An Act to Close Loopholes in Background Checks on Gun Sales

Ohioans for Gun Safety has spent the last couple years talking to Ohioans and gun violence prevention organizations to craft a ballot initiative to close loopholes in our background check law and create a Safer Ohio. We have crafted that language, filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s office and now we are ready to collect signatures to put it in front of the Ohio Legislature, and if they don’t act, in front of Ohio voters.


An Act to Close Loopholes in Background Checks on Gun Sales (The Act) is simple and protects our communities by closing loopholes in Ohio’s background check law.

The Act will require that sales and transfers of firearms in the State of Ohio be conducted by a federally licensed firearms dealer and that sales or transfer of firearms be conditioned on the person receiving the firearm being subjected to a background check pursuant to federal law.

Basically, if you’re buying a gun, there needs to be a federally licensed dealer involved and they need to run a background check. Also, federally licensed dealers must conduct background checks on private sales the same way they would if they were selling a gun out of their own inventory under current law.

The Act will close loopholes that allow prohibited people to buy guns without a background check.

When speaking with Ohioans some asked us: “What if I want to gift my son a rifle for his 18th birthday so he can hunt?” or “What if the gun is an antique and can’t even fire?” Well we heard you, and we have included several exceptions in the law. To see the full list of exceptions refer to Section H.

A few examples are:

  • Transfers between family members
  • Transfers of antiques, curios, or relics
  • Temporary transfers for the specific purpose of hunting
  • Temporary transfers to a federally licensed gunsmith for repair

The Act also:

  • Permits firearms dealers to charge a reasonable fee for conducting sales or transfers under the Act.
  • Provides that no firearms dealer is required to conduct a sale or transfer by the Act.
  • Requires firearms dealers to maintain records as required by state or federal law.
  • Provides that if any provision of the Act is held to be invalid, the remaining provisions shall remain in effect.
  • Provides criminal penalties for persons who sell, buy, transfer, or receive a firearm in violation of the Act.