More women attend conceal carry classes as licenses are issued in record number throughout Ohio

 A record number of concealed carry licenses were issued in Ohio last year.

The attorney general's office reports 118,000 new permits were issued in 2016 along with 41,000 renewals.

Those who want to obtain a conceal carry weapons license have to go through a training course on how to handle a firearm. At the Commence Firearm Training Academy in Cleveland, owner Keith Campbell said since 2004, they have trained more than 16,000 people.

Campbell explains how he is seeing more women attend their programs than ever before. Often, women tend to shy away from the regular classes where most of them are men.

"That intimidation draws them away from taking the class or prevents them from taking the class," said Keith Campbell.

The academy offers classes every three months. Most women there seek out training for protection. Others want the license because their families carry a gun.

"I don't necessarily plan to carry a gun, but I just wanted to have that option and know that if I needed to, I could carry," said Mary Ellen Brice.

Whatever reason a person has for getting a carry conceal weapons license, Campbell emphasizes safety is first when handling a firearm.

"I always equate it to a fire extinguisher or a spare tire in a car. We put a spare tire in the car in the hopes that we never need it but if we have it, it's there. We have a fire extinguisher in our home, hope to never need it but it's there. A firearm is no different," said Campbell.

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