Stop Putting It Off. Get Your Concealed Handgun License!

By Dean Rieck

A lot of Ohioans have put off getting a Concealed Handgun License because they think it’s too difficult. But even though the new Ohio CCW laws are among the strictest in the nation, they aren’t that bad when you compare them to some of the blatantly anti-gun laws around the world.

In South Africa, the Firearms Control Act was implemented in July 2004. This act forces South Africans who want to own a gun to take a training test. They need the training test to get a proficiency certificate. They need the proficiency certificate to apply for a competency certificate. They need the competency certificate to apply for a license.

And the application procedure is complex and lengthy, based on your date of birth. Citizens born between January 1 and March 31, can apply for a license this year. However, those born between April 1 and June 30, have to wait until 2006. In 2007, those born between July 1 and September 30 can apply. And if you’re unlucky enough to have a birthday between October 1 and December 31, you’ll have to wait until 2008.

Even if you have the patience to apply, you can only own one gun for self defense. The police will interview three acquaintances to determine if you’re competent to own a gun. You must install a safe that meets strict standards for gun storage. And you must somehow prove to the police that you actually need a gun under vague and secret requirements that the police refuse to clarify.

Previously, the Central Firearms Registry had been processing about 69,000 gun license applications a year. But now, South African gun dealers say that since the new law went into effect, only one firearm license has been issued across the entire country. And at the current rate, it could take about 65 years to renew current licenses.

And what happens if you have a gun without a license? You become a criminal because you’re in possession of an illegal firearm. Of course, citizens have a 90-day amnesty to surrender their guns and ammunition at local police stations without fear of arrest or prosecution. But that means that even if you plan to go through the entire legal process in the hope of getting a license, you have to surrender your gun and ammunition in the meantime to be in compliance with the law, wait months or years to get your license, then buy another gun ... if there are any gun dealers still in business.

This makes things in Ohio look pretty good by comparison. Not only can virtually any law abiding citizen own a gun, but almost anyone can get a Concealed Handgun License in just a few weeks.

Besides, with the right attitude, taking a CCW training course is actually kind of fun. And it only takes a few minutes to fill out paperwork at the local sheriff’s office. And remember, the law is “shall issue,” meaning that if you take the course, pay the fee, and fill out the papers, you will be issued a license within 45 days.

You have a right to own and carry a gun in Ohio. You should exercise that right. So take the class and apply for your license.

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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.