Reported by: Brendan Keefe
It's been almost four years since Ohio offered its citizens a license to carry concealed handguns.
We are not going to pass judgement on the law or its politics, the fact is, more than 90,000 Ohioans are now licensed to carry guns out of sight. We wanted to find out who they are, and what kind of training they receive.
A single mom, a father and his daughter and a University of Cincinnati law student all have something in common: they are all working to get their license to carry concealed handguns.
Jade Stewart and her husband signed up for the certification class at Woodhill Training in Cleves, where instructors show people when to use their guns, and more importantly, when not to use their guns.
"[If] I'm traveling alone, or I'm in an unsafe situation, [then] I can feel like I have the protection if someone accosts me," explained Jade Stewart.tom wood "If your life is threatened, that's the only time you're allowed to shoot," explained instructor Tom Wood. "If you're in mortal fear of losing your life - pull the trigger."
Wood was a Cincinnati police officer for twenty years, and now he's teaching citizens how to carry the responsibility that comes with carrying a gun.
"[Use] the firearm, as we have homeowners' insurance, as a last resort for a catastrophic situation," Wood said.
"It's certainly nothing that you ever plan on using, and hopefully I'll go my entire life without having ever used it," Steward adds.
But can you tell who is carrying concealed? "The bad guy's got to be thinking, 'does this person have a gun or not?" said Doug Sayre, a license holder. "The whole idea is to keep the bad guys at bay."
Laquisa Harrison is young, female, and a single mother: all attributes that contradict the stereotype of a gun owner, but also reasons Harrison wants to carry a firearm.
"I need some type of protection to protect me, myself and my daughter," Harrison said.
It's a twelve- hour course that arms the student not just with guns, but with knowledge that could save their life, even without taking another's.
"When you pull the trigger, you can't call the bullet back," Wood warns.
The Ohio permit allows residents to carry concealed handguns in 18 other states, including Kentucky.
In our area, there are more legally-concealed firearms than other parts of Ohio. Both Montgomery and Clermont counties have issued more concealed carry licenses than any other counties in the state.