OH sees surge in CCW permits as women arm themselves

OH sees surge in CCW permits as women arm themselves

NORTHEAST OHIO (WOIO) - Imagine you're at the mall, shopping and minding your own business when you are held up. It's happened here in northeast Ohio, a woman robbed at gunpoint.

The constant negative headlines are enough to make everyday citizens want a piece of peace, a sense of protection.

That's why women-only CCW classes are on the rise. Women are feeling afraid and want to put their safety in their own hands.

GunIQ LLC teaches an eight-hour course in Broadview Heights. Stonewall Range owner Gary Walters has seen such a surge, he's started a class solely for women to get CCWs.

Since the third quarter of 2014 through 2015, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says there's been a surge in Conceal Carry Permits.

There is no data of the gender demographics for who is obtaining the CCWs, but here are the numbers that show permits increased by more than 4,000:

State of Ohio 2015 Third Quarter Totals Regular Licenses Temporary Emergency Licenses
Number of Licenses Issued 16000 10
Number of Licenses Renewed  10129 n/a
Number of Licenses Suspended 334 0
Number of Licenses Revoked 95 0
Number of Licenses Denied 280 0
Number of License Processes Suspended 17 n/a
State of Ohio 2014 Third Quarter Totals Regular Licenses Temporary Emergency Licenses
Number of Licenses Issued 11945 15
Number of Licenses Renewed 11159 n/a
Number of Licenses Suspended 338 0
Number of Licenses Revoked 107 0
Number of Licenses Denied 179 0
Number of License Processes Suspended 4 n/a

So far, Walters says out of the 150 women who have taken his course, none have had to use their weapon in self-defense.

"Thankfully, not yet. I am not in the hurry for that day to come," said Walters.

The CCW class for women only can cost between $90 and $95.

According to GunIQ, this is how you obtain your CCW:

1.  Go to the Ohio Attorney General's page to review the things that may disqualify you from obtaining a concealed handgun license. Once there, pull and read the application. You'll know if you might have a problem by reading the application. GunIQ provides a list of useful links relating to CCW, including the AG's page that has the application (page 29). The vast majority of people will qualify for the CCW license. If you think you may not, Gun IQ suggests contacting a lawyer who will help you rehabilitate your eligibility. For example, some disqualifying criminal charges may be expunged.

2.   Schedule your CCW training with an NRA or an OPOTA instructor. A few people may be exempted from the training. The AG's booklet mentioned in #1 above will list those who don't have to take the course. If you would like to see a list of those offering CCW training in your county, go to Buckeye Firearms.

The training will generally consist of the following, with the first four bullet points required:

- Six hours of classroom training.
- Two hours of range training.
- A written evaluation (test).
- A display of firearms competency (on the range).
- The best courses will review the law with you, including transporting firearms, self-defense law, Castle Doctrine, forbidden carry zones, law enforcement officer stop requirements and more.

The training should be focused on improving your marksmanship and safety skills, in addition to meeting Ohio's minimum CCW standards. The training should offer a lot of hands-on training, even during the classroom portion. Gun IQ offers the CCW course, along with other firearms courses. At the end of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Training and Competency signed by an NRA or OPOTA instructor.

3.  Make an appointment with your sheriff to schedule your visit to obtain the license. It's recommended to make this appointment as soon as you've decided to get the license. Make sure to make the appointment for a date after your training class. Some counties have walk-in appointments. Some require you to make an appointment online. Here are links to pages for northeast Ohio sheriff's departments.

4.  Fill out the Ohio application. You can get help during the class or by phone if you have any questions.

5.  Take the following to your appointment with the sheriff, which is generally handled by a clerk:

- Current application.
- Original training certificate and one photo copy of that certificate. They'll look at the original and keep the copy. (This comes from your training class.)
- Driver's license or state of Ohio issued identification card.
- Current "Ohio's Concealed Carry Law" book, which can be provided by GunIQ. It's the booklet in front of the application online
- One color "passport-sized" photo, which is 2" x 2", that was taken within the last 30 days. This will not be the photo on the license. Many sheriff's departments take their own photos. 
- Fees vary based on facts. For example, if you have lived in Ohio for at least five years, the license application is $67. Less than five years, it's $91.
- Make sure you check the sheriff's website to see how the payment must be made. Some counties take all forms of payment, while some, like Cuyahoga, require a money order or bank check.

Then you can sit back for a short wait. Some counties get back to you immediately, while others take days or weeks. However, by law, everyone must get back to you within 45 days.

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