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Ohio: Concealed carry a success in county

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Unread 06.04.12, 12:11 PM
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Ohio: Concealed carry a success in county

Posted: 06.03.12 04:00 PM



A gun is shown beneath a vest in this January photo. Ohio passed a concealed carry law in 2004 and, at least in Crawford County, law enforcement officials consider it a success. / AP


Written by

Henry S. Conte



BUCYRUS -- The concealed carry law in Ohio passed in 2004. Eight years later, more than 250,000 Ohioans have permits to carry a loaded weapon in public.
"I can see both sides of the issue," Bucyrus Police Chief Ken Teets said. "We have had very few complaints regarding those with permits. For the most part I would call it a success."
When the law first passed, Teets and Crawford County Sheriff Ron Shawber were outspoken, one against the law, and one for it.
"I was concerned people with no valid reason for having the permit would carry guns with them all the time," Teets said. "As it turns out, that concern was without basis. We have had almost no trouble in law enforcement. Really, I didn't see that we could say no to people that were just business owners trying to protect their stores."
Shawber, who will retire this year, supported the measure.
"It was a better way to make sure the legislation had in it what we wanted," Shawber said. "How can we be opposed to John Q. Citizen who wants to have a gun to protect his home?
"If he or she can meet all the requirements, how can we say we don't trust them?"
Jim Jury, a former lieutenant with the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, teaches classes in Bucyrus at the Pelican Coffee House and at his own shooting range in Wyandot County. Jury has offered training since 1979 and is certified through the National Rifle Association and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.
"The state has criteria that you must instruct. You can add to that if you'd like," said Jury, who retired from law enforcement in 2001. "The class has to be 12 hours. Really, you teach people the law and all that it entails.
"They have to know gun safety and know the nomenclature and how to handle it. There is also two hours of range time, because you have to know how to use it and how the gun functions."
His course is open to all.
"I have seen a rise in the amount of people taking the course," Jury said. "Last year was a big year for me personally, and this year has been about the same."
There are no trends when it comes to how many concealed carry permits are issued each year in Crawford County.
In 2007, 66 people were granted permits.
The next year, 267 received them. In 2009 it was 195, 221 in 2010 and 177 in 2011. Since 2007, 926 permits have been issued in Crawford County.
In 2004, the first year concealed carry statistics were kept, 196 permits were issued in Crawford County. In the next two year, only 76 permits were issued. In the first quarter of 2012, 30 licenses have been issued.
No permits in the county have been revoked, Shawber said, though several have been suspended.
Statewide, 296,588 permits were issued from 2004 through 2011, and 1,435 have been revoked. That is just 0.4 percent.
Counties with similar numbers of permits as Crawford (926) since 2007 include: Morrow (1,160), Marion (1,209), Morgan (765), Pike (953) and Pickaway (1,141). Only Crawford and Pike County had no revocations of permits. Marion County was the leader with five permits revoked.
"Sometimes what happens is that there is a domestic violence charge, and their permit has to be suspended because it is a violent crime," Shawber said. "Whether or not they were even planning on using the gun doesn't matter."
If the domestic violence charge turns into a felony, the permit would then be revoked.
"I still contend that the criminal element that has guns and carries them are going to do it whether a permit makes it legal or not," Teets said.

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hconte@nncogannett.com
419-563-9225
Twitter:@henrysconte


Source: http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/in...in-county.aspx
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