The number of newly issued concealed-weapons licenses in Ohio is climbing at a record-breaking pace.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Gun-control advocates say less-restrictive laws in Ohio led to more than 1,600 weapons being used in crimes in three dozen other states last year.
Federal data released this week show that 1,601 guns legally bought in Ohio last year were linked to crimes such as robbery and murder in 36 other states.
Another 5,375 guns stayed in Ohio and were linked to crimes in 2012, according a story Friday in The Columbus Dispatch based on the data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The stats show Ohio also was a top contributor to gun-related crime in other states in 2011, with about 1,700 guns showing up in crimes in 38 other states.
Law enforcement and gun-control advocates say it's no surprise.
"People know they can come to Ohio, get a gun and take it someplace where there are tougher restrictions," Columbus Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said. "It happens at gun shows in the sticks and through underground schemes on city streets."
New York was the leader in imported Ohio guns being used in crimes last year with 183, according to the ATF stats. Michigan was next at 154, followed by Florida at 152.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says the state has too many loopholes for gun ownership that serve as a "beacon" for a gun-trafficking market. The law doesn't require background checks for all gun sales, and the state doesn't keep track of who buys them. Violent misdemeanors, such as domestic violence, don't disqualify someone from making a firearm purchase.
"When you make it easy to get a gun in a state, I mean, it's just common sense that people will go there to get a gun, especially in frequent and large amounts," said Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney for the law center.
But supporters of gun rights contend that there will always be criminals who break the laws, no matter how restrictive they are.
A group of black state lawmakers is joining community and faith leaders in Ohio to deliver petitions asking Gov. John Kasich and Republican legislative leaders not to enact a stand-your-ground gun law.
A gun group is offering free shotguns to residents in Florida, billing it as a way for people to protect themselves against crime.
Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military contractor and former Navy reservist, apparently managed to exploit seams in the nation's patchwork of complicated gun laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
A recent poll finds wide support among Ohio voters for new restrictions on buying guns at gun shows and online.
Sales of bulletproof panels for backpacks have more than doubled in the past year, according to the Cleveland company that manufactures the product.
Members of the state school board are ready to hear from some of Ohio's top law enforcers and policymakers about ways to improve school safety.
The National Rifle Association kicked off its annual convention Friday with a warning from its incoming president that its members are engaged in a "culture war" that stretches beyond gun rights.
Disappointment. Disgust. Grossly unfair. That's how some families who lost loved ones in the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school view the Senate's defeat this past week of the most far-reaching gun control bill.
One day after the demise of gun control legislation, Senate supporters of the measure vowed to try again, while a leading opponent accused President Barack Obama of taking the "low road" when he harshly criticized lawmakers who voted against key provisions.