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“Fewer concealed-carry permits were issued in Ohio and Richland County last year,” reports. “The state issued more than 47,000 new licenses in 2010, down 16 percent from the year before, according to data released Wednesday by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Ohio issued 14,000 renewals last year for a total of 61,000 licenses.” The stats for the last few years show a remarkable surge in concealed carry permit applications, triggered by liberalized concealed carry laws across the land. BUT the growth in CCW permit’s down to existing gun owners taking the show on the road. That’s a finite population. Only a certain number will apply. Many will drop out. To wit . . .

Almost a quarter-million Ohioans have obtained a permit to lawfully carry a handgun in public since 2004. However, the total number of active licenses is unknown, according to Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

“The numbers are not reported in such a way to have a (total) number of licenses that are in effect,” he said, referring to the statute that governs what data is maintained on licenses.”

So, 250k CCW permits over the last seven years in a state with a population of 11.5m, with a significant non-renewal rate (yielding 61k active licenses). Again, how many of those who have valid permits actually carry is a whole ‘nother story. For comparison, less than two percent of Texans carry concealed.

Unless the firearms industry reaches out to newbies, the CCW business will eventually plateau. Not soon, as new states come on line, but eventually.


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  1. Wow, Farago you amaze me! I have always appreciated the fact that you scan the globe to bring us the latest gunny news, but now you have outdone yourself.
    I can not believe even a search service would stumble upon an article in The Bucyrus Telegraph Forum. Bucyrus, Ohio with a population of less than 13,000, stuck in the middle of corn field. I know, I was born there. As a matter of fact I had a Telegraph Forum paper route as a kid… You keep digging, we’ll keep reading – THANKS!
    As for your trend, I think the Bucyrus reporter may have missed the mark. Below is the coverage of the same numbers from our friends at the Buckeye Firearms Association:
    There were 10,675 concealed handgun licenses (CHL’s) issued for the period of October through December 2010, essentially the same as the fourth quarters in 2008 and 2009. 2008 was the busiest 4th quarter on record with 10,688 new licenses issued. Holding at the same level for three straight years proves demand for CHL’s and safety are here to stay.
    During the fourth quarter of 2010, over 70% of the approximately 4,200 expiring licenses were renewed. The strong demand for new license pushed the year-end total over 217,000 Ohio citizens licensed to carry concealed handguns. The number of license holders has continued a steady climb since the inception of Ohio’s concealed carry law became effective in April 2004.

  2. You need to look at the number carrying a weapon WITHOUT a permit… I am sure there are more than you think – particularly in those states where getting a license is difficult to impossible.

    • Tim, there’s another side to that coin: People who have a permit but rarely carry. I’ve never seen any statistic on what percentage of permit-holders carry frequently (which I would define as “more than once a week”) and I would be highly skeptical of any poll that purported to show such statistics (because people, like nations, tend to be a little cagey about their security measures.)

      Nevertheless, I would be willing to bet money that more than 50% of CCW permit holders don’t carry on a regular basis. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rate of “regular carry” by CCW permitees who were not LEOs or employed in high-risk jobs (jewelers, money couriers, bodyguards, security consultants, etc) was less than 10%.

  3. One year, or even a couple of years, does not a trend make. There are a lot of reasons why permits can be up or down in a given year. The period tracked in this report coincides with the peak of unemployment in Ohio. When people are forced to choose between guns and the mortgage, they will usually choose the mortgage.

  4. not to mention that ohio has a shrinking populace. and many of the voters that leave rust belt states are republicans who move to Florida Arizona or the Carolina. by rep i mean gun owners, who are generally republican.

  5. I wonder if the high unemployment we are currently experiencing has an impact on this?

  6. Hmm… I wonder, if the states were ranked in terms of how hard it was to obtain a CCW permit, how the renewal rate would stack up, state to state. That is to say, if a state is relatively hard to obtain a permit in, if the renewal rate drops as persons decide that CCW is too hard / not for them / overblown / whatever. And if in states where it’s a cheap formality then do persons keep renewing the permit at a higher rate?

    But given a relatively low rate of daily carry by permit holders, I’m going to say that this isn’t shocking. Dare I say it, might this be a “hobby” effect? Look how many people decide to lose weight after the holidays–they get a gym pass, maybe some equipment, use it for a few months (or days), then the urge passes. Or they get a new bicycle, or into auto racing, or into rock wall climbing, or ham radio, or name-your-poison. Maybe these persons jump in with both feet, and find that the gun “hobby” just isn’t for them. Loud, expensive, hard… Many people try out hobbies over the years, and not everyone sticks to all the hobbies they try out.

    But is that a bad thing that so many try it, only to leave? [Of course, it’s a bit of a stretch to assume that all CCW lapsed persons are now anti-2nd admendment–they are perhaps just giving up the permit, not guns altogether.] Are persons who obtained a CCW permit, only to give it up, the “enemy” now? Traitors to the cause? I’d think they probably are all the more likely to be supportive of others who CCW on a regular basis.

  7. Maine has had a nice surge of applicants and people taking the course. People dont want to be a victim, plain and simple. I have instructed more women than men. With crime surges increasing, responsible people want to protect them selfs and their loved ones.

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