Attorney General announces Third Quarter 2018 CHL statistics; RECORD 660,000 enjoy Ohio concealed carry

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the third quarter of 2018. As has been true for every quarterly report for 10 plus years, we set a new record for total number of people licensed to discretely carry their firearms.

During the second quarter Ohio Sheriff’s issued 13,865 initial CHL’s, renewed 23,847 CHLs and processed 6 Temporary Emergency Licenses (TELs). That is a combined 37,718 licenses issued. That equates to more than 560 per business day, and more than 16 per hour (including nights and weekends) for the quarter.

There are now a record 660,000 active Ohio CHL’s, 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 more than tripled in 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.

The big driving factor in licenses issued this year is renewals, which outpaced original issues for all three reporting periods this year. More than 188,000 CHLs have expired this year. Over 133,000 licenses were issued and renewed in the first three quarters, which is more than all of 2017. This combined for another small increase in total valid licenses.

There were 843 licenses revoked, sadly setting a new record for a quarter. While this might seem alarming at first, a deeper look shows that 726, more than 86% of all revocations came from Lake County. This is an example of Sheriff Daniel Dunlap doing a great job by revoking licenses when it was discovered that an instructor was selling certificates, but not doing the required training.

Also interesting to note is that while more than 1,000 CHLs were revoked for improper training, we know of no issues of those people having problems that the training is intended to address.

Even with the record number of CHL revocations, less than one half of one percent of all CHLs have ever been revoked for any reason. 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.

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. 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. Thankfully most people understand the truth and ignore the radicals opposed to legal self-defense.

Some 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 Q3 Concealed Carry Stats

Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

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