Republican lawmakers in Ohio are working to fast-track a bill that would allow teachers in the state to carry guns in schools. The move comes after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas that left 19 school children and two teachers dead.
The bill would undo an Ohio Supreme Court ruling from last year that blocked educators from carrying guns because current state law would require too many hours of firearm training.
The new bill being pushed by the GOP in Ohio would require educators to complete up to 24 hours of initial training, followed by 8 hours of requalification training each year. Under current law, hundreds of hours of training would be required for school workers to carry firearms at work.
“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,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said in a statement. “House Bill 99 accomplishes these goals, and I thank the General Assembly for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers. I look forward to signing this important legislation.”
DeWine is expected to sign the bill soon, despite strong opposition. Critics of the bill say it is not the solution to school shootings, and will make schools more dangerous. After lengthy and heated debate in the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate, the measure passed along party lines.
“This does not protect our children, it endangers them,” said Erin Gabbard, a parent in a school district that experienced a school shooting in 2016. “Allowing teachers to go armed with our children at school with, at most, 24 hours of training is woefully inadequate. It makes our children less safe.”
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