COLUMBUS -- Ohioans secured record numbers of licenses to carry concealed firearms last year, according to statistics released by Attorney General Mike DeWine March 1.
A total of 117,953 new licenses were issued, well above the 71,589 issued in 2015. Another 40,986 licenses were renewed, down from 44,551 a year earlier.
But the combined 158,982 total licenses in 2016 was the highest on record since licenses began being issued more than a decade ago. The previous record was 145,342 in 2013, according to the attorney general's office.
Additionally, 1,669 licenses were suspended in 2016, up from 1,319 in '15. Another 697 were revoked, up from 530 in '15. And 1,634 were denied, up from 1,117 during the prior year.
State law requires the attorney general to track the number of permits issued, renewed, suspended, revoked and denied and compile the information in an annual report. Copies are available online at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.
Among area counties:
In Portage County, 2,567 new licenses were issued and 687 were renewed. Another 29 were suspended, six were revoked and 22 were denied.
In Summit County, 2,896 licenses were issued, 1,134 were renewed, 51 were suspended, five were revoked and 68 were denied.
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.