DARKE COUNTY —More and more women seem to be seeking their Carrying Conceal Weapon (CCW) permit, most assuredly for the primary purpose of protecting themselves and others dear to them.
“The ability to carry the firearm on the body everywhere we go throughout the day is necessary to have the capability if, heaven forbid, the need arises,” said a spokesperson. “There are many things that must be considered and some challenges that need to be solved to effectively, comfortably and safely carry a gun concealed.”
The debate around allowing concealed handguns on college campuses is ever present, according to one website.
“But whether you agree or disagree on this debate, young women represent the largest growing demographic of gun owners who are trained and licensed to carry a concealed gun,” said a spokesperson. “Young women are looking for ways to protect themselves and conceal their gun or mace on campuses and in public places.”
Laura Francis of the Greenville area and graduate of Ansonia High School, recently attended a CCW class.
“Basically, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I never did the course until recently,” Francis said. “When all my family members did the course awhile back, I wasn’t old enough. However, it was still something I knew I wanted to do. I actually bought raffle tickets at the Annie Oakley Festival for two free CCW courses. I bought a lot of tickets because 100 percent of the proceeds went to the Annie Oakley Festival. I knew even if I didn’t win the raffle, the money was going somewhere good. I have completed my course, but I haven’t actually obtained my license to carry through the sheriff’s department. I am hoping to do that soon though because I just got a hand gun that I plan to carry when I get my license.”
Another local woman, Gina Ferguson, had this to say: “I want to get my concealed carry for protection. With my disability I am unable to physically defend myself if ever put in the situation needed. I travel a lot with my children and this is a way that I have that protection if needed to protect my children and myself. I travel to most of my doctor appointments alone in the Dayton area.”
Korey Cocking of Brookville, an instructor and a counselor who trains instructors said she has seen a rise in women setting out to acquire their CCWs the last two years.
“It’s a pretty significant increase of women who want to have guns in their homes due to the home invasions and the women who are deciding whether or not they want to carry in public or not,” she said.
She said Ohio law requires an eight-hour course; six hours in class and two hours on the range.
“I exceed that to 10 hours,” she said. “I go into depth on legal aspects and into the mindset to make sure it’s covered. We go over whether we are liable and the moral, ethical and physical aspects.”
She said is the leader of the Armed Lady’s Dayton chapter.
“It’s a ladies-only organization,” Cocking said. “I focus on the second amendment and self-defense. Women tend to do better when around women. My focus revolves around educating and trianing women. Those wanting more information may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Mike Lewis, who stopped teaching CCW classes last summer locally as the NRA went to an online format, said he has seen a rise in the number of women taking the class.
“During the last few years I would estimate that one-fourth to one-third of the students in any given class were women,” he said. “There were probably close to 100 women have been through my class. Back in 2008 and 2009, there were fewer ladies in the classes.”
He believes women’s reasoning for taking the class is the same as the men’s…”security and the ability to protect themselves and their families.”
Lewis explained, “In Ohio, the classes are required to obtain a CCW permit, and the laws are the same for men and women. The training requirements were, and I believe still are, six hours classroom and two hours at the range for live-fire training. Generally, the student provides his/her own gun. There are some instructors who furnish them.”
When asked his advice for selecting a gun, he responded, “My advice is the same for men and women. Find a gun that fits their hand. Be sure they can operate it (their finger can reach and pull the trigger, they can actuate the slide if its a semi-auto, etc.). Don’t buy a gun just because they like the way it looks. For any new shooters I suggest they consider a revolver due to the ease of operation and reliability.”
Where are women concealing these weapons?
Lewis said, in recent years, several manufactures have started to produce holsters that “target” the female market.
“There are now bra holsters, holsters to be worn under a skirt and I have seen some waist holsters designed specifically for women,” he said.
Lewis, who began teaching the CCW class in 2008, has been a police officer for 41 years, retiring from Trotwood Police Department in 2002 and had worked for the Village of New Madison until the department disbanded on December 31.
The state, Lewis said, publishes a law booklet which is free and available at a number of locations such as the lobby at the sheriff’s office or by mail. Anyone who has a CCW permit should check for new editions of this booklet. Lewis also suggested that they go on-line periodically and check the Ohio Revised Code for revisions to Section 2923.126 “Duties of Licensed Individual.”
Like everything else, rules and laws keep changing, and so there are changes to the CCW law in Ohio.
Buckeye Firearms Association recently announced that changes made to Ohio law via the recently-passed Senate Bill 199 will take effect on March 21.
The changes and improvements made to Ohio law for gun owners include the following:
• Prohibit a business entity, property owner, or public or private employer from banning a person who has been issued a valid CHL from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when the items are locked in a person’s privately-owned motor vehicle on company property.
• Allow CHL-holders to keep their handgun locked in a motor vehicle on school premises.
• Allow colleges and government bodies to decide for themselves if concealed-carry should be allowed.
• Allow CHL-holders to carry on private aircraft, in the non-secure area of airports and in day-care centers (unless the day care posts a “no-guns” sign).
•Allow active military members who have the same or greater training than that required to obtain a concealed handgun license (CHL) to carry a concealed firearm as a license-holder to carry without a license.
• Allows the sale of firearms to active duty military members without regard to their age. Current law prohibits those under 21 from purchasing a handgun.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.