New concealed weapons licenses in Ohio on rise

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio could see a record-breaking number of new licenses for carrying a concealed weapon this year.

The state’s attorney general said county sheriffs issued more than 63,000 new licenses in the first half of the year. With the exception of last year, that six-month figure tops the yearly total of new licenses issued since they were first given out in 2004.

Attorney General Mike DeWine described the increase as “phenomenal,” but said he could only speculate on the reasons. He noted that more people are becoming familiar with the law.

New data released Thursday shows more than 48,000 new and renewed permits were issued from April through June. That data includes 389 new permits and 319 renewals in Mahoning County, 357 new permits and 124 renewals in Columbiana County, and 554 new permits and 435 renewals in Trumbull County.

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said he expanded the hours his staff is able to process CCW requests and it has meant added revenue for his department.

“This is able to be used for civil employees and actually pay for that process,” said Greene. “What we have seen in the last few months since we expanded our hours and with the increase, those funds have about doubled. We are at about a $100,000 a year clip.”

The 76,000 total licenses issued throughout 2012 marked the highest number reported in Ohio. More than 64,600 of those were new licenses.

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