Ohio’s House Bill 99 has gone into effect, which means teachers, principals and school staff are now permitted to carry firearms on campus and in classrooms.
It went into effect on Monday.
“Our goal continues to be to help our schools, public schools, parochial schools, private schools, to have the tools they need to help protect our children,” DeWine said after signing the bill, the Examiner reported.
“Working together, we have come a long way to improve school safety in Ohio over the last decade, and we must continue this progress. We have an obligation to do everything we can every single day to try and protect our kids,” DeWine also said in a statement after signing the bill.
A 2021 Ohio Supreme Court ruling required that anyone thus authorized by a board of education must also have 700 hours of peace officer training, or 20 years of law enforcement experience.
However, such training can be expensive and time-consuming for any educator who might want to carry a firearm to protect children.
“After all, basic peace officer training costs can exceed $5,000, and a minimum of 737 training hours are required,” the Blaze reported.
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This new law, instead, requires up to 24 hours of initial training and then 8 more supplemental training hours each year. The employee must submit to a yearly criminal record check.
The district or specific school also must provide notice that it has authorized one or more persons to be armed on campus, according to the Blaze.
The new Ohio law comes after a big push to enhance school safety in response to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May that shook the whole country.