COLUMBUS, OH (WOWK, AP) — A new cross-check system between separate state law enforcement agencies has turned up 41 ineligible holders of Ohio concealed-weapon permits, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
The Attorney General announced the system Tuesday in a special report following an analysis that began last year.
“Everyone in Ohio should expect that we are enforcing existing laws – and, as this report demonstrates, we are,” Yost said. “This first-of-its-kind law enforcement project would not have been possible without the partnership between the Attorney General’s Office and ODPS, under the leadership of Director Stickrath and Gov. DeWine.”
Under Ohio law, judicial rulings on people determined mentally incompetent to possess a firearm are collected by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. But until recently, the agency didn’t have access to the list of active concealed weapons permit holders maintained by the Department of Public Safety.
A new agreement allows the departments to share information. Yost says the report stems from a proactive effort to ensure that Ohio continues its 16-year record of carrying safely and responsibly.
“By any measure, our concealed-carry system is a success,” Yost said. “To safeguard the public, this law prohibits licenses to felons and people who have been deemed by a court to be mentally incompetent. All of us have an interest in enforcing these prohibitions.”
Yost says the BCI’s review found 41 Ohioans who have a CHL had been deemed to be mentally incompetent to have the license or possess a firearm. He says the number is a small percentage of Ohioans who have the license and his office is not aware of any harmful outcomes from the issue.
“But even one unlawful license is too many.”Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost
BCI and ODPS partnered to automate the new cross-checking system to permanently allow CHL updates to flow to BCI, to allow the bureau to make routine cross-checks of the concealed-handgun licenses against the mental incompetence database, according to Yost’s office.
Yost says when a mentally incompetent adjudication is found, the BCI will notify the appropriate sheriff’s office by phone and in writing so that action can be taken on the CHL in question.