Attorney General announces Fourth Quarter 2007 CHL statistics

Recent improvements to law spark surge in demand for concealed handgun licenses

By Jim Irvine

Attorney General Marc Dann has released the concealed handgun license statistics for the fourth quarter of 2007. There were 5,058 regular licenses, and 22 temporary emergency licenses issued, bringing the total to 109,142 licenses issued to carry a concealed handgun. Nearly 22,000 law-abiding citizens obtained their CHL in 2007, a full 20% increase from the same period in 2006.

Every day, the law-abiding citizens who carry a gun prove the anti-gun side wrong. None of their predictions have come true. No increase in accidents, or kids finding guns, or blood in the streets. The release of more data reinforces that gun owners and concealed carry advocates have been saying for years. We are not the problem. And all the attention given to restricting our rights is energy that should be refocused on stopping criminals.

The normal pattern after the passing of a “shall issue” law is strong demand the first year, then a steady decline in demand over years two through five. Demand then levels off to a “normal” level.

Ohio is experiencing something significantly different. The trends for concealed carry licenses are increasing in year four. Three quarters in a row showed increased demand over the same quarter in the prior year. There was a whopping 18% increase in licenses issued in 2007 than in 2006. Fourth quarter numbers even show a 15% increase over the same period in 2005, the second year concealed carry was in effect. Demand in Ohio is not only steady, but increasing.

It has long been speculated that the many onerous restrictions inserted into Ohio's original concealed carry legislation (HB12) caused a lack in demand for the licenses. A bill designed to correct the most egregious problems, HB347, took effect in March 2007, and removed the worst of those restrictions. This is about the same time demand began increasing. The numbers show that it was not just a short-term anomaly, but a broad increase in demand for licenses that continues to this day.

All politicians should take notice of these numbers. It indicates that their constituents don’t just want laws passed – they want good laws passed. Watering down a pro-gun bill with the demands of people who don’t even own a gun makes as much sense as allowing the Flat Earth Society to place restrictions on NASA’s missions.

In three months, Attorney General Dann will release the first quarterly statistics that contain renewals. We are already hearing complaints about the renewal process. Dann has updated the Frequently Asked Questions page on his web site with renewal information. This should help the 45,497 of you whose license expires in the coming months. If you want to avoid long lines and hassles, you are strongly encouraged to renew as soon as possible.

Click here for the Attorney General’s fourth quarter report.

Click here to access the list of Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense in the Education Guide.

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