As anticipated, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that will now make Buckeye schools some of the safest in the nation. The bill easily swept through both the Ohio House and Senate before landing on the Governors desk for a final sign-off.
“Our goal is to continue to help our public and private schools get the tools they need to protect our children,” Gov. DeWine said. “Working together, we have come a long way to improve school safety in Ohio over the last decade, and we must continue this progress. We have an obligation to do everything we can every single day to try and protect our kids.”
The bill would allow teachers and school faculty to carry guns after 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.
The measure was opposed by teachers’ unions, the state’s Fraternal Order of Police, and gun safety groups.
“The safety of Ohio’s students and educators is our utmost priority, but we know putting more guns into school buildings in the hands of people who have woefully inadequate training — regardless of their intentions — is dangerous and irresponsible,” Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, and Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, said in a joint statement June 3.
Under the new law, local school boards still have the ability to prohibit firearms on their campuses. Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb said last week his school district intends to ban non-security personnel from carrying on campuses.