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Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle ORC Ann. 2923.16

Definition of Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle:

  • Knowingly,
  • Discharging a gun in a vehicle, or
  • Having a loaded firearm accessible, while in the vehicle,
  • Without a permit.


This is a pretty common violation for people who have perfectly good intentions, but fail to transport the firearm in a legal way. If you do not have a concealed permit to carry the firearm in an accessible way, it is permissible to carry an unloaded firearm in a closed package, box, case, or trunk. If, however, the gun is more than 24 inches in length, and the barrel is at least 18 inches in length, it can be in plain sight with the action open or weapon stripped, if possible; i.e. a gun rack in the rear window of a pick-up truck. You must transport any ammunition to the firearm separately and make sure it is not “readily at hand” to the driver in relation to the firearm.

Potential Penalties

A violation of this law is usually a misdemeanor, but in some circumstances, can be charged as a fourth-degree felony, which can be punished by a maximum of 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. For more information specific to your case, call Funkhouser Law for a free consultation.

At Funkhouser Law, from the moment a client walks through the door, we presume that they are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. As such, we work hard to accomplish the most favorable outcome for each of our clients. If you have been accused of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, please call Funkhouser Law for a free consultation with an experienced, peer-rated lawyer.

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