Ohio Sees 15,000+ New Concealed Handgun Licenses Despite Permit Law Shift

Ohio saw over 15,000 new concealed handgun licenses issued in 2023, despite the state’s cessation of concealed carry permit requirements.

Attorney General Dave Yost released the state’s annual concealed handgun licensing report on Friday, revealing a total of 90,582 permits issued last year.

Ohio law shifted on June 13, 2022, permitting eligible Ohioans to carry concealed handguns without a permit, although the permit system remained intact.

According to the new report, county sheriffs issued 15,581 new licenses in 2023 and renewed 75,001 permits. Permit renewals are mandatory every five years.

Each sheriff must submit concealed handgun license statistics quarterly to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Earlier in January, Yost released another report indicating that the relaxation of concealed carry restrictions did not lead to an increase in violent crime. The report stemmed from a joint study by his office and the Center for Justice Research at Bowling Green State University, examining violent crime trends in Ohio’s eight major cities post-implementation of the new constitutional carry law.

The year following the law’s enactment witnessed a decline in gun-related crimes across Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Parma, and Canton. Six of the eight cities individually experienced reductions, with only Cincinnati and Dayton registering increases of 5% and 6%, respectively.

Researchers analyzed data from June 2021 to June 2023, focusing on crimes involving firearms, verified gunshot detection alerts, and incidents where officers were struck by gunfire.

The most significant decrease in gun-related crimes occurred in Parma, with a 22% decline, followed by Akron and Toledo, which both saw 18% decreases. Columbus observed a decrease from 10.79 to 9.55 gun crimes per 1,000 incidents.