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Old September 27, 2009, 05:41 AM   #1
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carrying an empty gun in ohio

Is it legal to carry an unloaded gun in a backpack in Ohio? I sometimes have to park a block or two from home so going to the range involves walking down public sidewalks. Is this illegal? I know OH considers a gun in a car loaded if its mags/speedloaders are loaded so the mags in the bag are empty.

Advice appreciated.
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Old September 27, 2009, 10:54 AM   #2
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Well this is where you are going to need to do a little digging in Ohio law yourself, as people's ideas of what the law is can be widely varied and misinformed. So I recommend finding your state code online and reading it over yourself.
Hopefully someone more versed in Ohio law can reference you a relevant statute.

I do know that Virginia law allows you to carry a firearm that is "unloaded and securely wrapped" to and from a firing range. I believe an unloaded handgun in a backpack would fit this description.
Ohio might have some similar law.
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Old September 27, 2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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That's good advice. The only thing I can add is to interpret it yourself...but in a very critical way. The worst possible interpretation is likely what the cop/detective/judge will use so don't be optomistic, be realistic.
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Old September 27, 2009, 06:03 PM   #4
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DOn't look at Ohio revised code. Ask your local PD about it. They are the ones you will have to deal with and they are making their own interpretation.
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Old September 28, 2009, 04:46 PM   #5
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Your gun has to be locked or in a locked case. Your mags should not be loaded. Apart from that, I don't see that a locked gun with a box of ammo in a backpack is any different from the same in a range bag.
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Old September 28, 2009, 06:02 PM   #6
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Just open carry the loaded gun and you are in the clear.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:48 PM   #7
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The Ohio Revised Code is the law. You don't need to worry about local laws in Ohio as the state law preempts them when it comes to firearms.

Ohio is an open carry state. You could if you wanted, keep the gun loaded and holstered in plain view during your walk. Without a CCL you can not have a loaded handgun in your car or on your person. As you noted a loaded magazine or speed-loader equals a loaded gun in Ohio.

I would not suggest just dropping the pistol in the pack and using Velcro to keep it closed. If your backpack has zippers I'd suggest using a small padlock to lock the bag. A trigger or cable lock would not be a bad idea if you don't have a lockable case to transport the pistol.
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