Two area counties among Top 10 with new concealed carry permits granted and renewals

Residents and those from across Ohio have waited outside the Greene County CCW office to get their concealed carry permit. LONDON BISHOP/STAFF

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Residents and those from across Ohio have waited outside the Greene County CCW office to get their concealed carry permit. LONDON BISHOP/STAFF

One area county was among the Top 10 in Ohio for new concealed handgun licenses granted and another for renewals in 2021.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office issued the third most new licenses and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office renewed the sixth most licenses last year, state data examined by the Dayton Daily News shows.

Greene County issued 4,151 new concealed carry permits in 2021, and 4,742 in 2020, a spike from just over 1,000 in 2019. However, more than half of the permits issued in the last two years were to non-residents of Greene County, Greene County Sheriff Scott Anger said.

Ohio law allows sheriff’s departments to issue concealed carry permits to county residents and residents of adjacent counties.

“The main reason numbers went up was we got so efficient,” Anger said. “We still have people from Dayton that can come by appointment. Some of the other places were a bit backed up or weren’t serving people during COVID as much as we were.”

To handle the demand, Greene County switched over to issuing permits by appointment only in May of 2021, well after several other area jurisdictions had done so due to the pandemic. Currently, the office takes appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with Friday reserved for Greene County residents only on a first-come, first-served basis.

Combining new and renewals, Ohio sheriff’s offices issued about than 203,000 permits during 2021, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office reported. That was a 20% increase from 2020.

There was a small decrease in new concealed licenses issued in 2021, the attorney general’s office said, but the number of renewed licenses grew by 50%. People with permits who want to renew their licenses must do so every five years, the Ohio Attorney General Office said.

“In 2020 we started seeing a massive spike in gun sales and that, of course, led to a spike in applications,” said Dean Rieck, the executive director of Buckeye Firearm Association.

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Rieck also said coronavirus played a major role in the increase as the time limit to renew licenses in 2020 was extended due to the pandemic.

Butler County renewed the most licenses in the state last year, 4,780, and Greene County renewed the ninth most in the state, 2,797.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office issued about 4,600 permits last year overall, with more than 1,300 of them being new permits. It changed the process in which residents got their permits last year, switching to an online appointment-only operation.

“For us, they were great changes,” Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck said, noting that he’s heard from residents and staff that they like the new system.

The sheriff’s office last year issued more than 1,000 permits than it did in 2020. In 2020, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was forced to close its CCW department during the early stages of the pandemic because its setup was not conducive to pandemic precautions like social distancing, the sheriff said.

Because of the closure, Streck said, residents then sought other sheriff’s offices to renew or apply for a license.

A new Ohio law passed this week by the Ohio General Assembly would change the requirements and essentially eliminate the need for Ohioans to get a concealed-carry handgun license. It is now on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine to consider signing into law.

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Streck said his office will enforce whatever law is adopted and said that he suspects some people will want to get a permit regardless.

“There will still be people who travel to other states or want to have that extra protection of having something that says they went to training and took a class so we will remain open,” Streck said. “I can tell you our CCW appointments have dropped over the last month since constitutional carry has been spoken about more in the media. ”

Rieck said other states that moved to constitutional carry saw a decrease in people getting permits, but it’s difficult to predict how much of a decrease Ohio will have.

“We will have to wait and see,” he said. " I would not be surprised to see a drop, but I don’t think it will be a massive drop.”

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office permits issued and renewed by year:

2017- 5,803

2018- 7,169

2019- 6,137

2020- 3,253

2021- 4,626

Source: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

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