by Kyle Swenson
If handgun law was like the culinary arts, Utah would be fast food. The conservative bastion dishes out conceal carry permits like Happy Meals on a Sunday afternoon in summer, and the gun-hungry don’t even have to live in the state to order. Utah will issue permits to outsiders in some states if residents pass a Utah-approved certification course, clear a background check, and toss a check for $65.25 to the Utah Department of Public Safety. To date, some 138,418 non-Utah residents have been issued permits by the state, and that includes Ohioans.
According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, almost 2,000 Buckeyes have backdoored their way into permits by applying at the in-no-way-neighboring state. Opponents say this creates some problems, mainly because Ohio has a different set of hoops applicants have to jump through before they can mosey ‘round town strapped: the Ohio process requires potential carriers take 12 hours of training and be registered with a law enforcement database.
The Dispatch breaks down the sides of the argument nicely:
Gun opponents say that's a loophole some Ohioans use to get around their state's more-stringent requirements.
"There has to be a reason someone wants to get (a permit from Utah), and it's usually because they don't qualify to go through the Ohio program," said Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.
Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said some Ohioans turned to other states - chiefly Utah - because the names of Ohio permit holders had been public record.
"Some people are still afraid of having their names printed in the papers, even though that hasn't been a problem in the last couple of years," Irvine said.
He dismissed the idea that Ohioans have obtained permits from Utah to get around the Buckeye State's requirement that they undergo 12 hours of firearms training