Educators and other school staff in the state of Ohio can now carry a gun in class after completing 24 hours of training.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has announced he will sign the House Bill 99 (HB99) bill on Monday morning, according to some outlets.
The law, according to the outlet, changes the number of training hours required for school staff to carry a weapon. Originally, 700 hours of training were required, and with the signing of the new law, school staff who want to be armed must experience 20 hours of first-aid training and four hours of “scenario-based training”, media reports.
In addition, under the new law, school staff members who decide to arm themselves in class will be subject to eight hours of annual “qualification training,” according to WKYC.
While the Ohio governor has changed the training requirements for armed school staff, school districts can decide whether school staff are allowed to carry or not, according to the outlets. In addition, each of the district school councils will have the opportunity to decide whether additional training is required.
At a news conference on Monday, in which DeWine announced that he had signed the provision into law, he stressed that school districts have the opportunity to make the decision that suits them.
“Each school council will determine what’s best for its students, staff, and community,” DeWine said.
DeWine’s announcement to turn HB 99 into law comes weeks after 21 people were shot and killed, including 19 children at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas. After the deadly shooting, gun control was a hotly debated topic in the nation’s Capitol and across the country. President Joe Biden and others have called on Congress to strengthen gun laws.
The WKYC reported that Republicans in Buckeye State said measures like HB99 could help stop tragedies such as the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School.
On Sunday, it was announced that a bipartisan group of senators had reached a firearms agreement.
“Today, we announce a common sense and bipartisan proposal to protect American children, keep our schools safe and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” the group said in a statement.
The deal, reached by 20 senators, includes stricter background checks for anyone under the age of 21 looking to buy a firearm. The proposal by the 10 Democrats and 10 Republican senators also closes the so-called “friend loop”, which seeks to prevent housekeepers from having a gun.
Among the Republicans who agreed on the gun reform legislation were Utah Senator Mitt Romney, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman.
“Our goal is to continue to help our public and private schools get the tools they need to protect our children,” DeWine said in response to News Week.
“In partnership, we have come a long way in improving school security in Ohio over the past decade and we must continue to make that progress. We have a commitment to do everything we can every day to try to protect our children,” he said. he added. .
Updated 6/13/2022, 1:08 PM ET: This story has been updated with comments from Gov. Mike DeWine.