Attorney General announces Second Quarter 2011 CHL statistics; Ohio Concealed Carry numbers hits new record

by Jim Irvine

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the second quarter of 2011. At the end of June, we set another all-time record of approximately 243,121 Ohio residents licensed to carry concealed firearms. (See chart)

There were 14,594 new CHLs, 19 temporary emergency licenses (TELs) issued and 749 licenses renewed in the April through June period this year.

There was a significant drop in the renewal numbers because we have transitioned from the licenses that were valid for a period of four years to the ones that are valid for five years. There were actually no regular licenses that expired during the second quarter. All 749 renewals were licenses that had expired in previous quarters, but had not yet been renewed. The bottom line is that total renewal rates increased, rather than decreased. Raw renewal numbers will remain very low for the next few quarters because no regular licenses will expire until March of 2012. TELs are only valid for 90 days and cannot be renewed.

Only 79 licenses were revoked. Less than one-half of one percent of all CHL’s have ever been revoked for any reason, including death or moving out of state.

Concealed carry works.

The second quarter of 2011 saw a two percent decrease in the number of new licenses issued when compared to the second quarter of the prior year. Even with the slight drop in quarterly year – over- year data, we are still ahead of last year for new licenses issued in the first six months. There were 27,798 new licenses issued in the first half of 2011 compared to 26,887 for the same period in 2010.

During the second quarter of this year almost seven people per hour, or 230 per work-day, received a new or renewed CHL from an Ohio sheriff. With such a popular program for their constituents, it is puzzling that the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association (BSSA) was opposed to the restaurant carry reform bill, (SB17) that will become effective at the end of September.

We encourage you to inquire with your elected sheriff as to their support for continued efforts to update Ohio's concealed carry laws to make them more friendly to citizens. We welcome your feedback if you are able to learn why your sheriff is opposed to your having similar protection for your family in restaurants that his deputies enjoy. It seems many of them have forgotten that they work for you. If they support your rights, ask them what they are doing to change the official position of their association.

License-holders, like gun owners in general, are not extremists as the anti-gun crowd claims. They are honorable citizens who want the means of protection from real dangers. They understand that police cannot, and are not obligated to, protect individual citizens from rape or murder any more than they can prevent someone from running a red light. Responsible people wear a seatbelt to protect themselves in a car accident. They also carry a gun to protect themselves from a criminal attack.

With over 243,000 Ohio citizens licensed to carry handguns, anytime you are in a group of four dozen adults, odds are there is at least one licensee present. If you are with an older or more affluent group, the odds are even greater. In short, there are few public locations you can travel in Ohio where there will not be a license-holder nearby. Unfortunately, because of the many places license-holders are still prohibited from carrying their guns, the license does not necessarily translate into having someone ready and armed to stop an attack.

In the first year of Ohio's concealed carry law, the anti-self-defense people bragged about the "small" demand for the new CHLs. They claimed that only a few fringe gun nuts wanted to carry "hidden" guns. It is now clear that those who seek to deny others the right of self-defense are themselves the radical minority.

Their predictions of "blood in the streets" have never materialized. A record number of Ohioans are carrying guns and even though there continues to be significant economic problems, we have not seen any dramatic increase in violent crime. Meanwhile, new reports indicate that new gun sales continue to be strong. This is yet another indication that more guns in the hands of good citizens does not cause any increase in crime, and is likely to deter criminals. Yet today we hear the same tired cries about our continued efforts to "de-Taft" our concealed carry laws. The same rantings are as wrong today as they were eight years ago. While no large group of people is perfect, the CHL-holder has proven to be considerably more law-abiding than the population at large.

It always takes time for the feelings of society to have a real change and adopt new safety ideas. It was once normal for kids to ride in cars without seat belts or even car seats. Today such behavior is considered criminally reckless. We rode bikes with no helmets. CPR was left to "the professionals."

Thousands of lives are saved annually because our society realized how quickly a life could be lost and how a few simple changes make the difference between life and death. With the surging numbers of gun owners and concealed carry permits and licenses, the day seems to be a little closer at hand when carrying a gun for safety will be seen as being as sensible as wearing seat belts.

It has been over seven years since Ohio's concealed carry law took effect. It is clear that the law is working well and is popular with responsible, law-abiding adults who care about safety.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman.

Further Information:
Ohio Attorney General - 2011 Q2 Concealed Carry Stats

Ohio CHL-holders acting in self-defense

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