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CCW permit applications drop following 2016 election

LISBON — What a difference a presidential election makes when it comes to applications for permits to carry a concealed weapon.

The number of new CCW permits issued in 2017 by the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office was 851, a 44 percent decline from the 1,515 permits issued the year before.

The difference? No one really knows for sure, but the conventional wisdom would be it had something to do with who was elected president in 2016. As mentioned above, the number of permits that year had skyrocketed to 1,515 from 982 in 2015. County Sheriff Ray Stone speculated at the time this was due to the fact Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, was believed by many to favor more stringent gun control laws that would make it harder to obtain a CCW permit should she be elected.

Republican Donald Trump won the presidency, and he is perceived as a friend of gunowners and Second Amendment advocates. As a result, many county residents apparently no longer feel the need to act quickly to obtain a CCW permit.

The information about CCW permits was included in the sheriff’s 2017 report, which was released this week. According to the report, property crimes — breaking entering and burglary – were down last year. Breaking and entering/burglaries declined from 202 in 2016 to 168 last year. This a significant drop from 2014, when there were a combined 353 burglaries/B&Es.

Breaking and entering are of non-residential structures such as businesses, garages and sheds, while burglaries are of homes and apartments.

The number of thefts also decreased, from 335 in 2016 to 300 last year.

The number of arrests on felony charges increased, 441 to 521, due mostly to the continued increase in the number of drug offenses, which was reflected in the number of indictments — 467 — compared to 392 in 2016. Arrests for misdemeanor crimes declined from 1,018 to 664.

The department’s drug-detecting K-9 deputy, Jesy, was not quite as busy as in past years. Jesy was used on 72 sniff searches, 34 clothing searches, 12 jail searches, eight school searches and eight other building searches. Jesy also assisted in serving 25 arrest warrants, in making seven arrests and was used 11 times for tracking.

The following are some of the other categories listed in the 2017 report, with 2016 figures in parentheses:

–Assaults, 98 (94)

–Domestic disputes/domestic violence, 345 (366)

–Fraud, 119 (183)

–Murder, 1 (0)

–Rape reports taken, 14 (6)

–Other sex crimes, 27 (21)

–Stolen vehicles, 61 (82)

–Suicides, 17 (22)

–Attempted suicides, 52 (32)

–Foreclosures, 284 (398)

–Warrants served, 2,217 (2,097)

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