Attorney General announces First Quarter 2019 CHL statistics; RECORD 673,000 enjoy Ohio concealed carry

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) has released the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the first quarter of 2019. As has been true for every quarterly report for over 10 years, we set another record for total number of people licensed to discretely carry their firearms.

During the first quarter, Ohio Sheriffs issued 16,115 initial CHLs, renewed 22,739 CHLs and processed 7 Temporary Emergency Licenses (TELs). That is a combined 38,861 licenses issued. That equates to nearly 600 per business day, and more than 17 per hour (including nights and weekends) for the quarter.

There are now a record 673,000 active Ohio CHLs, which represents about 7% of the adult population. This is more than double the “traditional 3%” of the population that obtained a license 10 years ago. The number of valid licenses nearly tripled over the past eight years.

For the person without a CHL, what this means is that anytime they look around and see 14 other people, odds are that one of them has a CHL. Concealed carry is mainstream, common sense and is close to most people on a daily basis. It works so well that most people are blissfully unaware that anyone else is carrying a gun. Most people with a CHL have no desire to intimidate anyone; they quietly go about their life just like anyone else - except they have the tools and training to defend life when the threat of death or grave bodily harm arises.

As was true last year, a big driving factor in licenses issued this year is renewals, which has outpaced original issues for five consecutive quarters. Nearly 110,000 CHLs will expire this year. Slightly more than 70% of expiring licenses are renewed. Continued interest in new licenses results in a slow but steady increase in total valid licenses.

There were 229 licenses revoked, the lowest quarterly total in a year, but still above average. Last year saw a spike in revocations caused by improper training issues. Over the past 15 years, thousands of licenses have been revoked for insufficient training. We are not aware of any other problems these license holders were involved with due to their lack of training. This lends credence to the idea that Constitutional Carry will work as well in Ohio as it has in other states.

Only one half of one percent of all CHLs have ever been revoked for any reason. The lamestream media 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.

License-holders, like gun owners in general, are not extremists as the anti-gun groups claim. They are men and women, liberal and conservative and every ethnic and religious background. 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.

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. Those who seek to deny others the right of self-defense are themselves the radical minority, even if they yell louder than in years past.

Every time legislation is passed improving the law, anti-self-defense pundits predict mayhem and problems that will result without tight restrictions on gun owners. They have been wrong every time, but some newspapers and anti-gun politicians keep repeating their nonsense, without any follow-up questions about their previous claims. Thankfully most people understand the truth and ignore the radicals opposed to legal self-defense.

Many media outlets have done a good job with factual reports on firearms and gun owners. A record number of Ohioans are carrying guns in more places, yet we have not seen any dramatic increase in violent crime. This is yet another indication that more guns in the hands of good citizens do not cause any increase in crime, and is likely to deter criminals. It is time to fully “de- Taft” our CHL laws and bring Ohio in line with the majority of states. 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 have a real 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 can be 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 steadily increasing number of gun owners and concealed carry licenses, the day seems to be a little closer at hand when carrying a gun for safety will be seen as being as sensible as wearing seat belts.

It’s been over fifteen 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 Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman, recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award and CCRKBA's 2012 Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award.

Further Information:

Ohio Attorney General - 2019 Q1 Concealed Carry Stats

Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

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