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The laws: How to buy a gun in Ohio

7:10 PM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
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GEAUGA COUNTY -- The Newtown, Connecticut tragedy raises dozens of questions. But most are wondering, what we can do to keep this from happening?

Some say the answer is stricter gun control. How do you get your hands on a gun in Ohio? Channel 3's Sara Shookman walks us through the process.

At Great Lakes Outdoor Supply in Middlefield, owner Ralph Spidalieri says this is one of the busiest times in the history of the gun business.

But you can still walk out with a firearm in a half hour or less.

"We've had a record number of sales and just a lot of panic right now," said Spidalieri.

"People don't want to be put in that position where they are without any type of protection for them and their family," he said.

After a customer picks out a gun, he or she fills out a Form 4473 for a federal background check.

"It's a very simple process, as far as for the customer and us to complete," he said.

And whether someone is looking for a semi-automatic assault rifle, like the Newtown shooter used, or a handgun, it's the same.

"On the form, they'll answer yes or no to a whole series of questions, from domestic violence to some mental issues, to fugitive from justice, illegal aliens, all of those types of questions," said Spidalieri.

It's up to the FBI to approve, delay or deny the check -- all done in about 5 minutes.

While an assault weapons ban or other additional gun control measures could add some speed bumps, some think stricter laws would only affect those responsible enough to follow the rules.

"If all the law-abiding citizens say 'okay, I'm going to follow the law and turn my guns in,' well then, the only ones that's going to have a gun are the people that shouldn't have them to start with," said gun owner Michael Valdman.

Citing recent tragedies, Spidalieri said, "the person that bought that gun usually isn't the guy that's committing a crime with that gun."

 
Instead, he stresses personal responsibility to keep your guns under lock and key, locked away from anyone who shouldn't have access to them.

Federal law has banned fully automatic weapons since 1986. Older, collectible assault rifles require additional taxes and local checks.

Spidalieri says that process can last two months to a year or more.

There is no limit to the number of guns you can purchase, but there is some additional paperwork on the part of the seller for multiple gun sales.

State to state, gun laws vary.

Connecticut gun laws are considered among the strictest. In addition to a background check, sellers require fingerprinting and safety training with a gun purchase.

WKYC-TV

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