New concealed carry gun permits issued between July and September were up nearly 60 percent this year from the same period in 2015.
Permits were up 18 percent in Cuyahoga County, 19 percent in Lorain County, 54 percent in Lake County, 43 percent in Geauga County, 11 percent in Medina County and more than 63 percent in Summit County when compared to the same period last year.
CCW instructors like Todd Karam, owner of the Cleveland Armory, told News 5 it’s because of safety concerns and reduced restrictions.
“Many of the people who sign up for my class, they’re watching the news and they’re hearing what happening not only here but across the country,” Karam said, pointing to news about violence. “More and more people are becoming paranoid that something might happen to them.”
In a statement, the Buckeye Firearms Association pointed to similar concerns.
It is always difficult to assign specific reasons for behavior. Certainly multiple high profile terrorist attacks internationally, and at home have contributed to people taking an interest in their own safety. Many people thought the terror would end following Ramadan, then the election, but it is clear that terror is something we will have to deal with in our country going forward.
Karam also pointed to a Ohio law that went into effect last year that reduced the number of required training hours from 12 to 8 hours.
“It was pretty painful to sit 12 hours, now it’s a little more easily accessible so there’s motivation to do it,” he said.
The 2016 yearly total is on track to surpass the previous record of 96,972 new licenses set in 2013.