CHL background check puts criminal behind bars

Story compiled from two Cincinnati tv news station reports, and

The arrest of a wanted criminal in Hamilton County has proven that background checks for concealed handgun licenses are working properly to ensure that licenses are not issued to criminals.

Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies say Lavon Murrell’s application for a concealed handgun license led to his arrest on kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges.

When Murrell filled out the his CHL application, the Sheriff’s office ran a standard background check and found he was wanted for crimes committed in Fairfield in 2003.


    Police say in November 2003, Murrell robbed the Extended Stay America in Fairfield. Police believe it was Murrell who forced a young female night manager of the hotel into a closet at gunpoint while the man robbed the business. The hotel's general manager says the girl never got over the attack.

    "She couldn't take it anymore, bad memories. She was here three years, great employee. But as a result of the robbery she ended up quitting, " said General Manager Scott Keiner.

    The family of the local kidnap and robbery victim tell Local 12 they're thrilled the alleged gunman is behind bars.

Hoping if he was stupid enough to apply for the license, he might also be stupid enough to come pick it up, the sheriff’s office called Murrell and told him his license was ready for pick-up, and gave him a Friday appointment for pickup. Sheriff's deputies were waiting when Murrell came to pick up his license. He was cuffed and taken to jail.

When Ohio’s concealed carry law was passed, opponents claimed the background checks were not thorough, and would result in criminals being issued licenses. In the past year, only .09% of licenses have had to be revoked for any reason, including the passing away of license-holders.

Common sense would dictate to most people that when you're wanted for serious crimes, it's probably not a good idea to apply for a license to carry a concealed handgun. So what would have prompted Lavon Murrell to do so? Could it be that he had read newspaper editorials opining that they needed the Media Access Loophole because sheriffs can’t be trusted to do thorough background checks and might issue concealed handgun licenses to dangerous criminals? Could it be that he was emboldened by the gun ban lobby’s false predictions that the background check procedure is not adequate and that criminals would be able to obtain CHLs?

Whatever the cause, good news is the result. The background checks ARE working to ensure only law-abiding Ohioans are issued licenses. No media oversight was necessary to ensure that everyone at this sheriff’s office did their job. And most importantly, a dangerous, if not altogether intelligent, criminal has been taken off the streets.

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