The number of people obtaining licenses to carry a concealed handgun exploded in 2009 up as high as 500 percent in the region.
"I hope criminals think twice before they attempt to steal from someone or harm someone," said Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon, who saw the number of concealed-carry licenses go up by 500 percent.
Solomon's department issued 464 new licenses in 2009 compared to 93 the previous year. But his agency is not alone. Putnam County Sheriff Jim Beutler issued 139 new licenses compared to 31 in 2008, an increase of 448 percent.
Allen County more than doubled its number issued at 684 last year compared to 323 in 2008. The county has 1,867 license holders, although some are from nearby counties. The number of license holders in Allen County represents nearly 2 percent of the population, which mirrors the state as a whole.
Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish said people obtaining licenses should put criminals on notice that people are serious about protecting themselves. And those people come from all walks of life from women to men, old, young and all professions, he said.
"With the numbers growing, it's a huge risk if you're committing some type of offense you don't know who may be carrying," Crish said.
According to the pro-gun crowd this will lead to such a decrease in crime that the benefits will be indisputable.
According to the gun control folks, the results will be a clear increase in gun accidents and those terrible incidents of concealed carry guys going off the deep end. Stolen weapons would increase too.
Whatever happens, it should become clear, don't you think?