LAKE COUNTY -- Record numbers of people are applying for permits to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio.
In Northeast Ohio, the biggest rush is in Lake County, where 3,175 permits were issued and 71 were denied in 2012; compared to Cuyahoga County, where 2,052 licenses were issued and 39 denied in the same year.
Lake County Sheriff's Lieutenant Carl Dondorfer says the sheriff's office has had so many requests -- up to 100 applications a day -- that they've started booking appointments online.
"A lot of people come in and think they're still going to the permit, and aren't really aware of what prohibits them from having a permit," said Lt. Dondorfer.
County to county, the laws for licensure are uniform in Ohio, but applicants say the turnaround is known to be quicker in Lake County.
"I called Cuyahoga County. They have a long waiting list and never returned my call. Medina County is a month wait," said George Watson, who lives in Warrensville Heights in Cuyahoga County, but is applying for a CCW license in Lake County.
By law, applicants must apply in their county of residence or an adjacent county.
Requirements in Ohio for a CCW permit include:
- 21 years of age
- A certificate of completion for a 12-hour safety course (10 instructional, two firing a weapon)
- A background check
- An applicant can not be under indictment, charged or connected with any felony, drug charge, misdemeanor crime of violence, or abjudicated mentally incompetent
- Photo ID and finger prints submitted at application center
Mentor resident Bill Whalen is a first-time gun owner who recommends a gun safety course for anyone, regardless of whether the person is seeking a CCW permit.
"The law-abiding citizen is not going to abuse the power of a concealed carry weapon. It's the other ones that society is worried about, so that's what we brace ourselves with -- for those people," said Whalen.
For more information on requirements to obtain a CCW license in Ohio, click on the link on this page.