A deadly encounter on Powell Road near New Vienna on Dec. 1 prompted several people to obtain concealed carry permits, a sheriff’s deputy said Friday.
Deputy Kristie Alexander, who processes the majority of concealed carry license applications at the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, told The Times-Gazette that she noticed an increase in applications after an occupant of a Powell Road home reportedly shot and killed an armed man who allegedly broke in during the early morning hours.
Alexander said several people requesting licenses told her it was that incident that prompted them to apply.
According to Damon Haught, a communications officer at the sheriff’s office, no permit is required to keep a legal firearm in your home, or to carry it openly in public.
“The way gun laws are set up, you can walk down the street with one strapped on your hip,” Haught told The Times-Gazette, “but if you want to conceal it, you have to have a permit.”
According to Alexander, the period between November and March is generally when the sheriff’s office issues the most concealed carry permits. As of early Friday afternoon, the sheriff’s office had issued 772 new permits and 481 five-year renewals in 2017, according to Alexander. Twenty-five of the total number of permits issued this year were approved last Monday, Alexander said.
The deputy issued an additional permit during a phone interview with The Times-Gazette around 3 p.m. Friday.
Last year, the office issued 1,187, but only issued 390 renewals, according to Alexander.
Alexander said she believes the drop in new permits and increase in renewals this year is an indication of how many people already have concealed carry permits.
“I don’t want to say the market is getting saturated, but, essentially, I think that’s what’s happening,” she said. “A lot of people have their permits already.”
Alexander said renewals approved this year cover an above-average amount of permits issued in 2012, when Barack Obama was elected to a second term as president.
In general, more people apply for licenses during election years and after shootings or other violent crimes, Alexander said.
“It’s not unusual after a big shooting to see an increase,” Alexander said, “because people think, this is the world we live in, it’s scary, and they feel like they need something to defend themselves.”
When a number of women went missing or turned up dead in Chillicothe in 2014, several Ross County residents applied for licenses here, Alexander said.
“They were nervous, they were scared, they wanted to protect themselves and their daughters or loved ones,” Alexander said.
According to Ohio law, sheriff’s offices can issue permits to residents of the county where the office is based, or to residents of adjacent counties.
According to Alexander, people from surrounding counties often apply for licenses at the Highland County Sheriff’s Office because it has the fastest turnaround in the area.
“We typically get them out in a day or two,” she said.
The sheriff’s office accepts applications on a walk-in basis during business hours, Alexander said, whereas sheriff’s offices in surrounding counties accept applications on certain days of the week or by appointment only. Applicants mush show they have completed required courses in order to apply for concealed carry permits.
For more information on concealed carry licenses, visit www.highlandcoso.com, or call the sheriff’s office at 937-393-1421.
As for the Powell Road incident, in which two men were shot to death, an ongoing investigation has not turned up any new clues, according to Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera.
Barrera said investigators speculate that Tyler South, 21, Dayton, shot Jaydon Boggs, 18, also of Dayton, in a car on Powell Road before breaking into a nearby home armed with a rifle, where he was shot in the chest by one of the armed occupants.
Chuck Morris, a National Rifle Association-certified firearm instructor in New Vienna, said he feels the shooting was a grim reminder that violence can happen anywhere, even where it’s least expected.
“It’s not every day we have shootings here,” he said, adding that to his knowledge, the last shooting in New Vienna was in the 1990s.
Morris, who owns an indoor shooting range, said he has trained more people in the past two weeks than he has in six years of business as an instructor, although not all signed up for training because of the Powell Road shooting.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.