Geauga County swamped with gun permits

Posted at 8:13 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 20:13:05-04

"I'm amazed at how many applicants we get," said Deputy Chuck Bissler of Geauga County Sherriff's Office.

His office has been handling a surge in applications from people wanting to get their concealed carry permits.

“We're almost twice as many this year, as last year…so I mean, we're, we're extremely busy,” he said.

The office has had to extend hours just to try and accommodate the demand.

"It can almost be intimidating, but there here for a reason,” said Deputy Roger Loveland, Bissler’s partner in processing the permits at the Geauga County Sheriff's Office.

“Occasionally, if we have too many people here…we have to explain to people that we cannot take care of them," he continued.

So far, they've seen 687 applicants, up more than 400 from last year. And it's not just people who live there, but also people from the surrounding counties.

Part of the reason the Sheriff's office is so popular, is because they see folks on a first come first serve basis.

Unlike other counties where applicants must apply online first, then wait six to eight weeks to get an appointment.

"We've seen people from all walks of life," said Deputy Loveland.

“Everything from doctors, to teachers, to road department workers, to uh daycare center people," Bissler said.

Like Harold Strahan, for example. he’s a former military vet who wants to have all his ducks in a row before he shoots.

“You want to make sure you're following the law and obeying the rules."

In a week, he'll be ready for his permit, and said he prefers waiting in line to get it on the same day than to have to wait weeks in another county.

“If you stand in a line, you stand in a line, it's not like it's the end of the world," Strahan said.

Overall the state is seeing an increase in concealed carry permits.  The Attorney General's Office doesn’t know why there’s been such an increase and neither do the Deputies in Geauga County, but they expressed that they just don’t want the hustle of things to stop.