Ohio Teachers Permitted Right to Concealed Carry in the Classroom

House Bill 99 went into effect on Monday, allowing Ohio teachers to carry firearms into their classrooms.

State Representative Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) spearheaded the measure, which focuses on school gun and safety training. “We are doing something to help protect the lives of our children and staff at schools here in Ohio,” Hall said during the bill’s signing ceremony in June.

The state representative introduced HB99 after his father, a Madison High School resource officer, chased a shooter from the school in 2016.

The Ohio Senate passed the legislation on June 1 with a 23-9 vote in support. It was then sent back to the House, where it passed with a 56-34 vote in favor. Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law less than two weeks later.

Licensed regional peace officers and armed forces veterans will make up an Ohio Mobile Training Team, which will join forces with local schools to improve both safety and school security. The team will consist of one chief mobile training officer and 16 regional officers who will be assigned to different locations across the state.

House Bill 99 reduces the number of training hours required for armed school staff from 700 hours to 24. After the initial 24 hours of training, individuals will be required to continue training with an additional eight hours annually. Some school boards may require more training, and all will be required to notify parents if there is armed personnel on staff. Armed personnel will also be required to undergo an annual criminal background check.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only three U.S. states – Alabama, Oregon and Utah – currently allow any individual with a concealed carry license to bring a firearm into a K-12 school. The majority of states allow law enforcement to bring firearms onto school grounds. In 18 additional states, school personnel can permit any individual they select to carry a firearm on school grounds.

No school is required to have its personnel carry firearms, and it is up to the school board to make the decide whether they will allow armed teachers in the classroom.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Concealed Carry” by gmsjs90. Background Photo “Classroom” by Wokandapix.

 

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