COLUMBUS – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the Concealed Handgun License (CHL) statistics for the first quarter of 2016. It was another record setting year. There are now over a half-million valid Ohio CHLs and Ohio honors an estimated 12,300,000 more from other states.
Stats at a glance:
- For the first time, there are over 500,000 active Ohio CHLs. That represents over 4% of Ohio residents authorized to carry concealed.
- 36,118 is the most initial CHLs ever issued in a quarter.
- This is a 132 percent increase over the same period the prior year.
- 47,360 total licenses issued is second only to 48,032 in Q2 of 2013.
- 11,242 renewals represents an approximate 70% renewal rate, slightly below average.
- There are 6 percent more active CHLs than there were 3 months ago.
- There are 16 percent more active CHLs than there were 1 year ago.
- Sheriffs issued over 21 CHLs per hour.
- Sheriffs issued over 721 CHLs per week, more than double historical average.
- The odds are 1 in 17 that any adult you see has a CHL.
- The revocation rate is about 0.4 percent.
None of this is surprising to Ohio concealed carry instructors who have been swamped with demand for their classes.
“Buckeye Firearms Association was widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours,” said Jim Irvine, President of BFA’s Board of Directors.
“The reason we supported the change was simple; we actually wanted more people to get training. Most people can’t concentrate for 12 hours. A slightly shorter class is easier to get through and can mean better training and longer retention. The numbers we’re seeing from the Attorney General’s office indicate that the new training requirements are less intimidating and the law is working as intended.”
Certainly the terrorist attacks in Paris, France and San Bernardino, California also contributed to people’s interest in being prepared and able to take care of themselves and their families. The terrorist attack at a nightclub in Orlando is likely to spur further demand, as will future attacks.
The two biggest reasons people with a CHL don’t carry their gun are Ohio’s burdensome laws on victim zones (places where a CHL is prohibited from carrying guns) and threat of termination from their employer.
HB 48, sponsored by Representative Ron Maag (R), and SB 180, sponsored by Senator Joe Uecker (R), would greatly improve these problem areas. Unfortunately the Ohio legislature has not moved either of these bills to Governor Kasich.
Demand continues to support a theory expressed by Professor Brian Anse Patrick, professor at the University of Toledo, that demand has not leveled off, but is increasing over time.
Concealed carry used to be thought of as an interest mainly of hardcore gun owners, but it has become increasingly popular with soccer moms and others who just want to be safe in their everyday lives. It is rapidly becoming mainstream.