DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As the year comes to a close, we’re digging into the number of concealed carry permits issued in 2014 and the new laws that will make getting those permits easier next year.
Being able to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Ohio is keeping former police officers like Rick Wright busy.
“You can go back to the school shootings, you can go back 10 years or 20 years ago and the school shootings that have happened most recently the worst was sandy hook. You know, 20 little kids. People are scared,” said CCW Instructor Rick Wright.
Wright is a Concealed Carry Weapons Instructor who teaches courses, those applying for permits are required to go through. They learn about Ohio’s gun laws and weapon safety.
“We used to do one class a month and it’s full every month and now we do two classes a month.”
2 NEWS Investigates went through state numbers to find out how many people are applying for permits and taking classes.
Last year, Ohio issued more than 80 thousand permits, but we found 2014 numbers are stacking up to be quite a bit lower.
More than 44,000 Ohioans were issued a concealed carry license in the first three quarters of this year. Last year at the same time, 22,000 more people had applied.
The data shows the number of people renewing their license is steady.
But all those numbers could go up next year because Ohio is making it easier to get a license.
A bill that was signed this month reduces the number of training hours required to receive a concealed carry permit from 12 to 8, still requiring 2 hours of that to be hands on training.
The law will also recognize more out-of-state permits and gets rid of a rule requiring a person to live in Ohio for at least 45 days before applying.
Wright said while the mandatory training hours will change, he still recommends anyone carrying a gun to take on a little more.
“What I tell my class at the beginning of the class is, the worst thing you can do is get a gun and take this class and go out and consider yourself safe. You’ve got to have additional training to learn how to shoot the gun defensively,” said Wright.
The new conceal carry permits rules will go into effect in late March.