AR-15 Deer Hunting in Ohio Legally


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yzguy87
November 16, 2012, 02:28 PM
I have always wanted to hunt deer with an AR-15 but I live in Ohio. Our gun choices for hunting are limited to shotguns, muzzleloaders and handguns in straight-walled cartridges. I have been wanting to know if using an AR lower registered as a pistol and an upper chambered for a straight-walled cartridge like 450 Bushmaster, 50 Beowulf would be legal. I was curious about what the laws are so I went to the ODNR and ATF websites and this is what I found...*

ODNR's website concerning handgun hunting:
Handgun: with 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger.

ATF's website concerning the definition of a pistol:
Gun Control Act Definitions

Pistol

18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(29) and 27 CFR § 478.11

The term “Pistol” means a weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having:

a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s);
and a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).

To my understanding this should be legal. There may be some people who don't like the idea of using an AR-15 registered as a hand gun for hunting because of their purist ideas but as far as a legal matter this seems legal to me as long as its chambered in a straight walled cartridge. So what do you (members of THR) think? Is this a great way of introducing AR's into hunting in Ohio or are there other laws that I'm unaware of?

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6.5x55swedish
November 16, 2012, 02:59 PM
The easiest solution would be to take it to Kentucky where you know it is legal.

If you get checked and the LEO disagrees with your summation of what is a Pistol they will seize the weapon. Is it worth the risk to you?

Jeff H
November 16, 2012, 04:18 PM
nevermind.

tyeo098
November 17, 2012, 10:55 AM
If you have to say "Technically..." to justify it, it probably isnt that good of an idea and an LEO wouldnt find it humorous.

Rob G
November 17, 2012, 11:26 AM
If you have to say "Technically..." to justify it, it probably isnt that good of an idea and an LEO wouldnt find it humorous

Doesn't matter, all laws are "technicalities" and police are used to dealing with that. OP, an AR pistol is in fact a "pistol" under 18 U.S.C. as long as you don't put a stock or an AFG on it and the receiver has always been used in a "pistol" configurationg As long as you're using a straight-walled cartridge to comply with Ohio law then you are legal.

Now I'm not saying that you might not have to explain this to an LEO at some point but it's up to you to decide how you feel about that.

Another thought, you should probably check to see if Ohio has their own definition of "pistol" that precludes AR pistols.

huntsman
November 17, 2012, 11:32 AM
Is this a great way of introducing AR's into hunting in Ohio

go here to add your voice to the campain for the law change so you won't have to split legal hairs to use the AR, but expect to have a 3 shot limit with a rifle.

http://forums.buckeyefirearms.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15617

razorback2003
November 17, 2012, 12:10 PM
I'd use one of those Savage smokeless muzzleloaders. It may be easier to shoot than an AR handgun.

caverkevin
November 17, 2012, 01:22 PM
Sounds like a great way to spend a lot of money fighting a court battle.

smalls
November 17, 2012, 02:08 PM
If you have to say "Technically..." to justify it, it probably isnt that good of an idea and an LEO wouldnt find it humorous

No, it's not "technically" legal, unless there is something in the law that says it's illegal it IS legal. That's the way the law works.

Sounds like a great way to spend a lot of money fighting a court battle.

There's really not much confusion here, where a prosecutor could get hung up on. It's not a rifle, it's a pistol. That's what box he checked on the 4473 (assuming he bought it new from a dealer) form when he bought it.

brickeyee
November 17, 2012, 04:08 PM
The federal definition of a pistol is not likely to convince a state entity of much of anything.

They get to use THEIR definition.

smalls
November 17, 2012, 04:47 PM
From http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.11. :

(C) “Handgun” means any of the following:
(1) Any firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand;

(2) Any combination of parts from which a firearm of a type described in division (C)(1) of this section can be assembled.

smalls
November 17, 2012, 04:56 PM
Also found this on arfcom from a few years ago. Be aware, this is just a conversation I found, and is not legal advice from a lawyer.


Posted: 11/13/2009 8:05:53 PM
A couple of years ago, I got to thinking of getting an Encore pistol barrel, and wanted to check on some cartridges. So I called ODNR, and asked them about this. They advised that as long as its straight walled, and larger than 38, and has at least a 5 inch tube, it was GTG. I asked her specifically about 45-70 in a pistol, and then got to thinking that it may be interesting to hunt with a 1911, so I asked about 45 ACP. She said both were fine.

guyfromohio
November 17, 2012, 05:27 PM
It should be fine.

dogtown tom
November 17, 2012, 05:34 PM
Rob G ..... an AR pistol is in fact a "pistol" under 18 U.S.C. as long as you don't put a stock or an AFG on it....
AFG's (angled fore grips) are perfectly legal on handguns under Federal law.
VERTICAL hand grips require a tax stamp and turn the handgun into an AOW.




.....and the receiver has always been used in a "pistol" configurationg...
Nope. In August 2011 ATF issued a determination that a pistol could be converted to a riflle and legally back into a pistol. Prior to this ruling it was "once a rifle, always a rifle".

ATF letter:http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulings/rulings/atf-rulings/atf-ruling-2011-4.pdf

Kevin Rohrer
November 17, 2012, 07:26 PM
Why not just take that gun to your game warden and ask him?

The reason rifles aren't legal for deer hunting in Ohio is due to some areas bent too built up for rifle cartridges. Residents have enough problems with punkin' balls entering their houses.

The exception to the rule is the Portage Arsenal. They keep the deer population thinned out by giving deer permits to a lucky few (it pays to be friends with the local game warden in that area). They don't care if you use dynamite.

If anyone gets a permit there, be mindful of the unexploded munitions. :what:

hatchetbearer
November 17, 2012, 09:51 PM
As a fellow Ohioan, I also thought of doing this. I asked the game warden, and was told while it isn't technically illegal, you probably would be arrested in the field and have your day wasted. Your firearm would be seized, and ODNR's policy is that all seized firearms are destroyed.

Shurshot
November 17, 2012, 10:03 PM
we have a new game warden in my county that wrote a fella a ticket for litering because he couldn't produce his shotgun hull after firing at a deer. I don't think I have to guess what this guy would do if he caught you deer hunting with your AR lower...

Colonel
November 18, 2012, 11:26 AM
The reason rifles aren't legal for deer hunting in Ohio is due to some areas bent too built up for rifle cartridges. Residents have enough problems with punkin' balls entering their houses.

Has that ever actually happened? I Googled it and couldn't find a single incident for it to be "enough problems."

For the sake of comparison, over 1,000 Ohioans are killed each year in MV crashes.

guyfromohio
November 18, 2012, 11:31 AM
Absence of shoulder stock? Check

Straight Walled Cartridge equal or greater than .357? Check

Barrel length greater or equal to 5"? Check



Don't over-think it.

armoredman
November 18, 2012, 01:43 PM
Come to AZ - use your regular AR with standard magazines for deer hunting.

hermannr
November 19, 2012, 01:13 AM
As a fellow Ohioan, I also thought of doing this. I asked the game warden, and was told while it isn't technically illegal, you probably would be arrested in the field and have your day wasted. Your firearm would be seized, and ODNR's policy is that all seized firearms are destroyed.
You guys don't know about suing people like that under federal law? Anything that your DNR people do that is not lawful for them to do, if you can't find a state law to force them to comply with the written law, you can use federal law...and if they did seize and distroy your AR pistol, they would just be purchaseing you a new one...and paying you lawyer...and if you do it correctly, the wise guy game warden would be the one to pay out of his own pocket.

brickeyee
November 20, 2012, 03:44 PM
You guys don't know about suing people like that under federal law?

Do you know anything about how much a federal civil action is going to cost you?

Ad the very few special cases that allow the award of attorneys fees against a state?

You could purchase a whole lot of AR pistols for your attorney costs.
And in the meantime find it VERY hard to get a state issued hunting license.

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