YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As many in Ohio head to their local Sheriff’s Office to obtain a concealed carry permit or renew an existing one, Mahoning County is likely to continue letting applicants simply show up without making an appointment.

Some days they arrive hours early just to get their place in line to apply for a concealed carry permit through the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Jerry Greene said he started allowing walk-up applications last fall instead of requiring appointments.

“It seems we are getting a lot more done this way,” Greene said. “What people were doing is making appointments with us and then shopping around or making appointments at other places. Then, they would go to the quickest date.”

The change did bring about some long lines. In September, people were wrapped around the jail. Greene admits the pandemic hasn’t helped since applicants can’t wait inside the lobby.

Still, more than 3,700 permits were processed last year, nearly 1,100 just between July and September compared to much lower figures for Trumbull or Columbiana counties.

“I know not everybody is going to be happy with this,” Greene said.

And there have been complaints from some about having to stand outside for hours in the cold waiting in line, but Greene says changing back might be worse.

“Right now, other counties adjacent to ours is about the first or second week of June if you made an appointment right now,” Greene said.

At this point, Greene expects to leave the current walk-up system in place.

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