Every airgunner should be familiar with the laws in their area, as some locations will treat them as firearms and heavily regulate them, while some have nothing to say on the matter. So, what are the BB gun laws in Ohio?
BB and pellet guns can count as deadly weapons if used in a crime in Ohio, and are forbidden in the capitol building, but otherwise are not regulated at the state level. Certain cities in Ohio have laws governing the use of airguns, and some like Cincinnati treat them the same as firearms.
On to the nuance!
Ohio State Laws
There is no provision in Ohio State law that controls or governs airguns in any way shape or form, except prohibiting them in the capitol, however, for the purposes of Ohio ORC 2903.11, an airgun could potentially be considered a deadly weapon, as they have been known to cause serious injury and even death on rare, unfortunate occasions.
Under this law, using a BB gun or other airgun will elevate crimes such as assault from a misdemeanor to a felony. Fun. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your BB gun is a toy, because it isn’t, and law enforcement will often mistake it for a firearm.
That’s pretty much it, though for how the state government looks at airguns, and for the purposes of that law, pretty much anything that you could be either smart of dumb enough to cause or threaten harm with would count as a deadly weapon.
City Laws in Ohio
Okay, so this is where an airgunning Ohioan needs to keep their eyes peeled, because under a federalist system the local level will have the most attention to detail, and that is true here.
The municipality of Cincinnati specifically states that an airgun is considered a dangerous weapon, and as such is subject to all of the rules and regulations associated with firearms in their city. It is considered rude enough to be illegal to bring an airgun onto a school or inside of a city owned building.
It is unlawful for an ordinary citizen discharge an airgun in city limits except in the case of self defense, and if you are convicted of doing so, your gun will be destroyed. That is typically a bad idea wherever you go, as most municipalities do not appreciate the discharge of any airgun inside of city corporate limits.
Akron, Ohio, located in the Cleveland area, considers it illegal for a minor to own or use an airgun of any type, including BB guns, as well as the ammunition used by these guns. An exception is made when a parent or guardian is having the minor practice their marksmanship or gun safety, or so on, but the parent or guardian must be supervising.
Along those same lines, it is illegal for anyone to furnish an airgun or ammunition to a minor, unless you are the parent or guardian having them practice. Also, totally illegal to discharge the gun in city limits unless you found reason to use it for defense or were at a shooting gallery, unless you are also that parent giving shooting instructions.
There is no way, though that I would be able to tell you about every single city law regarding airguns in Ohio, and these are only examples, but here is the website I used in this article, just search up your locale, and anything that they say regarding airguns.
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