Image courtesy Ohio AG

In a first, Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost has made his state’s stolen gun database available to the general public with the addition of a new web portal. In a press release, Yost’s office touts the service as a way for prospective buyers to ensure a firearm they’re looking at hasn’t been previously reported stolen.

In a news release in recent days, the Ohio AG’s office announced the program:

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced the creation of the Ohio Stolen Gun Portal, a searchable website designed to increase public safety by helping to identify and recover stolen firearms.

“With our new portal, when buying a used firearm, private citizens and firearms dealers can instantly check to see whether a gun was previously reported as stolen,” Yost said. “This is a tool for gun buyers and law enforcement alike that will lead to the recovery of stolen firearms and serve as a deterrent for criminals seeking to make a quick buck.”

The online tool – a first in the state – aims to protect buyers and traders from purchasing a stolen gun and to facilitate the return of stolen firearms to their rightful owners.

The Stolen Gun Portal consists of a database of stolen gun information – including serial numbers – compiled from law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio and reported to the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS). LEADS is administered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which authorized the release of that data to the public and connected it with the portal.

“We believe this will assist law enforcement in Ohio with the recovery of many stolen weapons, which will enable us to return them to the proper owner as well as keep stolen firearms off the streets and out of the criminals’ hands,” said Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart, president of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association. “The sheriffs’ association is very pleased with the rollout of the Stolen Gun Portal from Attorney General Yost’s office.”

“We are pleased to have partnered with Attorney General Yost and his team to develop this incredibly important public database,” said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath. “We know that most gun violence is committed by convicted felons who are prohibited from possessing a weapon. Far too many people are dying, and this new resource is vital to public safety.”

When a member of the public or a firearms dealer logs a serial number into the portal, the database searches for a match. If the database returns a match, the user is directed to notify the law enforcement agency that originally reported the firearm stolen.

Eric Delbert, executive officer of L.E.P.D. Firearms said: “When we started our business 8 years ago, we recognized that changes need to be made to allow reputable stores such as ours the ability to provide customers the security of knowing if they purchase a used firearm from our store, it was not previously stolen. Surprising to many, this was not the case in Ohio. We also foresaw an opportunity where this service could be utilized not just by any firearm enthusiast wanting to insure they were not supporting the illegal sale of firearms from criminals. AG Yost heard our experiences and set forth the resources to create this new program in Ohio. It is only one step to help reduce violence in our community, but it is certainly a small victory in helping take away avenues for thieves and criminals to advance their illegal activities of selling stolen firearms to unsuspecting good citizens.”

The portal is designed to update every 24 hours to add the latest reports on stolen firearms and to remove information on guns that have been recovered.

In looking at the portal, the site merely does a search on the serial number alone, without asking for the make, model or caliber of firearm. If the site had asked for additional information, it would have had the potential to form a database of queries coupled with the computer IP addresses of those accessing the site.

Frankly, this service is something that every state should provide to its residents.

 

43 COMMENTS

  1. Why doesn’t every state offer this? Seems like a no brainer. Not only is it a good CYA tool, but it would deter theft if the criminals know that anyone interested in buying can check it out first.
    Unfortunately most states are now more concerned with turning law abiding gun owners into criminals rather than actually doing something good.

  2. This looks unobjectionable on the surface, but we all know that the G simply cannot be trusted to use this in a benign way.

    Don’t blame me for believing that the G is cancerous, not benign. I can see and I can think, which is what the G dislikes about me — and you — the most.

    • Seems worthwhile on the surface, I can agree. Just count me as suspicious of almost everything the government does, it is just that the government twists almost everything it touches into something less than what it should be or something downright evil.

  3. Finally reading something worthwhile for firearm owners, buyers and sellers. Most of the time it’s reading about some sneaky Gun Control democRat looking for a way to steal away your rights.

  4. “Stolen guns are often used in crimes. This new tool will help protect law-abiding citizens & help shorten the time that a stolen gun is out there on the street.”

    If I buy it, then doesn’t that shorten the time it’s out there on the street and ensure it won’t be used in any crimes?

    • I was going to make a snide comment about whether you tend to buy your guns from the local drug dealer, but in the course of writing it I realized you have a point. Much as so-called gun control laws are at best only obeyed by the alread law-abiding, so too would this registry only be searched by those concerned with whether or not the gun that they do not intend to use in a crime was itself acquired via criminal activity. Your local drug dealer, to borrow my own turn of phrase, could not care less, and a stolen gun he buys and uses to shoot another drug dealer will only be checked against this list when it ends up in the hands of the local PD. So, if Ohio police can’t be bothered to keep proper records on stolen guns when the (legal) owners call the theft in, then this is great. Otherwise, it is at best totally useless, and at worst another means to private sales bans via a backdoor registry.

    • You wouldn’t have to buy it.

      You could report the seller and let them plead their case while the gun, hopefully, is returned to its rightful owner.

      • A guy that steals or is in position of a stolen gun now has the means to choose whether to sell the gun in view of the public or behind the dumpster in the alley. Cha Ching, sold American either way. In todays rule of lawlessness, its more of a tool to help the criminal. And a way for the borderline honest guy strapped with a loss to turn a profit down on Eighth and Main.

  5. If you live in Ohio you better insist on a signed bill of sale and a copy of their drivers license with every gun purchase you make.

    While I recognize there are positives to this system, I am loathe to give the leviathan any further power over our lives and the second amendment than it has already usurped.

    • I have a friend that write a bill of sale, before he sale or buys a gun.
      No bill of sale with your signature, then no gun.
      CYA

    • Go fuck yourself. There are so many ways you can abuse that. I would never let you get my DL info. I would let you see it, but you would not make it out with a picture of it. Identity theft at it’s finest.

      You want a record, print the emails and write a bill of sale. Anyone who allowed you to take a picture of their DL is a fucking moron, and you are an asshole for doing it.

    • We do have some good people in Ohio, AG has pretty good record. He ain’t a RINO, not a control freak like the Gov. It is something that also kinda shuts up the anti’s a little, a smidge. It was like CCW, at first there was a no car thing, you couold have it in your car but it had to be locked in a case at least. There were gripes, the POTG said, baby steps. Now in Ohio more than 31 rounds in anything but a .22 is no longer classified as a Machine Gun. We have always been an Open Carry State, next would be Constitutional Carry.

  6. You get ZERO records of my purchases. Shove it where the sun don’t shine. It’s none of your fucking business.

  7. The Fuck? Again with the Template change?? Haven’t you learned not to fuck with the site it pisses people off. CHANGE IT BACK!

  8. Oh no, the “improved” website is back.
    Designed for the once a week/month visitor instead of the daily visitor.
    Ok, so I’ll be back in a week or two.
    Hopefully they’ll kill the new format again like last time they tried this crap.

  9. New format is awful. Not only is the organization confusing, but the print size and font is horrible against a white background. Put it back!

    • Add me to the train of this format sucks. I have enjoyed the simplicity of scrolling straight down a couple times a day to see the new stuff and decide if I’m interested. I’m just not going to scan multiple sections, pressing read more or whatever, and scroll side to side to try and find the new stuff. Call me conservative or something, but my traffic is going to drop.

  10. It won’t be long until ‘I Haz A Question’ complains about this format. This is the only instance where I agree with him.

    • They’re only posting the serial number, and not the make and model!? My 100 year old Colt .32 pocket auto shares its serial number with 6 other Colt products.

  11. All of these negative comments on the new website format are… SPOT ON.
    This is ridiculous. Please accept that time and money were wasted on the redesign and keep the old format.

  12. This has been done regarding guitars for decades. If you tried to sell a guitar to a store, they would check it against a “hot sheet” and hold it for a certain amount of time before reselling it. This generally-acessed data base which could help with private transfers. Worthy of consideration so you don’t end up having to lose something you dropped coin on in good faith.

  13. Pretty useless. When I used to run NCIC checks on firearms often multiple firearms with the same serial number but different manufacturers would come up, and often the gun I was running would not be one of the listed manufacturers. Just the serial number is not enough, you have to have the make. They are going to get hits saying guns are stolen when it is not the same gun they are checking.

  14. Loving the new design. Glad it came back. For those that don’t like it, get on with the times and stop being a Fudd or is it FUDD?

  15. “If the site had asked for additional information, it would have had the potential to form a database of queries coupled with the computer IP addresses of those accessing the site.”
    It doesn’t matter how much info was required. Just visiting a site will give them plenty of info if you aren’t using VPN and privacy protection.
    I’m mixed about the usefulness. A druggee might break in, steal guns, and pawn them. Some people might steal a gun for their own use. I’d expect serious robbers to have black market connections where a gun goes for more than retail, everyone knows it’s stolen or straw purchased, and it’s more valuable if it hasn’t been used in a murder yet. I don’t know the percentages of the categories, but this is useless except in the drugee case.
    As-is, it’s fine. The downside is if it becomes mandatory to use, and then it can become a backdoor registration as UBC-lite since every transaction would have to go through it or a dealer.

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