More Ohioans are carrying concealed weapons.
According to Attorney General Mike Dewine, Ohio sheriffs set a new record for concealed handgun licenses in the fourth quarter of 2011 with 12,000 issued. Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said he saw an increase in our area as well, from 68 in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 82 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
"If I had to guess, I would associate it with the economy and the fact that it’s still down," said Lutz. "You could argue that we’ve seen three robberies in Zanesville, and we had one in Duncan Falls, so in desperate times, I always say people will do desperate things."
Lutz said people probably feel safer having a concealed handgun license. Despite evolving technology, he said the protocol for obtaining a permit hasn’t changed much over the years.
"There’s an application to fill out, and you go through the class, pass a background check and make sure you have nothing on your criminal record that would keep you from getting it," said Lutz.
By the end of 2011, over 265,000 Ohio residents were licensed to carry concealed handguns.