|Concealed carry licenses in Van Wert County continue to increase|
|Friday, August 23, 2013 12:00 AM|
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
VAN WERT —The number of people obtaining concealed carry licenses in Van Wert County continued to increase during April, May and June this year. According to second-quarter concealed carry statistics for the state of Ohio released by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, 152 conceal carry licenses were issued through the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office with another 56 licenses renewed. This shows a major upswing is continuing. In the second quarter of 2012, only 89 new licenses were issued and only 8 were renewed.
Far more licenses were issued in Van Wert County through the first six months of 2013 than in all of 2012.
Through June 30, 2013, 271 licenses in the county were issued and another 70 were renewed. In all 12 months of 2012, the county issued 189 concealed carry licenses while renewing another 29.
“More people are taking advantage of their right to obtain a concealed carry,” said Van Wert County Sheriff Tom Riggenbach. “As more people become educated and learn their constitutional and state rights, they are choosing to own and carry a firearm.”
The trend of increased concealed carry permits also carries over to the statewide numbers. The number of new concealed carry licenses issued jumped from 31,407 in the first quarter of 2013 to 48,032 in the second quarter of 2013.
New licenses accounted for 32,074 of the total 48,032 licenses in the second quarter of 2013, marking 15,958 licenses as renewals. These numbers increased from the first-quarter totals of 31,407 new licenses and 6,354 renewed licenses.
These numbers, accounting for all license changes from April 1 through June 30, are compiled by the Attorney General’s Office as required by law and totalled into an annual report concerning the number of licenses issued each year. Each sheriff throughout the state must report concealed handgun license statistics quarterly to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office which are then published online.
In the first six months of 2013, 63,481 new licenses were issued; and in 2012, a total of 64,650 new licenses were issued during the entire year. With the exception of 2012, the 63,481 new licenses issued in the first six months of 2013 were more than in any single calendar year since concealed carry permits began being issued in 2004, but 2013 totals after the first six months are already nearing yearly totals for 2012.
However, not everyone applying for a concealed carry license is able to obtain or keep it. Across Ohio during the first half of 2013, 568 licenses were suspended, 145 were revoked, and 711 were denied.
In Van Wert County so far this year, there have been only four denials for a license. There were only two denials by the county in 2012. Riggenbach reported that a person can be denied a license due to criminal convictions, disqualifications for mental health and age restrictions.
Background checks are required to obtain a concealed carry license which requires address information, contact from the local sheriff’s department to courts and law enforcement within areas of extended stays, a criminal history check and finger printing. While this process can be pretty intense, these measures are in place to maintain safety within a community.