Growing number of northeast Ohio gun owners seek concealed carry permits

Sheriff's departments swamped with applicants

CLEVELAND - According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the number of gun owners seeking a concealed carry permit is growing.

As of December 2012, more than 310,000 Ohio residents had been issued a CCW permit and that number is expected to climb at a higher rate in 2013.

Concealed carry classes in northeast Ohio are seeing an expanding number of students. Kim Rodecker, owner of Concealed Carry Courses LLC in Cleveland reported a 150 percent increase in the number of students taking his class.

"I think more and more Ohio gun owners are concerned about potential changes in federal gun laws," Rodecker said. "People are worried they might not be able to get their CCW permit in the next several months."

Ronald Pace is one of Rodecker's CCW students, a 20-year gun owner who is taking action because of the ongoing debate over gun laws on Capitol Hill.

"One of the things was the fear that I may lose this opportunity," Pace said. "That's why I need to take it now."

The number of CCW permit applicants have grown to such an extent it forced the Lake County Sheriff''s Department to take action.

More than 100 applicants flooded the Lake County CCW office last week, causing Sheriff Daniel Dunlap to limit the number applicants that can be processed per day.

Dunlap issued a statement of on the Lake County Sheriff's Department's website .

"In the past few weeks the CCW Office has exceeded its capacity to handle the number of CCW applicants and renewals, said Sheriff Dunlap. "Today we had to stop taking applicants by 1:30 pm due to an overwhelming number beyond our capacity."

"The number of applicants will be closed at 60 each day, and those applicants arriving after that closing will have to return the next day for processing."

"We apologize for the inconvenience, but the present numbers we are experiencing are exceeding our ability to process them in a single day."

Meanwhile, Rodecker reported a rush on CCW permits in Cuyahoga County.

"It could take you more than 45 days to get your permit," Rodecker said. "They only have two people processing permits at the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department."

Those seeking a CCW permit must meet the following requirements:

- You must be at least 21 years of age.
- You must be an Ohio resident for at least 45 days.
- You must be a resident of your home county for at least 30 days.

All applicants are required to pass at least 10 hours of classroom instruction from a certified instructor, complete two hours on a shooting range and obtain a certificate of completion. Applicants must read the Attorney General's pamphlet on Ohio's concealed carry laws and fill out the application.

Most county sheriffs will not accept walk-ins. Call and make an appointment when submitting your CCW application.

You must bring a 2-by-2-inch passport-sized color photo of yourself that has been taken in the past 30 days to your sheriff's department. You can submit your application to the sheriff in your county of residence or any bordering county.

According to the Buckeye Firearms Association , here is what you'll need when you apply:

- Present your completed application, Certificate of Competency, and passport-sized color photo.
- Present a valid photo I.D., such as your driver's license.
- Pass a criminal background check and mental competency check.
- Submit to having your fingerprints electronically scanned or inked and rolled onto a card.
- Attest that you have read the Attorney General's pamphlet on Ohio's concealed carry laws.
- Pay a non-refundable fee by cash, money order, or certified check made payable to your sheriff's office.

The fee is $67 if you have been an Ohio resident for more than five years and $91.00 if less than five years.

WEB EXTRA: Interactive guide showing stats about the most popular handguns: http://on.wews.com/ZbkSpY

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