If the 12-hour required class to get an Ohio concealed weapons permit seems too burdensome, take the Utah course.

It takes about four hours and you don't have to leave Ohio or fire a gun. In 2004, Ohio signed a reciprocity agreement with Utah so the two states honor one another's CCW permits.

Toby Hoover, of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said Ohio's 12-hour training requirement is not too much to ask.

"You have something in your hand, walking around among the rest of us, that has the potential to take a life," she said.

Ohio issues permits to Ohio residents, 21 or older, who pass a criminal background check, complete 12 hours of training including two hours of shooting and meet other requirements.

Utah issues permits to adults who pass a background check and complete a course, according to Utah Department of Public Safety Lt. Doug Anderson.

Utah has 148,663 CCW permits, including 55,888 held by out-of-state residents, and about 600 certified out-of-state instructors, he said. "It's become an animal that we're having a hard time keeping track of."

John Farquhar of Mad Duck Firearms Training in Preble County, who is certified to teach the Utah course, said a small segment of his students want the quicker Utah course so that they can legally carry concealed weapons in Ohio.

But some add the Utah license because Utah has reciprocity agreements with more states and as a result they can carry concealed weapons in a wider area, he said.

Ohio has reciprocity agreements with 18 states; Utah has 28.

Ohio law permits the attorney general to sign agreements with states that have CCW requirements "substantially comparable" to Ohio.

Hoover said state Attorney General Richard Cordray should cancel the reciprocity agreement with Utah. Cordray's spokeswoman said he favors reasonable reciprocal agreements and is "getting up to date" on the existing ones.

Source: Western Star