OH Breaks Record On Concealed-Carry Gun Permits

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Ohio issued a record-breaking 158,000 concealed-carry gun permits last year, and 75 percent of them were for newly licensed individuals, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine said the perception that only “gun people” are getting concealed-carry licenses is changing. “It’s becoming more mainstream,” Irvine said. “It’s about safety, not just guns. Having a smoke detector isn’t about smoke detectors; it’s about safety. Wearing a seat belt is about safety. People are starting to see that, but with guns.”

Irvine acknowledged that the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency spiked interest in concealed-carry last year. At the same time, he said, continuing interest since the Nov. 8 election of President Donald Trump disproves the view that people would stop applying for permits. For Jennifer Thorne of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, the record-breaking number is a sign that many people who obtain concealed-carry permits have been scared into thinking they can leave their home only with a locked and loaded weapon. And that can lead to problems. “We know the predictors for gun violence are not necessarily things like mental illness,” she said. “It’s things like losing your temper, or having too much to drink, or using drugs that impair your judgement. The issue is that now people have guns with them all of the time.”

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