2012 Attorney General Summary on Concealed Carry: Another record year for Ohio concealed handgun licenses

by Jim Irvine

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the fourth quarter of 2012. Ohio sheriffs set another new record issuing almost 19,000 CHLs for the busiest fourth quarter in the program's nine year history. Demand was up 31% compared to the same period a year earlier. For the year, Ohio Sheriff’s issued 64,650 regular CHL’s and renewed another 12,160 licenses. This crushes the previous record set in 2009 when 56,691 CHL’s were issues and 16,443 were renewed. At the end of the year, we set another all-time record of approximately 323,375 Ohio residents licensed to carry concealed firearms. (See chart)

There were 15,679 new CHLs, 12 temporary emergency licenses (TELs) issued and 3,571 licenses renewed in the October through December period last year. As we saw after President Obama’s election in 2008, his election last November seems linked to high demand in firearms. Governor John Kasich signed HB495 into law in December. That is too close to the end of the year to account for the record numbers, but it will help drive the current quarter demand. Making the laws work better for the law-abiding citizens who carry guns for self-defense increases demand for the license.

Over 70% of all licenses issued have been renewed. Seventy-two licenses were revoked during the quarter. As previously noted, the third quarter saw a spike in revocations because of one team of instructors who failed to comply with Ohio’s 12 hour training requirement. That resulted in over 500 revocations. Less than six tenths of one percent of all CHLs have ever been revoked for any reason, including death or moving out of state. The anti-gun groups love to make a big deal about the exceptional cases where a CHL breaks the law, but say almost nothing about the more than 99% of law-abiding license holders, many of whom have used their gun to protect life.

Concealed carry works.

There are 58,292 more Ohioans licensed to carry firearms now than one year ago. That represents a 22% increase over 2011 totals. During the fourth quarter last year over 8.6 people per hour, or 290 per work-day, received a new or renewed CHL from an Ohio sheriff. Some sheriffs have added extra people to accommodate the high demand. Others are backed up six months with applications. People are reminded that they can obtain their CHL from their Sheriff, or at any adjoining county. If your sheriff has poor customer service, remember that next time he is up for election.

License-holders, like gun owners in general, are not extremists as the anti-gun crowd claims. They are honorable citizens who want the means of protection from real dangers. They understand that police cannot, and are not obligated to, protect individual citizens from rape or murder any more than they can prevent someone from running a red light. Responsible people wear a seat belt to protect themselves in a car accident. They also carry a gun to protect themselves from a criminal attack.

With over 323,000 Ohio citizens licensed to carry handguns, anytime you are in a group of 27 adults, odds are there is at least one licensee present. If you are with an older or more affluent group, the odds are even greater. In short, there are few public locations one can travel in Ohio where there will not be a license-holder nearby. Unfortunately, because of the many places license-holders are still prohibited from carrying their guns, the license does not necessarily translate into having someone ready and armed to stop an attack.

In the first year of Ohio's concealed carry law, the anti-self-defense people bragged about the "small" demand for the new CHLs. They claimed that only a few fringe gun nuts wanted to carry "hidden" guns. It is now clear that those who seek to deny others the right of self-defense are themselves the radical minority.

Their predictions of "blood in the streets" have never materialized. A record number of Ohioans are carrying guns in more places and, even though there continues to be significant economic problems, we have not seen any dramatic increase in violent crime. Meanwhile, reports indicate that new gun sales continue to be strong. This is yet another indication that more guns in the hands of good citizens do not cause any increase in crime, and are likely to deter criminals. Yet today we hear the same tired cries about our continued efforts to "de-Taft" our concealed carry laws. The same rantings are as wrong today as they were nine years ago. While no large group of people is perfect, the CHL-holder has proven to be considerably more law-abiding than the population at large.

It always takes time for the feelings of society to change and adopt new safety ideas. It was once normal for kids to ride in cars without seat belts or even car seats. Today such behavior is considered criminally reckless. We rode bikes with no helmets. CPR was left to "the professionals."

Thousands of lives are saved annually because our society realized how quickly a life could be lost and how a few simple changes make the difference between life and death. With the surging numbers of gun owners and concealed carry licenses, the day seems to be a little closer when carrying a gun for safety will be seen as being as sensible as wearing seat belts.

It has been almost nine years since Ohio's concealed carry law took effect. It is clear that the law is working well and is popular with responsible, law-abiding adults who care about safety.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman.

Further Information:
Ohio Attorney General - 2012 Annual Concealed Carry report

Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

Media Coverage:
Associated Press - Ohio concealed weapons licenses hit record in 2012 (versions of this article will appear in hundreds of news outlets around the state and across the country)

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said that he expected to see an increase in the number of licenses issued. He talked with instructors who provide the firearms safety training required for licenses, and "they have all had their classes sold out."

"It's all about personal safety, and people wanting to protect themselves and their families," he said.
Irvine also said that he thinks gun-control efforts by President Barack Obama's administration have influenced more people to apply for licenses.

"People think they need to get them now because they might not have the opportunity later," Irvine said.

Columbus Business First - Concealed carry permits hit all-time high in Ohio

"Fear of President Obama, that administration and the Democrats rhetoric about taking away firearms drives the demand," Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told the newspaper.

Columbus Dispatch - Gun-carry permits set record in '12

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Concealed carry permits increase statewide, record 76,810 issued in 2012

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, gave multiple reasons for the jump in permits.

"Fear of President Obama, that administration and the Democrats rhetoric about taking away firearms drives the demand," Irvine said Wednesday night. "Those that have thought about it for years are now motivated to get a license because they may not be able to in the future."

He also stressed that having a license is not seen as radical as it was 10 years ago and it is a good form of protection.

"It's not like we are trying to be police officers," said Irvine. "A little training and knowledge can save a lot of lives. It's the responsible thing to do."

Dayton Daily News - 78,000 concealed gun licenses issued in Ohio in 2012, a record

Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association said that on gun shop doors across the country there are signs that say "Salesman of the Year: President Obama."

"The firearms industry — this is one industry that Obama has helped. They're selling record numbers of guns and seeing record profits," Irvine said.

..."More and more people are seeing this as a responsible thing to do. Kind of like CPR. Calling 9-1-1 and waiting around isn't enough any more," Irvine said.

Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence said despite the record numbers, only 3-to-4 percent of Ohio's adult population has a CCW.

"Most people don't want the person in the general public standing next to them to carry a gun. They don't say anything about it because they don't see them," she said.

Neither side thinks the spike in CCW permits yet reflects gun owners' reaction to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14. Irvine predicts that record numbers are now seeking CCW permits in the wake of that shooting and the subsequent debate over gun control.

Putnam Sentinel - Concealed Carry license numbers jump in 2012

WDTN (NBC Dayton) - Attorney General's concealed carry report shows record number of licenses issued in 2012

WHIO (CBS Dayton) - 78,000 concealed gun licenses issued in Ohio in 2012, a record

WNWO (NBC Toledo) - Ohio Issues record number of conceal carry licenses in 2012

WRGT (Fox Dayton) - Record Number Of Concealed Carry Licenses In 2012

WYTV (ABC Youngstown) - Concealed Carry Permits Spike in 2012

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