Every passing year, the incidence of tragic, public attacks on innocent, unsuspecting people in seemingly safe environments- schools, businesses, movie theaters, sporting events, churches, parks, military bases, airports, shopping malls- by dangerous and violent people seems to increase more and more. Families are gunned down by strangers that invade their homes and that callously take their lives in exchange for possessions, money, or sometimes for no reason at all. Our nation has accepted the need for security checkpoints and armed guards in places that once seemed secure, and lawmakers are constantly engaged in heated disputes over gun rights. 
But our founding fathers made provision nearly two hundred and fifty years ago for each American's right to own and protect themselves with firearms. And the fact that laws and regulations make no difference to those with destructive and deadly intentions has become impossible to deny. 
These horrible realities and the critical need for personal protection are what inspired Chris Hines to aid and equip people to obtain the right to carry concealed weapons and avoid being victimized like so many already have. 
Conceal and Carry Ohio was founded in January 2012 by Chris Hines, but it's inception began a few years earlier, when he took a concealed carry class. He instantly fell in love with the concept of personal protection, and started purchasing handguns. Hines needed a second job to supplement his new addiction, so he decided to go to school to become a certified firearm instructor through the NRA (National Rifle Association). Then in 2013, he got his Federal Firearms License (FFL). 
The first class he led in began with four students, but interest in his course quickly grew, and to meet the demand, he decided to hire more instructors. Four of his close friends obtained their certification to teach with him the following year, and now Conceal and Carry Ohio has as many as thirty students per class, many times filling up to capacity. With a team of five top-notch instructors and hundreds of satisfied, trained and licensed gun owners, CCO has become a respected institution for gun safety and preparedness in central Ohio. 
Conceal and Carry Ohio's primary goal is to provide the most accurate, informative firearm training and to ensure total comfort in safe gun handling. 
"People need to arm themselves," says Hines. "It's their right and responsibility to protect themselves and their families, and the need to do so could arise at any time." 
Hines has been familiar with firearms since he was ten years old, but his passion for weapons and self defense developed as an adult when he started recognizing the growing importance and necessity of concealed handgun licenses (CHL). 
"If you find yourself in a situation where your life or someone else's depends on having a concealed weapon available, it may already be too late," he says. "It is absolutely crucial to prepare in advance. Hopefully most of us will never need to fire a concealed weapon in defense, but better to have one and not need it than need it and not have it." 
CCO is not just a licensing course to Hines; it has become his personal crusade to equip people from all walks of life with the knowledge and ability to protect themselves and those around them. 
"I love talking about personal protection. This inspires people to become more responsible in the bigger picture," he says. "If tragedy ever hits, you will either be a bystander, a victim, or a first responder. I choose NOT to be a victim. And we want to give as many people as we possibly can the opportunity to also make this decision."
CCO completely supports second amendment constitutional rights, and also firmly encourages gun safety. The devoted team of instructors believe it is not enough to simply obtain a license; their intensive course also focuses heavily on building confidence, competency and proper gun handling in their students. 
Also, for students or anyone interested in purchasing firearms and finding the best match for their needs, Hines also runs Smokin' Aces Armory, offering amazing deals and specials on top-of-the-line guns. Smokin' Aces buys, sells, and trades, and constantly adds new inventory. To see more, visit smokinacesarmory.com or on Facebook. Classes are held regularly and fill up fast. For more information, visit concealandcarryohio.com for news, information, class schedules and registration and much more. CCO can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. 
Don't wait until after tragedy strikes to safely and legally arm yourself; let Conceal and Carry Ohio prepare you to protect you and your loved ones from ever being victims. Assisting instructors are Maria Clemens, Daryl Friesen, Richard Stein, Dustin Hannay and Ryan Mast.