- By Laura A. Bischoff Columbus Bureau
More than 131,000 Ohioans got their licenses last year to carry concealed weapons — 77,281 new ones and 54,064 renewals, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The total licenses issued in 2017 was down 34.5 percent over the nearly 118,000 issued in 2016 and slightly below the five-year average.
Since Ohio’s concealed carry law first took effect in 2004, lawmakers have expanded where permit holders are allowed to carry their hidden firearms to include bars and restaurants, day care centers and college campuses if trustees permit it. Lawmakers also reduced CCW permit training hours from 12 to eight.
Legislators are considering several other measures to expand gun rights in Ohio at the same time they’re under pressure to take steps to prevent mass shootings.
Here is a look at new and renewed licenses in area counties in 2017: