CINCINNATI - More Ohioans than ever are applying for concealed carry permits.
Of the more than 37,000 permits issued during the first three months of 2013, around 31,000 of those are new licenses.
That's an 87 percent increase for new licenses, according to the first quarter numbers released by Attorney General Mike DeWine's office on Wednesday.
Officials in Ohio issued nearly 65,000 licenses in 2012. At the current rate, around 150,000 permits will be issued in 2013.
For comparison's sake, in a three-year span from 2005 through 2007, the state government issued a total of approximately 60,000 permits.
Andrew Weidbold of Target World said people are applying for concealed carry permits due to fear. The firearms dealer at the Kemper Road store said while recent mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut have driven some people to seek further gun control, other people are turning to firearms to protect themselves and their families.
"The recent events and fears of legislation and bans and things like that have driven them … to become a firearm owner or get a concealed carry license or become further involved in the firearms world."