COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced a new online portal for people to report stolen guns.  

Yost said the new portal will 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.”

According to Yost, the portal 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.

Yost says if a person 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.

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