Buying Ammo and Guns in Ohio

This piece covers the laws that regulate firearms and ammunition in the state of Ohio. To do so, the piece begins with Ohio’s ammunition laws, covering the requirements to have ammunition shipped to a residential address in the state. From there, the piece turns to firearms laws, discussing the processes for both purchasing and carrying firearms in the state. To conclude, the piece leaves with some information and resources that we think would be useful for folks who want to buy, own, and carry firearms and ammunition within Ohio.

We do not intend this piece as legal advice. Instead, we hope that you can use the information here as a basis for your own research and informed decision-making.

Like many states, Ohio has state-level preemption for laws concerning firearms and ammunition. This means that the state government has ruled that localities such as counties, cities, and towns cannot make or enforce firearms laws that are stricter than those at the state level. Preemption makes things a little simpler for gun owners in the state, as it means that once you understand state laws and how to comply with them, that understanding applies everywhere within the state.

Ohio has some of the more permissive firearms laws in the country and is in especially stark contrast to nearby Illinois. Ohio does not have any major bans and makes both purchasing and carrying firearms and ammo in the state a relatively simple process. 

Ammo Laws/Buying Ammo in Ohio 

First, we will cover the ammo laws of the state.

Ohio has no major ammunition bans. Additionally, the state does not impose any of its own major regulations on the sale or possession of ammunition. Thus, buying ammo in the state of Ohio is governed by the federal regulations enforced by the ATF.

The ATF has two sets of requirements that buyers must meet in order to legally purchase ammunition. The first is an age requirement: buyers have to be eighteen years of age or older to purchase ammunition for long guns such as rifles and shotguns, and at least twenty-one years old to buy handgun ammo. Second, buyers cannot be prohibited persons. The ATF defines prohibited persons as people who have been convicted of felonies or domestic violence, those found mentally deficient in a court of law, and people who have been involuntarily committed to an inpatient mental health facility for treatment.

If the buyer meets both of those requirements, they can not only purchase ammo within Ohio but can have ammunition shipped to their homes in the state. It is worth noting that some carriers impose additional rules such as asking for an adult with a valid form of identification to be present to sign for packages containing ammunition.

Because Ohio does not impose any major regulations on the sale and possession of ammunition and thus buyers within the state are regulated by the laws set by the Federal government, Ohio’s state laws are some of the most permissive in the nation. Conceptually, federal regulations are the baseline for such permissiveness, since nowhere in the US is exempt from Federal law, even if those federal laws are not always enforced equally (for example, marijuana is still federally illegal, it just so happens that the DEA hasn’t prosecuted many people for it in states that allow it).

Gun Laws/Buying Guns in Ohio

Now we’ll do the same for Ohio’s gun laws.

Ohio’s firearms laws are similarly permissive when compared to their ammunition laws. The state does not have a ban on magazines of any capacity, nor does it have an assault weapons ban that would either ban any category of weapons by name or by some list of features. The state is also fine with its citizens purchasing and possessing NFA items such as suppressors, machine guns, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns.

To purchase a firearm from a gun store in Ohio, the buyer only needs to bring a valid form of identification and a form of payment to the gun store. Once there, the FFL will have the buyer fill out ATF’s Form 4473 to complete a background check and make the legally mandated record of the transfer of the firearm to the buyer. Once the background check is complete and the payment is processed, the buyer is free to leave the same day with their new firearm.

Ohio does not mandate that private sellers do a background check on potential buyers. It is always advisable, though, to make sure that those buyers are not prohibited persons and do meet the federally set age requirements to purchase firearms.

Ohio’s stance on the carriage of firearms is similarly permissive to the purchasing laws in the state. Open carry is allowed and does not require a permit. But, the state does have laws that add additional criminal charges to those who openly carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, especially if they’re also driving a car at the time.

Concealed carry is also permitless in the state. Like many states that do not require a concealed carry permit, Ohio still offers its concealed carry permit on a shall-issue basis. The primary benefit to such a permit is that it allows Ohio residents to legally carry a firearm in states that recognize Ohio’s permit.

It is common among states to have a list of places where firearms are forbidden, and Ohio is no exception to this rule. In Ohio, the list of prohibited places includes:

  • Inside Airport Terminals

  • Police Stations

  • Correctional Facilities

  • Places of Worship without Permission

  • Buildings used by the Ohio Government

  • Mental Health Facilities

  • Federal Property

  • Bars

This list is not an unusual one, even among the most permissive states. One thing to note is that it is always illegal to carry a firearm in Federal facilities, which includes your local post office even if the sign stating such is tucked away inside of the building.

Overall, Ohio is extremely gun-friendly. Buying and possessing both firearms and ammunition follows federal guidelines to the letter. The carriage of firearms, both openly and concealed, is also extremely permissive and does not require a permit as of the time of this writing. Thus, Ohio is one of the best states in which to be a firearms owner in the US. 

Sales Tax on Guns/Ammo in Ohio

Ohio has a general sales tax rate of 5.75%. Localities can and do impose additional taxes, making the effective tax rate in the state somewhere between 6.5% and 8%. It might be worth looking for an FFL that is one of the lower-taxed parts of the state.

Ohio does not impose additional, special taxes on the sale of firearms and ammunition. 

More Resources:

  • The ATF maintains a list of all of the FFLs in the country, including in Ohio. This list can be used to find local gun stores, which are usually Type One or Type Two FFLs. 

  • is an excellent tool for finding ranges that are convenient for you. Use the mileage, city, and zip code filters to find ranges that work for you. Users can add new ranges, and the site frequently checks submitted information for accuracy. 

  • There are a number of well-reviewed gun stores in the state. 

  • The Ohio Sportsman forum is not specific to the firearms community but does have an active community that often shares good local information that is relevant to those interested in hunting and shooting in the state.

Ohio Gun Law FAQ:

Nothing in Ohio state law prevents ammunition from being shipped to a residence. Buyers have to follow federal rules, however. This means that buyers have to meet the age requirement (18 for long gun ammo and 21 for handgun ammo) and cannot be prohibited persons. Carriers might ask for someone with an ID to be present to sign for the package.

Generally, no. The state does not require a permit to carry a firearm, whether openly or concealed. Ohio does still issue concealed carry permits, however, for those who want to carry in states that recognize Ohio’s permit.

Ohio does not currently have any major gun bans at all, and this means that there is no assault weapons ban in the state: the same goes for magazine bans.

Yes: the state has no major gun bans and does not require permitting to carry firearms. Those sets of policies, taken together, make Ohio exceptionally gun-friendly. 

Ohio does not impose additional waiting periods to buy guns over those mandated by the Federal government. So, for most people, buying most guns is a one-day affair.