Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the fourth quarter of 2009 and the year-end report.

The fourth quarter has generally been a strong quarter for licenses issued, and 2009 was no exception. The demand for licenses to carry concealed handguns remained strong through the entire year. During the final quarter, Ohio sheriffs issued 10,687 CHL’s, 15 temporary emergency licenses (TEL’s) and processed another 3,112 renewals.

For the year 2009, there were 56,691 regular licenses issued, shattering the old record of 45,497 in 2004, the first year that CHL’s were issued. There were an additional 16,443 licenses renewed during the year for a total of 73,134 CHL’s handed out during the year.

At year-end there were approximately 178,240 Ohioans licensed to carry concealed, and millions of out-of-state residents who may carry here on other state-issued licenses.

The breakdown of licenses issued annually since Ohio’s concealed carry law went into effect in April 2004 is:

— 2004: 45,497
— 2005: 22,487
— 2006: 18,781
— 2007: 22,103
— 2008: 33,864
— 2009: 56,691

“People who carry concealed weapons are not some small fringe group,” said Jim Irvine, Chairman of Buckeye Firearms Association. “We are becoming more mainstream every day.”

Gun owners and concealed carry license holders are growing in numbers and becoming more active.
When a state passes a “shall issue” law, it is normal to see an initial surge, then a steady decline over the first three years. Ohio had this exact pattern until recently.

Those opposed to concealed carry claimed it was because few people wanted a license and the number of licenses issued would decrease. However, after a historic override of then-Governor Taft’s veto of concealed carry reform laws and improvements signed into law by Governor Strickland, Ohio saw renewed interest in concealed handgun licenses.

According to Irvine, “This isn’t surprising. Many people avoided getting a license because the laws put up too many unnecessary hurdles. With the improvements to the law, more people are choosing to carry a concealed handgun. And after almost six years of concealed carry being legal in Ohio, we’re seeing that the program works well.”

Source: The Shooting Wire,

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Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics…