CCW classes in high demand after record amount of issued licenses

Attorney General Dewine recently released a report saying carry concealed licenses were issued at a record rate last year

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – A record amount of concealed carry permits (CCW’s) were issued in Ohio in 2016 — over 158,000. That’s 13,000 more than the previous highest amount.

Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull sheriff’s departments issued almost 6,000 CCW’s combined in 2016. Mahoning County saw almost 3,000 licenses issued, while both Trumbull and Columbiana counties had just short of 1,500.

Nick Macchione of Elite Tactical Firearms and Training says they’ve double the amount of their classes because of the high demand.

“We’ve maxed out the class capacity the last six classes we’ve had,” he said. “We’ve gone through instead of one class a month, we’re going to start doing two classes a month.”

He estimates around 120 people took the CCW course in 2016, and for the first time, he’ll be doing classes year-around.

Eight hours of training are required for a person to obtain their certificate of competency in Ohio — only then can you apply for a CCW.

Macchione says most people taking his CCW classes come to better protect their homes.

“We’ve been slammed with gun sales and the popularity of CCW classes,” he said. “With crime and drug involvement on the rise, we’ve seen an influx of people coming in.”

Hillary Clinton’s approach to stricter gun control during the election played a factor in the rise of issued permits.

“I think that was a big influx of it,” he said. “We actually saw gun sales actually drop once Donald Trump became president.”

The Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence is an organization that does not believe people should be able to carry concealed weapons.

Between our three local counties, 103 licenses were denied and 11 were revoked.

The group’s director, Jennifer Thorne, says she’s not surprised by the record number of CCW’s issued, because gun lobbyists do a great job in scaring people.

“Just as they did a really good job scaring the heck out of people about the potential for President Obama,” Thorne said. “Somehow in their mind, take away everyone’s guns.”