CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A first for the nation? The Hamilton County Republican Party says it is going to offer sessions that will allow graduates to apply for concealed-carry handgun permits in Ohio. GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou made the announcement on his blog:
" . . . you will see us unveil a few other new things soon. Among those will be a party sponsored class for those wishing to receive their concealed carry permit . . ."
The announcement is here, and it seems to represent a quick draw on the Democrats that is bound to gain attention. Cincinnati is often depicted as an urban area with a high crime rate, so the GOP may be hoping to make inroads with citizens who fear for their own safety. But there could be a risk the Republicans might shoot themselves in the foot. Gun training classes brought to you by a political organization may bring some negative publicity to the community -- the kind of headlines and commentary that says things are so Fort Apache-like that Republicans are showing citizens how to arm themselves for self-preservation. That kind of image is not especially alluring to economic growth and development interests, the tourism sector, or civic boosters. Or, the GOP may be seen as having little faith in the police. Another possibility: The party is signaling that it stands with the NRA and supports the 2nd Amendment. The chairman didn't explain the reasons why the political party wants to teach citizens how to pack heat.
Ohioans who want to carry a concealed weapon have to take up to 10 hours training, including two hours of live-firing on a gun range. The requirements for a license are here, and county sheriffs issue the handgun permits. Students must pass a test showing they can handle and shoot handguns in a safe manner.