The number of Ohioans who have obtained concealed-carry permits has almost doubled across the state ever since the Sandy Hook shootings and ramped-up talks on gun control.
The number of new permit holders in Erie County increased by 173 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
In Ottawa County, the increase was even more significant: a 207 percent increase in the number of people receiving concealed-carry licenses, compared to the same period last year. Both counties topped the percentage increase statewide, 87 percent.
“Just statewide in general, the numbers are up,” Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said. “People are interested in exercising their rights under that state law to obtain a license.”
Part of the increase in Erie County may be attributed to the fact Sigsworth’s office accepts permit applications six days a week, with half days on Saturdays to accommodate the demand. People who apply for concealed-carry permits can apply in any county bordering their county of residence, Sigsworth said.
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In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, the debate over gun control continues, with President Barack Obama and others pushing to tighten gun access following the December massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Locally and across the nation, guns flew off of shelves and manufacturers were backed up as Americans reacted to proposals for stricter gun control, including proposed background check expansions, legislation that Congress failed to approve last month.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.