What You Should Know About Buying Guns in Ohio

buying guns in Ohio

Buying guns in Ohio is a straightforward process because there are very few requirements for residents of the state. You shouldn’t experience any issues if you’re old enough, have the correct ID, and don’t have anything on your criminal record that prohibits you from owning a firearm.

It’s a good idea to learn about the entire gun-buying process before proceeding with your purchase, though, including how the state’s background checks and concealed carry permits work. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about buying guns in Ohio.

How Background Checks Work in Ohio

You’ll have to undergo a background check before buying a gun from a licensed dealer in Ohio. Keep in mind that this check isn’t necessary with a private sale. Your background check should be quick and easy, and during the process, you will:

Fill Out a Form

You can’t buy a firearm in Ohio without first filling out a 4473 NICS Background Check form, a short document that contains information for government officials to review. You’ll receive this form directly from the gun dealer. Don’t fill out the form beforehand, because you’ll have to redo the entire thing once you’re in the shop.

Receive Approval

The dealer will send your document off right away, and you’ll receive prompt approval, assuming there aren’t any red flags on your record. You can then purchase your firearm and leave the shop immediately, because Ohio doesn’t have any registration or waiting period requirements. 

Wait for Other Responses

Your background check could also lead to your purchase application being delayed or denied. A delayed approval means ATF has to complete additional research before granting permission, a process that could take up to three days. A denial indicates there’s something on your record that makes it illegal for you to own a firearm in Ohio.

Your background check is all you need to buy guns in Ohio, at least as far as government interventions go. No licensing is required, and since this is an open-carry state, you can bring your weapon to most places as long as you don’t conceal it. 

7 Steps to Buying a Gun in Ohio

Completing your background check is the most critical step you can take before buying guns in Ohio. You’ll have to take some other measures before finalizing the purchase, though, and there are some optional exercises you might consider after buying.

1. Be Old Enough

The gun laws in Ohio are pretty relaxed, but children aren’t permitted to buy firearms. You must be at least 18 years old to purchase a rifle or shotgun and 21 to buy a pistol, stripped receiver, or completed lower receiver. Those under the age of 18 can still use their parents’ firearms when hunting, taking part in a shooting event, or attending a training course.

2. Meet the Residency Requirements

Ohio doesn’t have a residency requirement when purchasing a rifle or a completed lower receiver. You must be a state resident to buy a stripped receiver or pistol in Ohio, however, and provide the necessary documentation to prove it. Out-of-state residents who own land in Ohio must bring their property tax records when purchasing a pistol.

3. Choose a Gun

You can start the process of selecting your ideal firearm once you’re old enough to make the purchase. Visiting a few gun dealers or doing online research should give you a solid idea of what you want to buy, and you can also visit gun shows or look through ads from private dealers. 

4. Have Valid ID

There are ID requirements when buying a gun in Ohio that you’ll have to meet before completing the purchase. You must have a state-issued photo ID, which the dealer is legally obligated to check before allowing the sale to go through. You must also bring supporting documents like a hunting license, BMV papers, or voter registration if your ID doesn’t match your current address.

5. Pay for It

Getting all the legal stuff out of the way means you’re ready to pay for your new gun. Most federally licensed dealers will accept cash, check, credit card, or debit, while private sellers will most likely only take cash payments. 

6. Learn the Laws

Ohio is an open-carry state, which means legal gun owners can carry their firearms in public as long as they don’t conceal them. There are different laws for carrying a gun in a vehicle, as it must be unloaded for transport. The firearm must also be in a closed case, in plain sight, or in the trunk unless you have a concealed carry permit

7. Get a Concealed Carry Permit

Concealed weapon training Ohio

Obtaining a concealed carry permit makes it far easier to take your gun in your vehicle, because you can keep it on your body. These permits also allow you to carry your firearm in a holster when out in public. Training is necessary before applying for one of these concealed carry permits in Ohio.

Once you go through the required steps, and maybe some of the optional ones, you’re ready to become a law-abiding gun owner in Ohio. There’s no licensing or registration requirement in the state, so you can keep your gun with you for life once you make this purchase. 

Get Expert Concealed Carry Training

Getting your concealed carry permit in Ohio is a bit of a process, because you have to complete an approved course that is at least eight hours long and taught by a certified instructor. The course will teach you the necessary gun safety skills, and you’ll have to complete a written test at the end of it. 

Concealed Coalition has CHL trainers that are state-approved in Ohio. We’ll provide the classroom training and other information you need to prepare for your concealed carry permit test in Ohio, giving you a far better chance of passing. Contact Concealed Coalition today to speak with us about your concealed carry educational needs. 

State Reciprocity Maps
Map of the All States

Blog Topics


Get Certified Today