area. Failure to understand the law can lead to additional charges, making matters worse.
Ohio Felon Gun Laws: An Overview
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2923.13, a person may not “knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance,” if the person is:
- A fugitive;
- Under indictment or convicted of any felony of violence;
- Under indictment or convicted of illegal possession, use, or sale of drugs;
- Drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence, or a chronic alcoholic; or
- Deemed mentally incompetent.
Thus, even if you are not a convicted felon, these laws may still apply to you.
For the purposes of this section, Ohio law defines a “firearm” as “any deadly weapon capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant.” Notably, a firearm will also include an unloaded firearm or one that is inoperable but that can “readily be rendered operable.”
Additionally, a “dangerous ordnance” includes:
- Automatic or sawed-off firearms,
- Ballistic knives,
- Any explosive or incendiary devices,
- Firearm mufflers or suppressors, and
- Any firearm, ammunition, rocket launcher, mortar, artillery piece, or similar weapon designed and manufactured for military purposes.
As you can see, many objects can lead to a violation of Ohio felon gun laws. If you have been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Ohio, contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your rights and remedies under the law.
Penalties for Violating Ohio Gun Laws for Felons
Violating Ohio Revised Code § 2923.12 will result in a third-degree felony charge. A conviction on such a charge can result in a prison term of up to 36 months. In addition to prison time, a violation of Ohio gun laws for felons can result in fines of up to $10,000.
Convicted felons can face grave consequences if they are charged with possession of a firearm. However, this does not mean that there is nothing you can do. Depending on your situation, you may have valid defenses that can potentially lead to a reduction or dismissal of your charge.
Contact Our Team Today
If you have been convicted of a felony in Ohio and are now being charged with possession of a firearm, we want to help. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have extensive experience providing high-quality legal counsel to clients in need.
With more than 50 collective years in practice, we know what it takes to successfully defend criminal defendants in the most difficult times of their lives. Contact us today online or by phone at 937-222-1515 to see how we can help you.