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Ohio AG: Concealed handgun licensure fell sharply in wake of permitless carry law

Gun in a holter
Sue Ogrocki
Gun advocates attend a rally to mark the start of a new law that allows most adults in Oklahoma to carry a firearm in public without a background check or training, Nov. 1, 2019, in Oklahoma City.

A new report from the Ohio Attorney General's office shows a sizeable—yet unsurprising—drop in the number of concealed carry permits issued in the state.

Since June 13 of last year, Ohioans have been able to carry a concealed handgun without a permit under state law.

The AG's report shows more than 94,000 new concealed carry licenses were issued in Ohio in 2021. That number fell to just over 27,000 last year—a 71 percent decrease.

Similarly, license renewals fell 42 percent in the same time frame.

Ohio is one of nearly two dozen states to enact so-called "permitless" or "Constitutional" carry laws since 2010.

Ohio's permitting system, in place since 2004, remains in place under the new law. Attorney General Dave Yost said in the report that obtaining a permit, while now optional, remains beneficial to gun owners.

Those benefits include gun safety training, as well as reciprocity agreements, which allow gun owners to travel with weapons in other states that honor Ohio's concealed carry license.

Under Ohio law, county sheriffs are responsible for issuing concealed carry licenses and renewing them, as well as suspending and revoking licenses.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office compiles this annual report, as required by law, about the number of licenses issued each year.

To read the full report, click here.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.