Ohio concealed carry licensees continue to increase
Saturday, March 01, 2014 12:02 AM
The number of concealed carry licenses issued in Ohio continued to increase throughout 2013, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Business owners like Rick Smith (above) of Smith and Sons Firearms in Van Wert are in position to sell weapons and accessories to licensed persons. (TB File Photo)
VAN WERT — The desire to carry a gun has not decreased in the past few years, according to concealed carry statistics released Friday by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
“In 2013 county sheriffs issued across the state issued 145,342 regular licenses (96,972 new licenses and 48,370 renewal licenses) and 53 temporary licenses,” DeWine stated in a release issued with the report.
By way of comparison, in 2012 there were 64,650 new licenses issued and 12,160 renewals. The previous high for new licenses issued and total licenses issued was in 2012, when 64,650 new licenses and 76,810 total licenses were issued. The previous record for renewal licenses was in 2008, the first year licenses could be renewed, when 31,139 licenses were renewed. Concealed carry licenses were first made available by the state in 2004.
The figures in Van Wert County follow the same trend as the statewide numbers. In Van Wert County in 2013, the sheriff issued 373 new and 121 renewed licenses for a total of 494. The previous year saw just 189 new licenses with 29 renewals for 218 total licenses. Those numbers were up from 83 in 2011 and 117 in 2010.
As in past years, the trend continued in the surrounding counties. Allen County issued 843 new and 506 renewed licenses for a total of 1,349, up from 657 in 2012.
In Paulding County 180 new and 50 renewals were issued in 2013 for a total of 230 concealed carry licenses. That number is more than double 2012’s 114.
In Mercer County 654 new and 212 renewal licenses were issued for a total of 866. In Putnam County the numbers were 322 new and 61 renewals for a 383 total.
Widespread fears over possible changes to gun laws has helped to raise the number of license applications in Ohio. Reactions across the nation have been similar. In Illinois, the first concealed carry licenses were printed and mailed on Friday. More than 5,000 went out in this early mailing. An online application process begun in January has yielded more than 50,000 applications.
The only Ohio statistic that was down in the 2013 report was the number of licenses revoked during the year. In 2012 there were 741 revocations, but last year there were only 286. Licenses are revoked if a person no longer meets the eligibility requirements. Reasons a license may be revoked include being convicted of a disqualifying crime, moving out of state, voluntarily giving up the license, dying, or becoming subject to the law’s restrictions on the mentally ill or being drug or alcohol dependent.
There were no license revocations reported in Van Wert, Allen, Mercer, Paulding or Putnam counties. One concealed carry license was revoked in Putnam County.
License suspensions were up across Ohio from 1,030 in 2012 to 1,154 last year. Sheriffs may immediately suspend a concealed carry license when notified that the licensee has been arrested or charged with certain offenses or is the subject of a protection order. If found not guilty or if the charges are dismissed, the license may be returned.
There were two license suspension in Van Wert County in 2013, five in Allen County, four in Mercer County, and one each in Putnam and Paulding counties.
A total of 1,142 applications for concealed carry licenses were denied across Ohio. Four of those were in Van Wert County, nine were in Allen County, eight were in Mercer County, three were in Putnam County and two from Paulding County.