(Springfield, VA) -- Gun Owners of America lauded the brave officer who entered an Ohio nightclub on Wednesday night after receiving a call that a shooting was in progress. Patrol officer James D. Niggemeyer arrived shortly after the incident began and shot the perpetrator.

"The nightclub survivors are extremely fortunate that an officer arrived so quickly," said GOA Director of Communications Erich Pratt. “Many times, the imminent danger is over long before police can reach the scene.”

The Department of Justice has found there are almost 200,000 crimes of violence a year where the police cannot respond within one hour. "That is a long time for the victims of crime to wait," Pratt said.

"But thankfully, there are 37 states that make it very easy for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for protection. And there have been many recent cases where armed citizens have used their firearms to save the lives of others."

Pratt offered the following examples:

    * "After Peter Odighizuwa killed three people at a Virginia law school in 2002, two fellow law students used their own handguns to stop the gunman, forcing him to drop his firearm.

    * "Rory Vertigan, a concealed carry permit holder in Arizona, used his weapon to aid an officer who was being assaulted by three Mexican drug dealers in 1999. The police union was so grateful to Vertigan that it awarded him $500 and a certificate for a replacement gun.

    * "Two pistol-packing seniors opened fire on an armed teenager who had taken a waitress hostage in a Jacksonville, Florida restaurant in 1997. Despite being armed with a shotgun, the teenage robber was no match for Oscar Moore (69) and Robert Guerry (81), who used their handguns to shoot the perpetrator in the stomach."

Yesterday’s shooting occurred in Columbus. Ohio is a “shall issue” state, which means authorities must give concealed carry permits to those applicants who do not have criminal records. Alaska and Vermont have the most liberal carry laws, as both states allow law-abiding citizens to carry without getting prior government permission.

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