Concealed carry licenses due

The deadline nears for renewal of licenses issued four years ago at the start of Ohio’s Carry Concealed Weapon program.

As the entity that has issued more CCW licenses per capita than any other in the state, the court services staff of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is going to be busy this year.

According to Sheriff James P. Sabin, Madison County issued more than 900 licenses in 2004, the first year of the program. Since then, the numbers have been 415 in 2005, 228 in 2006, and 305 in 2007.

"The main reason we have issued so many is because we border Franklin County and it’s easier for people to come here for parking and logistics reasons," Sabin said.

He explained that individuals can apply for permits in the county in which they reside or in any adjoining county. Approximately 80 percent of the licenses Madison County issues are to residents of Franklin County, he said.

Individuals who obtained their licenses early on in the program will hit their renewal dates in mid-April. By Ohio Revised Code, individuals must apply for license renewal within 90 days prior to the expiration date. They may apply within 30 days after the expiration date, but cannot carry a concealed weapon during this grace period. If the licensee does not initiate the renewal process during the 120-day window, the license expires and is no longer valid.

Licenses issued in the first three years of the CCW program are valid for four years. The law changed in 2007 and since then, new licenses are good for five years.

Sabin serves as chairman of the State Sheriffs Association’s CCW Committee. He said the program, which drew opposition when it was introduced, has gone relatively smoothly.

"I am certain there have been instances around the state where it has caused problems, but it has not caused the mass hysteria and problems that people once though it would," Sabin said.

The reason, he said, is the stringent process individuals must complete in order to obtain a license. It includes background checks, fingerprinting and a 12-hour training course.

"The people who submit for and are given licenses are competent, law abiding citizens," he said. "In our business, our greatest fear lies with the criminal element that is going to have weapons regardless of if they have a license."

CCW License Renewal Procedure

To renew a CCW license, an applicant must present a new application, including: all of the addresses at which they have lived since they were 18; verification that they have re-read the CCW pamphlet; a new photo; the original or renewed training certificate of competency; valid photo identification; and fingerprint verification for a background check.

The cost of a renewed CCW license is $55 for individuals who have resided in Ohio for more than five years and $79 for individuals who have resided in Ohio for less than five years.

If a background check is completed successfully, a new license is issued with the original license number and a new date of expiration that is five years from the date of the renewal. During the renewal process, the current license remains valid.

CCW licenses can be re-newed at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in London between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, or at other times by appointment. License fees must be paid by cash, money order, or certified check. Personal checks are not accepted.

For more information, call the Sheriff’s Office at 740-852-1332.

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