CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Covid-19 pandemic is taking its toll on the state mandated re-registration of concealed carry permits, and on people trying to apply for the first time for a permit.
Local sheriff departments are reporting that revenue loss is making it difficult to schedule enough deputies to handle the large amount of re-registrations and applications.
“Staffing is being cut because the counties don’t have sufficient revenue to pay for services coming in,” said Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno.
Lake County currently is scheduling appointments out 90 days for concealed carry permits and for those who need to re-register.
“We had 600 some open appointments and they were filled within 24 hours,” Leonbruno said.
Officials at the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department said they are booked through January of 2021.
Sheriff Leonbruno said the state of Ohio has already extended the deadline for re-registering for 90 days, and he hopes the state will extend the deadline again.
Leonbruno says gun store owners tell him they have been busier than ever, and that they are running low on some product lines.
“A lot of people have panicked over what they have witnessed at least in the major cities in terms of rioting and the escalation of violence,” he said.
The mask mandate, that is growing around the state, will not have a negative effect on those wanting to apply for permits.
Wearing a mask has no bearing on a valid conceal carry permit.
“There’s a lot of people wearing masks out there that don’t register their weapons, and those are the ones to be concerned about,” Leonbruno said.
Thousands of Ohioans need to re-apply for their permits and will soon find they may not be able to even make an appointment before their current permit expires.