Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) has released the concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the first quarter of 2012. Building on the record setting fourth quarter of 2011, the first quarter of 2012 saw Ohio sheriffs issue 16,823 new licenses, a new record for the first quarter initial licenses issued. The two quarters combined for the highest two quarter combination since the first two quarters of 2009, which followed Governor Strickland's signing of Castle Doctrine and enormous improvements of Ohio gun laws and the election of Barack Obama.
This period's 27% increase over the prior year is the second quarter with double digit increases. This directly follows SB17 taking effect. Governor Kasich signed the important legislation improving restaurant and car carry rules last year. As we have seen many times in Ohio, when the law is improved, the demand for training and licenses increases.
At the end of the March, we set another all-time record of approximately 282,907 Ohio residents licensed to carry concealed firearms. The total of persons with Ohio concealed handgun licenses continues to climb above the quarter of a million mark set in the third quarter of last year and will likely approach 300,000 by the end of this year. (See chart)