The number of Ohio residents issued concealed carry licenses decreased from 2016 to 2017, despite new legislation that expands the list of acceptable places licensees are permitted to carry their weapons.
More than 131,000 residents were issued concealed carry licenses last year. This number includes 77,281 new permits issued and 54,064 permit renewals, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The total amount of permits issued in 2017 was down 34 percent compared to 2016, which saw a record high at 158,000.
Over the past few years, Ohio Republicans have expanded the number of places where CCW license holders can bring firearms. One new law, SB 199, took effect in March 2017, allowing license holders to bring firearms into day care facilities, non-secure areas of airports and private planes. The law also prohibits employers from mandating employees can’t store their guns in their cars while at work.
Additionally, the legislation allows Ohio colleges themselves to authorize people or groups to carry weapons on their campuses. Few schools have approved such policies, though.
Ohio law requires CCW applicants to be 21 years or older and to complete an eight-hour course to carry concealed weapons.
Currently, Ohio has almost two dozen gun-related bills pending in the legislature, including one that would eliminate the need for a CCW license for anyone who can legally buy a gun. Another would allow CCW permit holders to bring firearms into the Statehouse, in courthouses and government buildings.
HB 142, which passed the House and now sits in the Senate, would loosen requirements for CCW permit holders to tell police that they have a weapon. That bill is opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio.