Ohio’s permitless gun carry law for “qualifying” adults went into effect on Monday – a measure that would lift restrictions on school teachers, custodians and bus drivers from carrying firearms at work.
After Governor Mike DeWine announced he signed House Bill 99, which lowers the required training hours for armed personnel from 728 hours to 24 hours, DeWine said he still preferred law enforcement officers to carry the guns at schools.
Signed into law after 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the legislation no longer makes it a requirement for Ohioans aged 21 and older to complete eight hours of the handgun training course to carry and conceal a firearm. And it eliminates the requirement for gun carriers to tell police officers they have a concealed weapon on them, though they must say if they are asked.
“My office worked with the general assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training,” DeWine said in a statement after the bill passed earlier this month.
He thanked lawmakers “for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers”.
DeWine said local school districts may still prohibit guns on school grounds. “This does not require any school to arm teachers or staff,” he said. “Every school will make its own decision.”
While school boards will not be required to arm personnel, they will have to notify parents if they choose to do so. Boards can mandate additional training beyond what is required in the new state law.
According to the bill, training must include how to stop an active shooter, how to de-escalate a violent situation, trauma care and first aid, at least four hours in “scenario-based or simulated training exercises” and completing “tactical live firearms training”.
Republican state lawmakers have said that HB 99 was a “doing something” response to the Uvalde massacre and other recent deadly mass shootings.
However, Democratic politicians in the state have argued against the measure, saying that lifting carry laws for teachers was not what the community was asking for. “They’re not asking for no guns. They’re asking for background checks,” state representative Juanita Brent, a Democrat from Cleveland, said after the bill passed.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states allow people other than security officers to carry guns on school grounds. A 2018 Gallup poll showed that 73% of teachers opposed the idea.
In Ohio, school employees have been allowed to carry guns on school grounds for years as long as the local school board consents. The Ohio supreme court ruled in 2021 that they should receive the same 700 hours of training as law enforcement officials or security officers.
In Ohio, “permitless carry” applies only to adults over 21 who are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law. Under the new law, adults who can lawfully own a firearm will be able to conceal carry a handgun without a permit or background checks.
- WION-VOA Co-Production: Russia-Ukraine hold peace talks | Russia to ‘drastically reduce’ assault | News Today
- Gravitas LIVE: Mahinda Rajapaksa steps down | “Goons of Rajapaksas” attack protesters | Palki Sharma | News Today
- Ukraine: Expecting new attacks on Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donbass | World English News | WION | News Today
( Information from theguardian.com was used in this report. To Read More, click here )