While most states throughout the country continue to play politics over the Uvalde, Texas mass school shooting, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has decided to put the children first and arm the schools as early as this fall.
The Republican Governor is set to sign a bill that would allow teachers and school faculty to carry guns with 24 hours of training required. Ohio gun laws allow residents of the state aged 21 and older to obtain a concealed firearms permit. They must have completed 8 hours of firearms training and meet other criteria to qualify. Therefore, school employees who carry guns would need up to 24 hours of initial training, then up to eight hours of requalification training annually.
“I think it gets down to this: Do we want our kids to have a fighting chance in the event that the worst happens, right,” said one of the bill’s supporters, legislative affairs director for the Buckeye Firearms Association Rob Sexton, according to reporting from KAMR. “And for us, we’d just like a school to be able to have that option. Allows local school districts to make their own decisions.”
According to Fox News, “[t]he bill will allow any adult that is licensed to carry a concealed firearm in both public and private schools with a reduced training requirement, doing away with the 737 hours of peace officer training that is currently required in favor of mandating only 24 hours of training. Individual schools and districts have the option to set their own policies, including requiring additional hours of training.”
The bill coasted through the State Senate, 23-9, and was met with little resistance in the State House, 56-34. The bill mandates at least 18 hours of general training, two hours of handgun training, two hours of “additional” general training, and two hours of “additional” handgun training, Fox News reports.
According to WashingtonTimes.com, DeWine also announced that the state’s construction budget will provide $100 million for school security upgrades in schools and $5 million for upgrades at colleges.
Ohio school districts could begin arming employees as soon as this fall.