COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTRF) – Ohio could be about to see armed staff members at schools.
State legislators have fast-tracked a bill to dramatically lower the training requirements for teachers to carry concealed in the classroom.
It will become law with Governor Mike DeWine’s signature—but the Ohio Education Association is urging him to veto it.
House Bill 99 would allow school staff to carry a concealed firearm with the district’s permission, as long as they have completed 24 hours of training.
Currently the law says teachers have to have more than 700 hours of peace officer training for concealed carry.
Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro says the bill will put school employees in two roles: educators and armed security guards.
He feels that the 24-hour requirement is far too low, and that schools across the state have already been increasing security measures like locking doors and single points of entry.
DiMauro points to the fact that school districts already have the option of hiring armed public resource officers.
Governor DeWine has put money on the table to address school safety plans. Let’s use that money to hire appropriately trained, professional law enforcement personnel to provide safety if that is what a local community chooses.Scott DiMauro, President of the Ohio Education Association
Those in support of the legislation point out that each school district can decide if arming school staff is right for their community.
The OEA says if the bill is signed, they want districts to clearly notify parents and the public about their firearm policies.
Starting on June 13th, Ohio will become a constitutional carry state, meaning that legal gun owners 21 and up don’t need a permit to carry concealed.
Governor DeWine signed that bill back in March, but as of right now there’s no confirmation on whether that law will negate the training requirement for teachers.