AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Gun ownership across Ohio continues to rise but with that, comes several laws and regulations to follow.
Four years after 20 young children and six adults lost their lives in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, more and more people are deciding to buy a gun.
Seeing a person walking down the street with a gun might scare you, but it’s legal.
“If you’re out and about in the public, and you want to put a rifle over your shoulder or strap a gun to your hip, you can legally do that while the firearm is loaded,” said Sgt. Eric Brown with Ohio State Highway Patrol.
There are places you can’t carry, either with a permit or openly, such as police stations, schools and most government properties.
Businesses also have the choice to allow or ban guns inside their buildings.
“The only way you can have a gun, a firearm, loaded in a vehicle is if you have a concealed carry permit,” Brown said.
Police caught Youngstown State football player Martin Ruiz with a loaded gun in his car. He now faces firearm charges.
Brown said if you’re going to open carry and are getting into a car, you have to separate the gun and the ammunition.
“Put the gun in the glove box and the ammunition in the trunk, or vice versa.”
Tim Maggit, manager at the Training Range in Austintown, said the state’s gun laws are strict enough. He said if someone has criminal intent, they’ll get a gun no matter what the laws are.
“Whether they have to steal a gun, or use a knife, or a hammer or some other type of weapon, if their mind is set on accomplishing a task like that, they’re going to do it.”
Both Brown and Maggit agreed that the smartest way to go about owning a gun and having it in public is through a concealed carry permit. They said carrying a gun in public without it raises too many eyebrows.
“The one thing you will cause, even if you don’t have the intent to, is panic,” Brown said.
Last week, the Ohio Legislature approved a bill allowing guns to be carried with permits in places like college campuses, daycare centers and on private aircraft. However, it gives power to local officials to make such a determination for their own areas.