Attorney General announces First Quarter 2006 CHL statistics

Number of CHLs issued increases over past two quarters

By Jim Irvine

The Ohio Attorney General released the concealed handgun license statistics for the first quarter of 2006 today. Ohio’s sheriff’s issued 5,546 regular licenses and 21 temporary emergency licenses to law-abiding Ohio citizens.

This brings the new total number of licenses issued to 73,692. As expected, the more populous counties continue to rack up the largest numbers, proving that concealed carry is not something only “country folk” are interested in. Not only do urban areas have more people, they have more crime. Each year the data continues to mount, proving that concealed carry is an effective way for average citizens to defend themselves against crime. If you are smaller and weaker than an attacker, it may be the only way to defend your life from a calloused criminal.

The total number of licenses issued is greater than either of the previous two quarters, and larger than the average of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters in 2005, but less licenses were issued compared to year over year data. The increase in licenses from the previous quarters may be due to the increased interest in concealed carry while the legislature appeared poised to fix major flaws in the law that are common excuses for not obtaining a license. Second quarter numbers last year increased over the first quarter, so it will be interesting to see if the warmer weather brings an increase again this year. Lack of progress of HB347 may dampen interest and offset the expected quarterly increase.
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The total number of suspended and revoked licenses continues to be a small percentage of total licenses issued. Approximately one-half of one percent of all licenses issued have been suspended for any reason. Approximately one-third of one percent of all licenses issued have been revoked for any reason. Suspended licenses may be reinstated after the disqualifier is corrected. Common examples are paperwork errors, restraining orders that are lifted, or a criminal charge that is dropped or the person is found not guilty. Some licenses are revoked for death or the licensee moving out of state. These situations are all included in the Attorney General numbers. License-holders are reminded to update your address with your issuing Sheriff if you have moved.

The numbers make a strong case for the excellent job the Ohio Sheriff’s are doing in issuing licenses to law-abiding citizens and weeding out those that are not qualified. This is yet another example proving the predictions of the media elitists wrong. It is also interesting to note that while the media cried that the public was in danger if they did not have access to the name, age, county, and type of license issued, there would be massive problems. Of course the Sheriff’s don’t need the media standing over their shoulder to make sure “only the right people are issued a license” as the anti-self-defense group claimed. While Ohio’s concealed carry law has been in effect for over two years, the media has yet to show any “public good” from printing licensee’s names. Buckeye Firearms Association calls on the legislature to pass amended HB9 in it’s current form to stop the media from harassing law-abiding gun owners and to protect their privacy.

Unlike the anti-self defense group, we on the pro-gun side are not afraid to face any problems that exist. We look at real life, and real problems, and find real solutions. No group is perfect, and when there is a problem we work to correct that problem. Perfection may not be attainable, but it is still our goal.

There was an increase in the number of revoked licenses in the first quarter. Over half, (fifty-three of the one hundred and three) revocations were in Cuyahoga County. There were also increases in several nearby counties. On first look, one might think that there has been a rash of problems with concealed carry license holders, but the facts show that the mistakes of one individual caused the lion’s share of these revocations (but even this problem points to the good people that are involved with concealed carry). There was one instructor who issued certified training certificates to students who had not completed all of the state-mandated training. An alert sheriff's deputy was chatting with a license applicant and the answers to the questions did not add up. More questions were asked about the training that was received. The applicant told the truth about his training. He had not had the required live-fire range time required. His instructor had his students shoot guns at targets on a range, but students were permitted to use a bb gun for the range time. Contrary to many of the anti-gun claims, a bb gun is not a firearm, and thus does not count for the required training. Thus, all the licenses issued to students of this particular instructor were suspended or revoked. License holders were required to retake the required training, to include two hours of live fire range time with a firearm.

I talked with several of the sheriff’s offices that dealt with this problem. Each sheriff promptly suspended or revoked the appropriate licenses and notified the holders of the problem. After retaking the required training, applicants could again be licensed to carry a handgun. Some people chose not to get the training, and thus are no longer licensed by the state. We commend the Sheriff’s office for the professional conduct in this situation, and each license holder who has corrected their training problem. It is interesting to note that while these people carried guns without the state mandated training, there were no accidental shootings, no wrongful shootings, and no criminal problems by any of these individuals.

Having discussed this issue with dozens of NRA certified instructors, there is unified support for the NRA, its programs, and professional way this situation was handled. The message from the NRA's Shooting Education division bears repeating:

    NRA Shooting Education - a publication of the Education & Training Division of the National Rifle Association of America - Issue 39 - 2006

    By Charles H. Mitchell, Manager, NRA Training Department

    The number of NRA Trainers continues to grow. By the time you read this, we will have over 2,000 coaches. And, we expect to hold even more Training Counselor Workshops in 2006 than we did last year.

    The vast majority of you who are active are doing a fine job, and we sincerely appreciate your good work. You are an asset to the shooting sports and to your communities.

    It is an unfortunate fact of life that those few who do not do things correctly get the most attention. Recently the carry permits of 90 individuals were revoked by a state because their instructor conducted their required training classes improperly. It doesn’t take much thinking to imagine the legal difficulties and costs this will bring to that instructor. It would have been so much easier to follow the lesson plan and meet the state’s requirements.

    Because our training courses are the National standard for basic firearm training, we must take action to protect the integrity and reputation of both the program and its instructors. It gives us no pleasure to have to suspend or revoke a trainer’s credentials. We would much rather offer assistance in advance to keep our volunteers out of trouble.

    We require all trainers to follow lesson plans, meet all course learning objectives, and issue all required student materials. Additionally, we expect all trainers to act in an ethical manner in dealing with their clients and with the public. It is the individual responsibility of each trainer to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct.

    As a guideline, here are six ethics principles the NRA asks all trainers to follow:

    NRA Coaching Ethics Code

Download the Attorney General 1st Quarter 2006 Statistics Report (.pdf)

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