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Ohio's Attorney General reports that more than 16,000 new concealed carry licenses were issued within the first quarter of 2014.
These numbers are down by almost half from the 31,400 new permits issued within the first quarter of 2013. On the other hand, renewals are up significantly in Muskingum county.
"Sometimes i think people feel safer. Obviously they feel safer having weapons around them. A lot of people were raised with weapons. They do a lot of hunting in this area. We're a well known hunting community. And we're the 5th largest community square miles in the state," said Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz. "So i think that's one of the philosophies that they feel safer and feel comfortable around weapons and wanted to get that CC permit so if they do want to carry it they have the right to carry it."
Within Muskingum county last year there were 166 new licenses issued within the first quarter.This year we've only had 118. Sheriff Lutz said part of the increase in conceal-carry permits last year could be attributed to politics.
"Some people are afraid that people are going to try to take our guns from us. And there's a lot of concern about that. Even though we haven't heard anything about that lately, as far as losing the weapons or anything, there's a lot of people out there that stay up on that stuff, and they want to make sure that our politicians are not trying to take their guns," stated Sheriff Lutz.
Last year more than 145,000 concealed carry licenses were issued in Ohio. The largest number issued since licensing began in the state in 2004.