FRANKLIN CO., OH (WCMH) – The number of people getting their concealed carry permits is on the rise in Franklin County.
The Sheriff’s Office said they’re on track for a record year, estimating to issue about 13,000 concealed handgun licenses (renewals and new applications) by the end of 2018.
Major Steven Tucker said they don’t track data on why people get their concealed carry permits, but he said they’ve noticed an increase in applications after a national discussion on gun control.
“We see an average of about 65 people come through the door per day to get their permit,” said Major Tucker.
He said they’ve already had to extend their office hours to accommodate the number of people wanting to get their concealed handgun license. Major Tucker oversees a staff of about 6-7 deputies, who handle the renewals and new applications.
In 2015 the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office issued 7,795 licenses. In 2016 there were 10,204. Last year, the total was 9,629.
“When you look at the incidents themselves, like Aurora and Charleston and Ft. Lauderdale, the incidents themselves don’t usually drive an increase,” said Major Tucker. “Any time that discussion turns to gun control there is that immediate response and we start to see those applications start to come in.”
He said after the Aurora movie theater shooting there was an increase of about 125 permits issued, whereas after Parkland there was an increase of more than 400. During a presidential election year is also when they tend to see a rise in applications.
Owner of L.E.P.D. Firearms Range and Training Facility Eric Delbert said they’ve seen an increase of people signing up for concealed carry classes and more advance training.
“Safe, responsible ownership of firearms is what we preach and so for us to see more people signing up for classes is a great thing,” he said. “When the topic of firearms ownership becomes elevated in our society we tend to see more people who may have been on the fence over the years take that extra step and take the training to get their CHL license.”
One of their most recent students is Neal Lauron.
“The social issues that are going on, the mood of the country and everything I just thought this is a good time and I’m mentally ready for this,” he said. “That’s my right to do this and I’m being responsible about it.”
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office also recently expanded their concealed handgun licensing hours to accommodate renewals and a steady increase in new license applications.