Why concealed handguns don't result in blood running in the streets

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Why concealed handguns don't result in blood running in the streets

Post  Joker13 on Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:36 am

The last state mandated report from the Ohio attorney general showed nearly 143,000 concealed handgun licenses had been issued in the Buckeye State since the program's inception in 2004. Considering the substantial increase for 2008 over the previous year, it is safe to assume that the number is over 150,000 by now.

When concealed carry was being considered, those opposed to such licensing claimed that it would lead to shootouts over soccer matches and fender benders, that CCW holders would be dropping their guns at the mall leading to accidental discharges, that cops would be killed during routine traffic stops and that violence in Ohio would skyrocket. Five years later, that still hasn't happened. So why haven't more guns led to more violence?

It starts at the beginning of the licensing process. Ohio doesn't hand out a concealed handgun license (CHL) to anyone who just wanders into a sheriff's office. First, you have to be over the age of 21 and attend 12 hours of training in firearms safety (taught by a certified instructor), 2 of which are live fire range time. At the end of the course, a written test on gun safety must be passed. You then fill out a lengthy application, obtain a recent color photograph, and take it to the sheriff of your county or an adjacent county along with a $55 application fee ($79 if you've been a resident of Ohio for less than 5 years). In order to run a background check, the sheriff will take your fingerprints at that time.

You then wait up to 45 days while a criminal history and mental competency background check is run. There are many disqualifiers, including being adjudicated as a mental defective, being under indictment or convicted of a felony, misdemeanor charge of violence, negligent assault, any drug conviction, any offense of assault on a police officer, and more. Depending on the severity of the offense, some disqualify you for five years, others ten years, others are lifetime disqualifications.

After jumping through all the hoops and passing all the tests and checks, you are issued a CHL which is valid for five years. After the five years, you must get the license renewed, which requires another background check and range recertification after your first renewal.

The fact of the matter is that people who can go through this entire process successfully are the kinds of people who don't commit crimes in the first place. Most crimes are committed by repeat offenders, and you can't get a CHL if you have an extensive criminal history. Not to mention the fact that criminals, by definition, break laws. If hey have no qualms about robbing, raping, and murdering, why would they be concerned about carrying a concealed firearm without a license?

The responsible people who obtain a concealed handgun license are careful not to lose that privilege (only open carry is a right under current Ohio law). They don't violate prohibitions on where their firearm may be carried (and there are a lot) and they're not the kind of people in the first place who are inclined to escalate disputes into violence. If they were, they'd have a disqualifying background since rarely do violent tendencies just suddenly appear.

CHL holders are among the most law abiding subsets of society and it is for this reason that the concealed carry program has been and will continue to be safe and successful.

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