Attorney General announces Second Quarter 2018 CHL statistics; RECORD 50,376 licenses issued or renewed

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the second quarter of 2018. We established multiple new records, including most licenses ever issued in a quarter!

During the second quarter Ohio Sheriffs issued 21,130 initial CHLs, 29,242 renewed CHLs and four Temporary Emergency Licenses (TELs). The combined 50,376 licenses is a new record and marks the first time Ohio Sheriffs issued over 50,000 licenses in a quarter. There are now a record 656,000 active Ohio CHLs, which represents over 7% of the adult population. This is more than double the "traditional 3%" of the population that obtained a license 10 years ago.

Since Mike DeWine became Attorney General, the number of valid licenses has increased almost 400%. When he took office, there were about 175,000 outstanding licenses, and the program had been active for about six years. There were over 96,000 CHLs issued in the first six months of this year alone.

The big driving factor in licenses issued this year is renewals, which outpaced original issues for both reporting periods this year. A record of approximately 48,000 licenses expired during the quarter. This represents the third expiration of the initial wave of people who were licensed when the law went into effect in 2004, as well as the record demand from 2013 expiring at the same time. Even with this record number of licenses expiring, the renewals and new licensed slightly outpaced expiring licenses resulting in a new record of over 656,000 valid licenses.

For the person without a CHL, what this means is that anytime they look around and see 13 other people, odds are that one of them has a CHL. Concealed carry is mainstream, common sense and close to most people on a daily basis. It works so well that most people are blissfully unaware that people around them are carrying guns. 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.

There were 422 licenses revoked during the quarter. That is more that four times average from recent quarters. The majority of those (269, or 64%) of those were due to a fraudulent instructor in Lake County. BFA has consistently supported Sheriffs revoking licenses when it is discovered that training certificates were fraudulent. Despite this illegal decision made by short-time license-holders, we have seen no evidence that any of them ever harmed another or put others in jeopardy.

Even accounting for this rash of revocations, less than one half of one percent of all CHLs have ever been revoked. The establishment 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.

During the second quarter over 22 people per hour, or over 761 per work-day received a new or renewed CHL from an Ohio sheriff. The popular program is a good facilitator of communication between sheriffs and citizens.

License-holders, like gun owners in general, are not extremists as the anti-gun rights crowd claims. 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. It is clear that those who seek to deny others the right of self-defense are themselves the radical minority.

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. Expect to see more of this in the coming weeks as HB 228 receives renewed attention.

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 fourteen 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 President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

Further Information:

Ohio Attorney General - 2018 Q2 Concealed Carry Stats

Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

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