Austintown gun dealer reports bump in concealed carry applicants

Applications for CCW permits have increased in Mahoning County this year.

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The operator of the Red Diamond’s Training Range in Austintown says his staff has seen a slight bump in people signing up for their eight-hour class to get certified for a concealed handgun carry license.

But he said it is too early to know if that is a reaction to the recent terror attacks in Paris or simply part of the growing desire for personal protection.

“The way the world is, people have little more fear for their personal safety, and better to be safe than sorry type scenario,” said owner Rick Baker.

Baker said many of his customers say they want a permit for their own personal protection, adding roughly 60 percent of those taking his classes are women.

He said obtaining a concealed carry license can take a couple of months, between scheduling to get into class, taking it, passing it and getting approval from a county sheriff’s department.

The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office says it has been processing an increased number of concealed carry permits in recent weeks, but Sheriff Jerry Greene said there is no way to tell what is causing the influx.

“I think it’s important to say that it’s early and, you know, time will tell,” he said. “Maybe in a couple months… maybe we can take another look at it.”

This week alone, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s staff has handled 48 CCW applications — 13 of them for renewed permits. But, they add, that number is not unusual.

Since 2013, applications have increased overall, especially for renewals. The sheriff credits that increase to offering processing Monday through Friday — while other counties may only be available a couple days week.

“We were a little bit slower in getting the licenses out, about three years ago, and really, that was something that kind of bothered me,” he said.

Graph represents the number of new concealed carry permits that have been issued as new and renewed over the past 3 years.

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