Do you know how many of your neighbors have a license to carry a concealed weapon?
No? That’s because the state of Ohio keeps the names of those who have permits to carry concealed weapons private.
That is, to say, there is no database that allows one to check to see how many of your neighbors do or do not have permits.
The state releases a quarterly report of all the concealed carry licenses issued, renewed and suspended by county, but that’s as far as the breakdown goes. Information by city or zip code is not available.
The Ohio Revised Code defines the records as confidential. And, while journalists are allowed to view lists of license holders, they cannot copy them.
Journalists are the only individuals named in that portion of the law who are allowed to view the records and are defined as those employed by or otherwise connected to a news medium.
Not all states protect their gun permit holders’ privacy so well—a New York-based newspaper, The Journal News, recently sparked a debate when it published a map with the names and addresses of gun owners in nearby counties. The Huffington Post reports that critics said the map could put people with—and without—guns in danger.
has formed in opposition to the newspaper’s map, saying it puts residents at risk. One of the examples given was that inmates in local jails now know the addresses of corrections officers.
The numbers in Ohio
According to the report released by the state, there were 306 regular concealed carry licenses issued and 76 renewed in Stark County in the third quarter of 2012. There were three licenses suspended, one revoked and another eight denied.
According to the report, the state had issued about 296,600 regular and temporary concealed carry licenses from April 2004—when the state began allowing concealed weapons—through the end of 2011. The reports do not include the number of total active licenses.
It should be noted that the number of licenses does not necessarily reflect the number of people who own firearms.
A person can legally own a firearm without a permit and, conversely, someone can have a permit and choose not to own a gun.