- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An unprecedented number of Ohioans now have licenses to carry concealed handguns.

According to statistics released by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, there are now more than 500,000 valid concealed-carry license holders in the state. That’s more than 4 percent of the total population.

The number of new permits issued in the first three months of the year - 36,118 - is a record for any quarter. That’s a 132-percent increase over the same period last year.

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association board of directors, says the increase is the result of a change in the law reducing the required training time from 12 hours to eight hours.

Ohio also honors an estimated 12.3 million concealed-carry licenses from other states.

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