Attorney General announces Second Quarter 2009 CHL statistics

First half of 2009 exceeds all of 2008, marks third straight year for increase

By Jim Irvine

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the second quarter of 2009. There has been great demand for firearms and concealed carry licenses and the trend clearly continued through the last quarter. Concealed carry continues to be something both old and new gun owners are interested in. If you buy a gun for self defense, it makes sense to get the license needed to carry it with you.

The second quarter in 2009 marks the third quarter in a row where demand more than doubled from the same period a year prior. The 17,921 regular licenses issues was a 106% increase over the same period last year. (see chart) There were an additional 4,825 licenses renewed during the quarter, which is approximately 68% of the licenses expiring during the period. To date almost 70% of all expiring CHL's have been renewed. There were 22 Temporary Emergency Licenses (TELs) issued, bringing the total number of licenses issued by Ohio Sheriffs to a whopping 22,768 for the period April through June of 2009.

That is more licenses than were issued for the entire year either 2005 or 2006. And even though 2008 saw a dramatic increase in demand, we have now exceeded that entire year in just 6 months. In fact it is all but certain that as of the writing of this story, Ohio has already issued more concealed handgun licenses this year than in all of 2004. That was the first year our law was in effect and contained the initial surge that is rarely if ever exceeded.

Over 350 people per work-day picked up a CHL. (And many sheriffs' offices only process applications three days per week.) That means CHL's are being issued at a rate greater than collegiate license plates. It was more than double the issuance rates for the "Bald Eagle," "Ohio pets," and "One Nation Under God" license plates combined. Every person with a brain has figured out that concealed carry is a success, demand is increasing, and even the vast majority of those who don't carry a gun are comfortable knowing that good people all around them are.

The strong demand marks nine consecutive quarters that licenses issued increased compared to the prior year. License-holders, like gun owners in general, are not extremists as the anti-gun crowd claims. They are honorable citizens who want protection from real dangers. They understand that police cannot protect them from a rape or murder any more than they can prevent someone from running a red light. Responsible people wear a seatbelt to protect themselves in a car accident. They carry a gun to protect themselves from a criminal attack.

At the end of June there were over 158,000 Ohio citizens licensed to carry handguns. Anytime you are in a group of five dozen adults, odds are there is one with you. If you are with an older or more affluent group, the odds are even greater. In short, there are few public locations you can travel where there will not be a license-holder near. 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 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 cries of "blood in the streets" have never materialized. A record number of Ohioans are carrying guns. While no large group of people are perfect, the CHL-holder has proven to be considerably more law-abiding than the population at large.

With the surge in total outstanding licenses, the percentage of suspensions and revocations has declined slightly, a possible indication of the success of Senate Bill 184, signed into law last year by Governor Strickland, which eliminated many legal traps that had been ensnaring otherwise law-abiding people. Less than one half of one percent have ever been revoked, and among that small number are many CHLs revoked because a license-holder died, moved out of state or other benign reasons.

It always takes time for the feelings of society to have a real change in heart and adopt new safety ideas. It was once normal for kids to ride in cars with no seat belts or car even seats. Today such behavior is criminally reckless. We rode bikes with no helmets. CPR was to be 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 permits and licenses, the day when carrying a gun for safety is as accepted as using a seat belt seems to be a little closer at hand.

We are now in the sixth year of Ohio's concealed carry law. 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, and the host of Firearms Forum, Ohio's first talk radio show about guns and gun rights.

Further Information:
2008 Attorney General Summary on Concealed Carry: Record year for Ohio concealed handgun licenses

Ohio Attorney General - 2009 Q2 Concealed Carry Stats

Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

Media Coverage

Fulton County Expositor - County follows state's increase in concealed handgun licenses

According to Chad Baus, vice chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, two factors have contributed to the increase in CHLs: an improved law and what he calls "The Obama Effect."

When the original law passed, there were several "poison pills" inserted by former Governor Bob Taft, Baus said. They included stipulations to carry a gun unconcealed in a car and allowing newspapers to publish lists of licensed holders. He said the increase in license applications was apparent after those stipulations were modified in 2007.

But what further spurred the demand was what Baus terms President Barack Obama's "abysmal" history on gun ownership and its related lifestyle. As an Illinois state senator, Obama voted for a 500 percent tax increase on ammunition and made his dislike of concealed carry weapons clear.

In fact, he said, the dramatic rise in CHLs began around the time the president was elected in 2008.

"There's enough on the record to make people afraid ... that gun bans could be coming," Baus said. "My own experience as an instructor is that the numbers have certainly gone up."

The Archbold resident teaches concealed carry classes at the Fulton County Sportsmen Club, and said clients are concerned about their Second Amendment rights.

"Most have said, 'I need to take the opportunity before I lose the opportunity,'" Baus said.

Marietta Times - More gun permits issued

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said the demand for concealed carry permits is fueled by concerns of more restrictive gun control.

...Mincks said there are still some who want to carry a gun for protection. Since the law allowing hidden guns went into effect, he said there has been no incident locally involving a permit holder defending himself.

"I support concealed carry 100 percent," Mincks said. "We have not had any problems with the people from this county."

Through June, 158,000 Ohio citizens were licensed to carry handguns, according to Buckeye Firearms Association.

(Willoughby) News-Herald - Concealed carry numbers high caliber stuff (On new record target)

Demand for concealed carry permits is on the rise with Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray saying figures point to nine consecutive quarters of growth.

The Buckeye Firearms [Association] further says that this year's Second Quarter represents the third consecutive quarter in which demand for concealed carry permits has more than doubled from the same period one year ago. The 17,921 permits issued represents a 106 percent increase, the [Association] says.

Also, during the second quarter some 4,825 concealed carry permits were renewed; which is about 68 percent of the licenses expiring during the period.

For the period April through June, a total of 22,768 concealed carry permits were issued, exceeding what was issued for all of 2008, the [Association] says.

There are now more than 158,000 Ohioans with concealed carry permits.

Less than one-half of one percent of issued permits have been revoked. And among the reasons include the license-holder dying or else moving out of state, the [Association] says.

Ohio is now in its sixth year of the concealed carry law with minimal troubles or increases in gun-related crime. That dispels the fear mongering that the anti-gun crowd kept saying during the debate on concealed carry.

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