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Concealed Carry Permits Continue Record Growth
COLUMBUS -- Statistics released Friday by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine show that Ohioans continue to sign up for concealed carry permits at a record pace.
Third quarter statistics for 2013 report 32,618 concealed carry licenses were issued.
Numbers reported to the Attorney General's Office from county sheriffs in Ohio indicate that in the third quarter of 2013 (July 1 through September 30), 18,705 new licenses and 13,913 renewal licenses were issued, for a total of 32,618 licenses.
This is an increase over the third quarter of 2012 when county sheriffs issued 13,949 new licenses and 3,447 renewal licenses, or 17,396 total licenses, DeWine's office said. In the first nine months of 2013, 82,186 new licenses were issued, more than in any single calendar year since concealed carry permits began being issued in 2004. In 2012, the year with the previous highest amount, a total of 64,650 new licenses were issued.
"Although the raw statistics indicate there has been decreases in violent crimes you still have this perception that people are at risk," said instructor Mark Avery of SimTrainer Academy.
He says when people hear stories of violent crimes, they go get protection.
"People feel like they have to count on themselves to defend themselves and quite frankly that's what the Supreme Court says as well: You are responsible for your own defense. The police are not there to defend you, they are there to enforce the law and the police aren't likely to be there at the time you need to defend yourself," said Avery.
But even with thousands more people getting permits in Ohio, there is still a big push against more guns.
"It's a right, but I wouldn't say it's the answer," said Antoine Houston of Miamisburg. "A lot of people use it as security and that's great but if everyone does that there's also going to be people who use it as a weapon or to commit crimes and that's the flip side of the coin."
"More guns on the streets is better. More guns prevent crime," said NRA instructor Rd Howell. "There's 1 million or more crimes prevented every year by the use of a firearm."
"It may have deterred crimes from happening in a case-by-case situation, but there's a lot of cases where they are used whether it's suicide, whether it's crimes or they're stolen and are used in other crimes," said Houston. "Or people that have done things with them they didn't need to."
Still, Avery says, the increase in new licenses can actually be misleading.
"The number of people getting licenses isn't what affects how many people have weapons that only affects how many people are carrying legally and have taken the time to go through the training and the licensing process to make sure they have been background checked," said Avery.
To get a permit, residents are required to take a 12-hour course that includes 10 hours in the classroom and two hours out in the range.
But not everyone is eligible. To learn more about Ohio's concealed carry laws or view concealed carry statistics, visit http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/ConcealedCarry
The Attorney General's Office compiles an annual report as required by law about the number of licenses issued each year. Each sheriff must report concealed handgun license statistics quarterly to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission within the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Those quarterly statistics are published on the Ohio Attorney General's website once compiled and verified.
Third Quarter Concealed Carry Permits, Miami Valley Counties
Complete county by county list:
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