Plain Dealer: Gun advocates say assaults are thwarted, but not reported

In the fallout from an erroneous Cleveland Plain Dealer story claiming that the death of an armed robber at the hand of the concealed handgun licenseholder he attacked was "what appears to be the first time", Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Michael O'Malley spent time late last week discussing the facts with Buckeye Firearms Association's Chairman and Vice Chairman.

He published a follow-up story Sunday.

From the story, entitled "Gun advocates: Statistics are inadequate":

    Cases involving licensed carriers of concealed weapons protecting themselves or others are difficult to find because they rarely are reported, pro-gun groups say.

    Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said most examples are anecdotal accounts, undocumented by police investigations.

    "Ninety-five percent of the time no shots are fired," Irvine said. "So there would be no police reports. The gun owner either draws the weapon or pulls his jacket back to show the gun and all of a sudden the criminal's gone."

    The Buckeye Web site has a number of testimonials about gun owners defending themselves and others from attackers. But most of the cases involve store owners battling robbers. Those cases don't pertain to concealed weapons because a store owner is not required to have a concealed-weapon permit to keep a gun in a store.

In actuality, according to Ken Hanson, Buckeye Firearms Legislative Chair, store owners DO need a license for concealed handguns.

"The affirmative defense exemption for business owners applies to long guns only," Hanson wrote O'Malley in a letter after his story was published. "When HB12 was passed in 2003, it removed handguns from
all of the affirmative defenses for store owners, prudent persons, etc."

"It is a common misconception that Ohio's concealed carry law, 2923.12, applies to
guns on your person only," Hanson continued. "That is incorrect. It also applies to guns
concealed ready at hand, which means in a drawer, in a file cabinet, etc.
If a store owner wants to keep a handgun in their store in anything
other than an open holster on their person, they must have a license.
The only non-licensed concealed carry of handguns that is permitted is
in the four walls of your own home, and even that is restricted by state
law."

O'Malley's story continues:

    A better example would be a June 2005 case in Dayton. Mark Hill, 40, walking at midnight about a mile from his home, was confronted by two teenagers wearing masks and brandishing guns.

    Hill, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out a Glock 23, a .40-caliber handgun, and fired several shots, wounding one of the teenagers in his leg, abdomen and arms.

    Police told the Dayton Daily News that Hill acted in self-defense. The shooting was the first in Dayton by a holder of a concealed-weapons permit, police said.

A complete list of known incidents involving Ohio CHL-holders defending themselves (including at least five previous cases where the attacker died) is available on our website here.

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