Concealed weapon permits soar

Beginning March 25, anyone wishing to apply for a concealed-carry permit will have to make an appointment with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Previously, the office has taken walk-ins from Clark County residents and those in contiguous counties.

The result has been an overwhelming number of people waiting in the East District office lobby, Sheriff Gene Kelly said.

“Right now we’re inundated. We are taking appointments every 30 minutes,” he said.

Concealed-carry weapons permits, or CCWs, have more than doubled for the first quarter of 2013. Since Jan. 1, 396 permits have been issued. In total, 919 permits were issued in Clark County last year, according to the sheriff’s office.

Those waiting for their permits Tuesday said there’s a number of reasons why more people want their CCW.

“We wanted to get it done before whatever could happen (with gun laws) does happen,” said Alan Arnold of New Carlisle.

Arnold came with his wife and three small children to get his permit. He said after news of school shootings in Chardon, Ohio, and Newtown, Conn., he wanted to get the permit so he can carry a weapon for protection.

“Even at home, you never know what is going to happen but if something were, at least I’ll be prepared to do something about it,” he said.

Laura Kaffenbarger said she also got her permit for protection after her home was burglarized.

“I feel like it’s something I should do. I feel safer going ahead and having it,” she said.

By requiring appointments, Kelly said he hopes his office can meet the demand for permits while lessening the wait time.

Those seeking a permit must complete the application, have a training certificate signed by an instructor, proof of residency and the $67 fee. A money order or bank cashier’s check must be used as payment. No cash, checks or credit cards are accepted.

To make an appointment or for information, call 937-521-2114 or visit clarkcountysheriff.com.

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