Report: Fewer new concealed-carry licenses issued in 2019

March 4, 2020 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The number of concealed carry licenses issued in Ohio last year reached the lowest count in nearly a decade.

Ohio sheriffs issued more than 54,400 new licenses to carry concealed handguns in 2019, down 22% from the year before, according to the annual report issued Monday by the attorney general’s office.

A total of 1,310 requests for concealed-carry licenses were denied in 2019 for failing to meet eligibility requirements for a regular or temporary emergency license.

The decrease in licenses issued and increase in denials follows a deadly year for the state after a masked gunman fired off dozens of shots at a nightclub district in Dayton, killing nine people and leaving 27 injured.

In order to obtain a concealed-carry license in the state, an applicant must complete eight hours of training by a certified instructor, including two hours of range time and live-fire training, and passage of a criminal-background check.

Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to allow law-abiding adults to carry handguns without training or a permit, but the bill has stalled in committee.

Gov. Mike DeWine’ gun-violence proposals have also not been embraced by legislative Republicans.