YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The mass shootings in Orlando happened 865 miles away, but it’s putting people in the Valley on high alert. Some say they plan to apply for a concealed carry permit as an added precaution.
“I’m afraid it’s going to happen again, and we have to be ready,” said Jim Eidel of Beaver Township.
Eidel has two grandchildren and said he never thought he would have to explain to them the terror that the nation has faced.
“I remember when I was a kid 40 years ago, nothing like this would ever be… happening in this country,” Eidel said.
He said being alert and armed is his way of solving the problem, that’s why he is ready to get his concealed carry permit. He’ll be heading over to Miller Rod and Gun to purchase his firearm.
Mike Miller, of Miller Rod and Gun, said banning weapons won’t solve the problem of gun violence in the United States.
“Heroin is illegal, yet we have an epidemic. Make these illegal, and we are still going to have a problem. We need to find the problem’s source,” he said.
Miller said anyone can purchase a firearm, but they have to first go through a background check. Denials for purchasing a gun can vary — from domestic violence convictions to outstanding warrants. The information isn’t given to Ohio stores, only the customers.
You have to be 18 years old to buy a long gun and 21 for a handgun.
To get a concealed carry permit, you need to take an eight-hour training course. Once you complete the class and get a certification, you can head down to your local sheriff’s office to get an application.
Last year, a total of 2,610 CCW permits were issued by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office. So far this year, there have been 1,848 permits issued.
Major Jeff Allen, of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, said there are restrictions for concealed carry permits as well.
“Any narcotic offenses, any crimes of violence, misdemeanor-wise would be domestic violence and any felony on your record would make it so you couldn’t hold a gun permit,” he said.
Ohio recently passed a law in which no additional background checks are required for people purchasing guns if they already have a valid CCW permit.
The cost of getting a CCW permit is about $67, but if you haven’t lived in Ohio for more than four years it costs $91.You can find more information on concealed carry in Ohio, as well as available CCW instructors, on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Allen said he believes the CCW application process is extensive.
“We want to make sure they are trained, we want to make sure they don’t have any offenses that disqualify them. We are pretty thorough on our background investigations,” Allen said.
Meanwhile, some representatives are working on legislation to further restrict gun sales, citing that the laws aren’t strict enough to keep the guns out of criminals’ hands.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced Monday that he is introducing legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of those who commit criminal acts based on hate.
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act would prohibit the purchase, possession or shipment of a firearm by anyone convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime or who received a hate crime sentence enhancement, and prohibit the sale of firearms to anyone reasonably suspected to be guilty of a misdemeanor hate crime.
Casey also called for other actions to prevent gun violence, including a ban on military-style weapons, limits on clips and magazine sizes, a ban on those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms and universal background checks.