More Ohioans than ever are legally packing heat for self protection.
A 32-page report by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine indicates than a new crop of 47,337 persons were issued concealed carry permits in 2010. Another 13,544 persons had their permits renewed.
The greatest number of new permits issued during 2010 was in Franklin County (Columbus) with 3,134 followed by Lake County with 2,590.
The annual report is a requirement of the state’s Attorney General and must be presented to both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly.
“Since 2004, nearly one-quarter million Ohioans have received a concealed carry license,” DeWine said. “My office remains committed to working with county sheriffs in helping eligible Ohioans exercise their rights under Ohio’s concealed carry law.”
Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap said he knows why so many concealed carry applicants use his office’s services.
“We’re not permissive in the way we issue these permits but what’s happened over the years we have found that it is better to do this by reservation instead of waiting in a long line,” Dunlap said. “We have treat our applicants well and efficiently and turn the paperwork around in a fair time frame."
In turn, Dunlap says, that has led concealed carry class teachers to recommend Lake County because of its efficiency and fair treatment of applicants.
“I’d say that about 50 percent of our applicants come from out of Lake County since a person can go to either his or her home county or an adjacent county,” Dunlap said. “This also is one of the few programs the state mandates that actually pays for itself.”
The 47,337 figure was also the second highest number of permits issued since the program began in 2004. In 2009, 56,691 new permits were issued (the highest number ever), DeWine’s report also notes.
In the first year, 45,497 permits were issued.
Last year, too, 720 permits were suspended; a rise from the 596 suspensions seen in 2009 and a large jump from the 352 suspensions reported in 2006, the report likewise notes.
Revocations were down, though: 378 in 2009 to 206 last year. Revocations are made when a permit holder moves, dies, decides to no longer possess a permit, committed a disqualifying crime for which the person was convicted, and became a subject of the law’s restrictions on mentally ill people or those considered drug or alcohol dependant.
And renewals are down considerably as well. In 2008, 31,319 permits were renewed verses last year’s 13,544. Currently a licensed permit holder must renew his documentation every five years.
Prospective permit holders also must successfully pass a 12-hour course that include range time as well as a county sheriff-conducted background check that includes issuing a drivers-license-style permit with the person’s photographic profile.
A course typically costs between $75 and $150 with issuance costing $67 for an Ohio resident living in the state for at least five years and $92 for less than five years. Renewal cost is the same as the initial expense.
Ohio’s concealed carry permit likewise is honored in 20 other states. Among them are neighboring Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky as well as such far-flung states as Wyoming, Washington and Alaska.
Neither Indiana nor Pennsylvania have a reciprocity agreement with Ohio though a bill in the U.S. Congress would mandate universal recognition of a particular state’s permit.
In terms of numbers of new and renewed licenses, respectively, issued by county, here is a local sampling as found in the 32-page report: Ashtabula - 353 and 82; Cuyahoga - 1,196 and 549; Erie - 663 and 176; Geauga - 1,091 and 250; Huron - 206 and 49; Lake - 2,590 and 558; Lorain - 852 and 303; Medina - 1,593 and 612; Sandusky - 410 and 27.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn