Understanding (and following) Gun Laws can be a Full Time Job

If you think owning a firearm is easy, you probably aren’t complying with one or more of your local or national gun laws. I can say this with a fair amount of confidence because as a gun law attorney, it’s very difficult to know all the laws that affect gun ownership.

For example, in Ohio.com there was an article, “Ohio proposal aims to give cities some control over guns,” that described just how complicated it can be in your city and state…in addition to the national laws.  They are in the process of potentially giving each city their own control over some of their firearm laws. So depending on the city you live in you not only have to understand your own laws but to now have to know what the specific laws are in the cities you might be traveling to…within the same state.

Thomas said his legislation would give cities some local control over open- or concealed-carry rules during “events of regional or national significance.”

Thomas’ legislation seeks to carve out a process for cities to pass ordinances addressing firearms limitations for certain events.”

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to many issues, including open and concealed carry of firearms,” Thomas said.

I often counsel gun owners to make sure they understand the laws of any state they are traveling through or to before making the trip to avoid an “accidental felony.” We hear story after story of someone traveling through various states on their way to their destination, only to find out they have potentially broken several laws during their journey. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to understand each law by state whether you are traveling through it or planning on staying.

Now, Ohio is potentially adding another layer of complexity by making the residents of the state understand the individual laws of each city they might travel through within their own state! This makes it even more important to thoroughly understand all the gun laws in this country…starting with your city, then your state, then other states, and nationally. It’s a lot for the average gun owner to grasp…but it’s also part of the responsibility we all take on when we purchase a firearm.

My recommendation is to do your planning BEFORE you take your firearm anywhere with you. Map out your journey and develop a plan of where you will go and then seek some counsel as to what the exact gun laws are for that location. Ensure you have the right paperwork for each leg of the journey and have it organized so if you do get questioned by a law enforcement officer, you aren’t scrambling when you are being questioned. This will help you get where you want to go safely and hopefully without incident.

And even though our own state doesn’t have local “city laws” to abide by, the one thing we have seen over and over is that once a state goes a certain direction, other states take the change under consideration. If it works for one state, others will be quicker to develop and adopt similar laws…which is why I like to share what others are doing in that area of gun law. Remember…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.

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