Teachers in Ohio can now carry firearms on school grounds under a new law that went into effect this week.
House bill 99 cuts down the required training time for Ohio teachers and staff to carry guns.
They were already allowed to carry firearms but the Ohio Supreme Court ruling last year required participants to undergo more than 700 hours of training — the same as peace officers. The new law cuts training to a maximum of 24 hours, followed by eight hours of annual requalification training and yearly background checks.
Some parents aren’t comfortable with this new law.
“You put these weapons closer to children, closer to people who may want to do harm,” parent Kevin Wallace said.
The law lowers the required hours of training from 700 to 24 hours.
The bill is sponsored by Butler County Rep. Thomas Hall. His father was a resource officer who chased a shooter from Madison High School in 2016.
He recently spoke about his motivation behind the new law.
“My goal, and the goal of this legislation as a whole, was to always protect and enhance the school safety for the students and staff,” Hall said.
The Ohio Education Association isn’t happy about the move either. From Oheo.org:
The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is disappointed, but not surprised, by Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to sign House Bill 99 Monday given his track record of bowing down to the gun lobby and ignoring the concerns of educators, families, and law enforcement experts throughout his term as governor. House Bill 99 (HB 99) guts training requirements for school staff carrying guns in our classrooms and could lead to further tragedies in our schools and make them less safe.
OEA President Scott DiMauro called to safety:
“Our students and educators need to be in safe environments where they can focus on teaching and learning, not on the threat of having unprepared, woefully undertrained people — regardless of their good intentions — making split-second life-or-death decisions about whether to pull the trigger in a chaotic classroom full of innocent bystanders. It would take hundreds of hours of training and firearms practice to be ready for those situations…”
The Ohio Federation of Teachers has opposed the law as well.
Clearly, a teacher’s possession of a firearm could lead to catastrophic consequences — what if an evildoer gained possession? For that matter, what if the evildoer was the teacher? As for the former, the same could be said for public carry in general.
Local districts including Cincinnati Public Schools, Loveland Schools, Fairfield City Schools, Oak Hills, Sycamore, Lakota Local Schools and Forest Hills said they will not be arming teachers.