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Gun Crimes Attorney in Willoughby, OH

If you need a gun crime attorney to help you defend against a gun or firearms charge in Willoughby or elsewhere in Northeast Ohio, turn to the experienced legal team at Fortress Law Group, LLC.
Call (440) 340-1740 Today

Gun Crime Defense Attorney in the Greater Cleveland Metro Area

If you’re facing a gun charge in Northeast Ohio, hiring a skilled weapons and firearm lawyer to represent you is the first step in defending your rights during your case. Recent changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws could work in your favor.

Contact our offices at Fortress Law Group, LLC., to schedule a consultation with a gun crime attorney. Our lead attorney, Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq., has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with post-degree work in genetics and forensics. Having served as a prosecuting attorney before combining his experience and education in criminal defense, he has defended clients successfully for over 13 years.

Tell us more about your case to find out how we can help you.

Reasons for Common Gun Charge Cases

Common gun charges in Ohio include:

  • Illegally carrying concealed weapons
  • Illegal possession of a firearm in a courthouse, school safety zone, or beer liquor permit premises
  • Illegal firearm possession under disability
  • Possession of an illegal firearm, including automatic firearms, zip guns, sawed-off firearms, defaced firearms, or military-grade weapons or ammunition.

Recent Changes to Ohio’s Concealed Carry Permitting Laws

As of June 13, 2022, the State of Ohio no longer requires a permit to carry a firearm. Additionally, if pulled over for a traffic stop, residents no longer need to inform police officers that they are carrying a firearm unless the officer asks. Previously, residents had to have a concealed carry permit and inform officers that they had a permit and a firearm immediately upon being stopped.

To get a concealed permit, residents formerly had to apply to their local sheriff’s office and submit to a background check to ensure that they were legally able to purchase and carry firearms safely. They also had to attend 8 hours of firearms safety training and renew their permit every five years.

All gun owners must still adhere to state and federal laws to maintain their individual right to carry a firearm. Committing a crime or being found in illegal possession of a firearm could result in state or federal gun charges that could strip you of your right to carry a gun.

Who Can or Cannot Carry Firearms in Ohio?

People over age 21 can carry a concealed firearm without a permit so long as they can carry a firearm under federal laws. People who cannot carry a firearm include:

  • Felons
  • Fugitives
  • People who have entered the country illegally
  • People convicted of domestic violence charges
  • Dishonorably discharged former service members
  • People under protection orders by the court
  • People with drug convictions or drug addiction
  • People with certain mental deficiencies or disorders including insanity, mental incompetence, or someone who has been involuntarily committed

If you are facing charges for illegal possession of a firearm or for committing a crime using a gun, a criminal defense lawyer with our firm can review your case and possibly represent you. Contact us today at Fortress Law Group, LLC.

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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.


Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.


Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.


Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle

You may not discharge firearms inside of, or from, a motor vehicle. You also may not have a loaded firearm in a vehicle accessible to the driver or any passenger.

To carry a weapon in a vehicle, it must be unloaded and stored where the driver and passengers cannot access the firearm.

Charges for improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle can be a misdemeanor or a felony.

Penalties for a Gun Crime Conviction in Ohio

Gun crimes can range in severity from a fourth-degree misdemeanor, with a statutory maximum of 30 days in jail and up to $250 fine, to a third-degree felony, which garners a fine up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.

Contact our team at Fortress Law Group, LLC, today to schedule a consultation with an experienced gun crime attorney.

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Related FAQs

Gun Crimes

What should I do if I’m facing gun charges in Ohio?

Contact a gun crimes attorney immediately if you’re facing gun crime charges in Ohio. Your Ohio criminal defense attorney will analyze your case and determine the reason for your gun charges, such as:

  • Illegal firearm possession
  • Illegally carrying a firearm in a gun-restricted area like a school safety zone, courthouse, or a place of worship
  • Possessing illegal firearms like military-grade ammunition or weapons, zip guns, or defaced firearms
  • Depending on your case, violating Ohio’s gun control laws can count as a misdemeanor or felony and lead to heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment. Your Ohio gun lawyer will work with you to build a legal defense strategy and protect your rights.

Who is ineligible to carry guns in Ohio?

Under Ohio laws, anyone 21 or older may carry a gun without a permit. Individuals who cannot carry firearms in Ohio include:

  • Felons and fugitives
  • Individuals convicted of certain violent crimes
  • Illegal immigrants
  • Individuals with a drug crime record
  • Former service members with a history of dishonorable discharge
  • Mentally incompetent individuals

Can I have my gun rights restored if I have a criminal record that prohibits me from carrying guns?

In many cases, yes, you might be able to restore your gun rights, depending on the specific charges on your record. Working with experienced gun case lawyers like Matthew C. Bangerter can improve your chances of getting your firearm rights restored.

How did concealed carry laws change in Ohio?

Until June 2022, Ohio residents had to apply for a concealed carry permit with the local sheriff’s office. Also, if the police pulled a driver over, the driver had to inform the officer of their firearm possession and produce a concealed carry permit.

Today, firearm permits are no longer necessary in Ohio, and drivers who get pulled over don’t need to disclose they’re carrying a gun unless a police officer asks them directly.

How can an experienced Ohio gun lawyer help my gun crime case?

Gun charges in Ohio can result in hefty fines, time in jail, a criminal record, and revocation of your gun rights. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help get the charges against you reduced or dismissed and defend your right to carry firearms.

Matthew C. Bangerter, a seasoned gun crimes attorney at Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro, has many years of experience handling gun trials in Ohio as a former prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer. To schedule a case review, call his offices at (440) 340-1740.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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