Buying a gun? Ohioans can now search state database of stolen firearms

The Columbus Dispatch | Anna Staver

People who buy and sell firearms in Ohio can now search through a statewide database to see whether the gun for sale was stolen. 

The Ohio Stolen Guns Database contains the serial numbers of stolen guns “as reported to the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) by law enforcement agencies throughout the state and authorized for release to the public.”

It’s the brainchild of Ohio Attorney General David Yost and a group of firearms dealers who wanted an easier way to determine whether a gun was stolen. 

“Once you log on and put the serial number in and once the database exists you’ll be able to just get an answer back – hot or not,” Yost told NBC 4 in January

Thousands of guns are reported stolen or missing every year in Ohio, and sometimes they’re taken to dealers like Eric Delbert, a co-owner of LEPD Firearms and Range in Columbus, who said he’s wanted this database since he started his business eight years ago.

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