Gun ban extremist credits BFA for historic rise in Ohio concealed handgun licenses

The Gongwer News Service has published an article highlighting the latest record increase in Ohio concealed handgun licenses, and examining various theories behind the surge.

From the article:

A record number of Ohioans now hold a Concealed Handgun License, according to data compiled by the Attorney General's Office.

More than 574,000 Ohioans now hold CHLs, a figure the Buckeye Firearms Association touted in a news release Wednesday.

"None of this is surprising," Jim Irvine, board president of the group, said in a statement. "Ohio concealed carry instructors remain swamped with demand for their classes."

"We were widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours. The reason was simple; we wanted more people to get training. The numbers indicate that the change in required training is having the effect we intended."

The article also contains an interesting take from one of the opponents to the recently-passed SB 199, which is currently awaiting Governor John Kasich's signature.

Jennifer Thorne, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, however, said those with CHLs still represent a small portion of the Buckeye State's population.

She credited the continued rise in the number of license holders to groups like the BFA.

"The gun lobby is really good at inciting a culture of fear and convincing people that they somehow need to carry loaded, concealed guns in public spaces," she said.

When it comes to creating a culture of fear, Ms. Thorne should take a look in the mirror.

Consider some of her recent opponent testimony on the improvements which were eventually passed by the Ohio General Assembly in SB 199:

  • This is a "guns everywhere bill!"
  • There are going to be "hidden, loaded weapons" "everywhere!"
  • The bill "would only serve to normalize the presence of dangerous weapons in public spaces"
  • "Violating the sanctity of our zones of peace should carry a serious penalty."
  • "[E]veryone is a “good guy” until they aren’t."
  • "[C]arrying a gun certainly makes you more likely to use one."
  • "Even “good” people can have bad days and go through trying times where they probably shouldn’t be carrying a hidden, loaded weapon in public."
  • "[I}ncreasing the places where civilians may carry hidden, loaded weapons won’t make any one safer."

Over the years, few media personalities have done more with an agenda of fear than Thorne's OCAGV predecessor, Ms. Toby Hoover, whose "Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence" once sent a press release entitled "OHIO'S KIDS AT RISK OF BEING SHOT". Clearly, such a title has only one purpose – to scare people into continuing to read the press release and spread her anti-gun message.

On the eve of passage of Ohio's original concealed carry bill, Hoover said "if we have more use of guns, then we're going to have more people who are injured and die." Earlier in the fight to pass concealed carry she said "A person who has a gun sees danger. We will have more shootings, more accidents."

During testimony over Ohio's Castle Doctrine Bill, Toby Hoover used the image of Girl Scouts being shot to push her misguided agenda when she asked, "what if a 12-year-old Girl Scout and her mother go up to someone's door, and the homeowner shoots them?"

Yet another attempt at fear mongering took place in a letter published in the Dayton Daily News where she stated, "The [Castle Doctrine] bill would allow gun carriers to shoot first, claiming self-defense anywhere they are (they already have the right to defend themselves when their homes are invaded). Be careful how you appear to others, as you might be perceived as a threat."

During her testimony opposing HB 347, legislation that ultimately reformed how licensed Ohioans could legally carry a gun in a car, Hoover stated that "the only difference between a law-abiding citizen and a criminal is one bad decision."

When speaking about efforts to allow concealed handgun license (CHL) -holders to patronize establishments that serve alcohol so long as they weren't drinking, Hoover said "I am sure those who want to do this will claim they will never drink and they won't when they are carrying their guns. But people who carry guns everyday say they will never misuse them, and they do. And then there's always the fact that someone next to them can even take their gun and use it."

Those are just a few in the long list of specific examples of Toby Hoover using fear as the basis to oppose pro-gun reform in Ohio, long before Jennifer Thorne took her place at the microphone.

Thorne isn't even original in her claim that a fear-based campaign is the reason behind the record number of Ohioans who obtained CHLs. Hoover did the same thing way back in 2010.

If you want to know what the gun ban lobby is up to, look at what they are accusing the gun lobby of doing. The anti-gun movement is nothing without fear. Unfortunately for them, they're afraid of the wrong people.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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