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Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle

(A) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle.

(B) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in such a manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.

(C) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless the person may lawfully possess that firearm under applicable law of this state or the United States, the firearm is unloaded, and the firearm is carried in one of the following ways:

  • (1) In a closed package, box, or case;
  • (2) In a compartment that can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;
  • (3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;
  • (4) If the firearm is at least twenty-four inches in overall length as measured from the muzzle to the part of the stock furthest from the muzzle and if the barrel is at least eighteen inches in length, either in plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.

(D) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle if, at the time of that transportation or possession, any of the following applies:

  • (1) The person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.
  • (2) The person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine contains a concentration of alcohol, a listed controlled substance, or a listed metabolite of a controlled substance prohibited for persons operating a vehicle, as specified in division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the person at the time of the transportation or possession as described in this division is the operator of or a passenger in the motor vehicle.

(E) No person who has been issued a concealed handgun license, who is the driver or an occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped as a result of a traffic stop or a stop for another law enforcement purpose or is the driver or an occupant of a commercial motor vehicle that is stopped by an employee of the motor carrier enforcement unit for the purposes defined in section 5503.34 of the Revised Code, and who is transporting or has a loaded handgun in the motor vehicle or commercial motor vehicle in any manner, shall do any of the following:

  • (1) Fail to promptly inform any law enforcement officer who approaches the vehicle while stopped that the person has been issued a concealed handgun license and that the person then possesses or has a loaded handgun in the motor vehicle;
  • (2) Fail to promptly inform the employee of the unit who approaches the vehicle while stopped that the person has been issued a concealed handgun license and that the person then possesses or has a loaded handgun in the commercial motor vehicle;
  • (3) Knowingly fail to remain in the motor vehicle while stopped or knowingly fail to keep the person’s hands in plain sight at any time after any law enforcement officer begins approaching the person while stopped and before the law enforcement officer leaves, unless the failure is pursuant to and in accordance with directions given by a law enforcement officer;
  • (4) Knowingly have contact with the loaded handgun by touching it with the person’s hands or fingers in the motor vehicle at any time after the law enforcement officer begins approaching and before the law enforcement officer leaves, unless the person has contact with the loaded handgun pursuant to and in accordance with directions given by the law enforcement officer;
  • (5) Knowingly disregard or fail to comply with any lawful order of any law enforcement officer given while the motor vehicle is stopped, including, but not limited to, a specific order to the person to keep the person’s hands in plain sight.

If you are convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings

Simply put, if you are convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, it can potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you rightly or wrongly run the risk of being considered someone who is violent. Therefore, it is critical that you give your carrying a concealed weapon charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with carrying a concealed weapon. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made during their investigation, whether your arrest was lawful, if there were any problems in the collection, storage or testing of the weapon and any other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, lab reports and potentially video or audio. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.
If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients charged with carrying a concealed weapon. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

Contact us today!

Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with improperly handling a firearm, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

Depending on which section you are charged under, the penalties can range from a minor misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $150 fine and no jail time to a fourth degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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FAX: (614) 413-2886