Firearm / Weapon Charges
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every American the right to keep and bear arms, but there are multiple weapon or firearm violations in Ohio that can result in criminal charges. Misdemeanor or felony firearm or weapon offenses can result in lengthy terms of imprisonment and very steep fines.
Additionally, a conviction on such charges can prevent a person from legally owning or possessing a gun in the future and have a dramatic impact on his or her ability to obtain certain employment. These types of penalties make it imperative for anybody accused of weapon or firearm crime to immediately seek qualified legal representation.
Cincinnati Firearm / Weapon Charges Lawyer
Brian Joslyn has a deep knowledge of firearm and weapon laws in Ohio, and he can fight to make sure that you face the fewest possible repercussions of such an alleged offense. Joslyn Law Firm helps clients all over the greater Cincinnati area who have been accused of these types of crimes.
Our firm can fully investigate your case and work to have the charges against you reduced or completely dismissed. We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal options when you call today.
Cincinnati, Ohio Firearm / Weapon Charges Overview
- How are weapons and firearms defined?
- What kinds of charges can a person face?
- Are there any defenses against these allegations?
Ohio Revised Code § 2923.11 provides the following definitions as they apply to assorted firearms and weapons:
- Deadly Weapon — Any instrument, device, or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried, or used as a weapon.
- Firearm — Any deadly weapon capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant, includes unloaded firearms and any firearm that is inoperable but that can readily be rendered operable.
- Handgun — Any firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand or any combination of parts from which a firearm can be assembled.
- Semi-Automatic Firearm — Any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a single cartridge and automatically chamber a succeeding cartridge ready to fire, with a single function of the trigger.
- Automatic Firearm — Any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a succession of cartridges with a single function of the trigger. Can also mean any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than 31 cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long, or long-rifle cartridges.
- Sawed-Off Firearm — A shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches long, a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches long, or a shotgun or rifle less than 26 inches long overall.
- Zip-Gun — Any firearm of crude and extemporized manufacture, any device—including without limitation a starter’s pistol—that is not designed as a firearm but that is specially adapted for use as a firearm, or any industrial tool, signalling device, or safety device that is not designed as a firearm, but that as designed is capable of use as such, when possessed, carried, or used as a firearm.
- Explosive Device — Any device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to persons or property by means of an explosion, and consisting of an explosive substance or agency and a means to detonate it. This includes without limitation any bomb, any explosive demolition device, any blasting cap or detonator containing an explosive charge, and any pressure vessel that has been knowingly tampered with or arranged so as to explode.
- Incendiary Device — Any firebomb and any device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to persons or property by means of fire, and consisting of an incendiary substance or agency and a means to ignite it.
- Ballistic Knife — A knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism.
- Dangerous Ordnance — Any automatic or sawed-off firearm, zip-gun, or ballistic knife, any explosive device or incendiary device, nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose, nitrostarch, PETN, cyclonite, TNT, picric acid, and other high explosives; amatol, tritonal, tetrytol, pentolite, pecretol, cyclotol, and other high explosive compositions; plastic explosives; dynamite, blasting gelatin, gelatin dynamite, sensitized ammonium nitrate, liquid-oxygen blasting explosives, blasting powder, and other blasting agents; and any other explosive substance having sufficient brisance or power to be particularly suitable for use as a military explosive, or for use in mining, quarrying, excavating, or demolitions, any firearm, rocket launcher, mortar, artillery piece, grenade, mine, bomb, torpedo, or similar weapon, designed and manufactured for military purposes, and the ammunition for that weapon, any firearm muffler or silencer, or any combination of parts that is intended by the owner for use in converting any firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance.
- Explosive — Any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion, includes all materials that have been classified as division 1.1, division 1.2, division 1.3, or division 1.4 explosives by the United States Department of Transportation in its regulations and includes, but is not limited to, dynamite, black powder, pellet powders, initiating explosives, blasting caps, electric blasting caps, safety fuses, fuse igniters, squibs, cordeau detonate fuses, instantaneous fuses, and igniter cords and igniters.
Some of the weapon and firearm offenses listed in Chapter 2923 of the Ohio Revised Code include:
- Carrying concealed weapons, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.12 — First-degree misdemeanor with following exceptions:
- Fifth-degree felony if the alleged offender is stopped for a law enforcement purpose, is carrying a concealed handgun, and either knowingly fails to keep his or her hands in plain sight at any time after any law enforcement officer begins approaching the person while stopped, knowingly removes, attempts to remove, grasps, holds, or has contact with a loaded handgun at any time after the law enforcement officer begins approaching and before the law enforcement officer leaves, or knowingly disregard or fail to comply with any lawful order of any law enforcement officer given while the person is stopped.
- Fourth-degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of this violation, the weapon involved is a firearm that is either loaded or for which the alleged offender has ammunition ready at hand, or if the weapon involved is dangerous ordnance.
- Third-degree felony if the alleged offense is committed aboard an aircraft, or with purpose to carry a concealed weapon aboard an aircraft, regardless of the weapon involved.
- Possession of firearm in beer liquor permit premises, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.121 — Fifth-degree felony, but can be third-degree felony if alleged offender knowingly carries or has the firearm concealed on his or her person or concealed ready at hand.
- Illegal conveyance or possession of deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance or of object indistinguishable from firearm in school safety zone, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.122 — Fifth-degree felony, but can be fourth-degree felony if alleged offender has been previously convicted of this offense.
- Illegal conveyance of deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance into courthouse – illegal possession or control in courthouse, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.123 — Fifth-degree felony, but can be fourth-degree felony if alleged offender has been previously convicted of this offense.
- Falsification of concealed handgun license – possessing a revoked or suspended concealed handgun license, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.1211 — Third-degree misdemeanor if alleged offender possesses a concealed handgun license that was issued and has been revoked or suspended. Fifth-degree felony if alleged offender alters a concealed handgun license or creates a fictitious document that purports to be a license of that nature.
- Having weapons while under disability, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.13 — Third-degree felony to knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance if an alleged offender is a fugitive from justice, under indictment for or convicted of any felony offense of violence, under indictment for or convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse, a drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence, or a chronic alcoholic, or under adjudication of mental incompetence, has been adjudicated as a mental defective, has been committed to a mental institution, has been found by a court to be a mentally ill person subject to court order, or is an involuntary patient other than one who is a patient only for purposes of observation.
- Possession of deadly weapon while under detention, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.131 — Can be first-degree felony, second-degree felony, third-degree felony, fourth-degree felony, or fifth-degree felony, depending on the classification of the offense for which the alleged offender was under detention for.
- Using weapons while intoxicated, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.15 — First-degree misdemeanor.
- Improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.16 — Can be minor misdemeanor, first-degree misdemeanor, fifth-degree felony, or fourth-degree felony, depending on whether the firearm is discharged, how the firearm is carried, whether the firearm is accessible, and whether alleged offender informed law enforcement officer of firearm.
- Improperly discharging firearm at or into a habitation, in a school safety zone or with intent to cause harm or panic to persons in a school building or at a school function, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.161 — Second-degree felony.
- Discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.162 — First-degree misdemeanor. If the violation created a substantial risk of physical harm to any person or caused serious physical harm to property, this is a third-degree felony. If the violation caused physical harm to any person, this is a second-degree felony. If the violation caused serious physical harm to any person, this is a first-degree felony.
- Unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance – illegally manufacturing or processing explosives, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.17 — If a person knowingly acquires, has, carries, or uses any dangerous ordnance, this is a fifth-degree felony. If a person manufactures or processes an explosive at any location in Ohio without proper licensing, this is a second-degree felony.
- Failure to secure dangerous ordnance, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.19 — Second-degree misdemeanor.
- Unlawful transaction in weapons, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.20 — If a person fails to report to law enforcement authorities forthwith the loss or theft of any firearm or dangerous ordnance in the person’s possession or under the person’s control, this is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. IF a person manufactures, possesses for sale, sells, or furnishes to any person other than a law enforcement agency for authorized use in police work, any brass knuckles, cestus, billy, blackjack, sandbag, switchblade knife, springblade knife, gravity knife, or similar weapon, or in transferring any dangerous ordnance to another, negligently fails to require the transferee to exhibit proper authorization, this is a second-degree misdemeanor. If a person recklessly sells, lends, gives, or furnishes any firearm to any person prohibited from acquiring or using any firearm or dangerous ordnance, or if a person possesses any firearm or dangerous ordnance with purpose to disposing it in violation of the aforementioned matter, this is a fourth-degree felony.
- Possessing a defaced firearm, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.201 — First-degree misdemeanor, but can be fourth-degree felony if alleged offender has been previously convicted of this offense.
- Improperly furnishing firearms to minor, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.21 — Fifth-degree felony.
- Underage purchase of firearm or handgun, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.211 — Depending on age of alleged offender, this is a second-degree misdemeanor or a delinquent act that would be fourth-degree felony if committed by an adult.
- Possessing criminal tools, Ohio Revised Code § 2923.24 — First-degree misdemeanor, but can be fifth-degree felony if substance, device, instrument, or article involved in the offense was intended for use in the commission of a felony.
A few of the possible defenses that can help you avoid severe punishments may include, but are not limited to:
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- False accusation
- Firearm or weapon belonged to or was in possession of another person
- Illegal search and seizure
- Item is not legally defined as weapon
- Lack of evidence
- No intent to harm
- Unknowing possession
- Valid Ohio Concealed Handgun License
Find the Best Firearm / Weapon Charges Lawyer in Cincinnati
If you have been accused of a weapon or firearm crime, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Joslyn Law Firm is committed to transparency in our representation, and we will answer every one of your questions and address all of your concerns.
Our firm serves all of the greater Cincinnati area. Call (513) 399-6289 to have us review your case during a free legal consultation.