Plain Dealer: Seniors feel safer when they carry gun

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that about 12 percent of all concealed handgun licenses issued since 2005 by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office have been to people 60 and older, and that in April of this year, 14 percent of licenses issued by the Cuyahoga Sheriff's Office were to the elderly - the highest monthly total of CHLs given to that age group since August 2004, when the law was four months old.

From the Plain Dealer:

    Even at 69 years old, Russ Geis has enough vitality to bike through Stark County's remote nature trails.

    He said the .380-caliber handgun on his handlebars will ensure he's doing it at 70.

    Geis is among a growing number of seniors licensed to carry a concealed firearm. Because of the way the state collects such information, it's hard to determine exactly what portion of concealed-carry permit holders are 60 or older. However, some local permit data and anecdotal information indicate they have steadily packed heat since the state's concealed-carry law passed in 2004.

    "You are out in a park, riding a bicycle trail and all of a sudden you're confronted by a drug addict who would kill you for $5," Geis said. "Are you going to sit there and say, Boy, I hope the police show up?'

    "Having a concealed weapon today is more to my advantage than it perhaps would've been when I was 30 years old."

    ...Seniors make up 40 percent to 50 percent of students at concealed-carry license certification classes at the Phoenix Center in Painesville, said Mike McKenney, who runs the 12-hour courses. Some are recent victims of violent crime, he said.

    "An 87-year-old woman with a gun is equal to anybody," McKenney said.

    A 64-year-old Lodi man preparing to teach a training class at Stonewall Gun Shop & Firearms Range in Broadview Heights agreed. "I've had two heart surgeries. I literally can't run, can't fight," he said.

    The man said he carries the gun whenever possible for protection.

    "I feel naked without it," he said. He lifted up his gray polo shirt, revealing a silver revolver inside a belt holster. He liked the gun's rounded handle because it doesn't show through his clothes - an appearance known as "printing."

    He didn't want his name printed because he said vandals flattened his tires the last time his opinions on gun rights were published.

The article continues with quotes from Ohioans For Concealed Carry President Jeff Garvas, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence Executive Director Toby Hoover, and economist John Lott, author of the book "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws".

The story concludes by noting that the Cleveland area has had a spate of high-profile attacks on seniors. Two seniors were killed in the city's Slavic Village neighborhood in recent months, including the March beating death of 78-year-old Joseph Krasucki.

Geis, of Stark County, told the Plain Dealer he isn't taking any chances. He refuses to rely on the habits of criminals and even law enforcement for his personal protection, and told the newspaper he would rather count on his gun.

"That's the last thing a criminal wants to see," he said.

Accompanying the article are two photos taken at the recent concealed carry course attended State Rep. Michael DeBose. Buckeye Firearms Association is mentioned in both captions as having sponsored the course, which was held at the Commence Firearms Training Academy in Brooklyn, OH and at the historic Gray's Armory near Jacob's Field in downtown Cleveland.

Help us fight for your rights!

Become a member of Buckeye Firearms Association and support our grassroots efforts to defend and advance YOUR RIGHTS!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Get weekly news and instant alerts on the latest laws and politics that affect your gun rights. Enjoy cutting-edge commentary. Be among the first to hear about gun raffles, firearms training, and special events. Read more.

We respect your privacy and your email address will be kept confidential.


Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.