Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a controversial bill into law Monday morning, expediting training for armed teachers and other adults to harden schools.
DeWine held a news conference announcing the signing of HB 99. It reduces the number of hours teachers need for firearms training from 700 hours to as little as 24 hours, with the goal of hardening schools quicker in the wake of the shooting in Texas last month that killed 19 elementary school students and two teachers.
DeWine said the 700-hour requirement prevented Ohio school districts from allowing employees to carry guns. Local school boards will authorize teachers to carry guns and can also decide to ban guns. He said, “this doesn’t require any school to arm teachers or staff — Every school will make its own decision.”
DeWine stated that his staff “worked with the General Assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety.” He thanked lawmakers for “passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers.”
Training includes how to stop an active shooter, de-escalate a violent situation, and provide first-aid care. At least four hours will be “scenario-based or simulated training exercises” and “tactical live firearms training,” according to the law.
HB 99 is the second major gun bill that DeWine, a Republican, signed into law this year. The first eliminates the requirement for a license to carry a concealed handgun.
“We’ve heard people say ‘Do something,'” Republican State Senator Terry Johnson recently said on the Senate floor. “Well, this is something, and it’s a significant something.”
Meanwhile, President Biden disagrees with “hardening schools” against potential school shooters and would instead enact strict gun control laws that limit law-abiding citizens from defending themselves or others against bad guys with guns.
There has also been an increasing number of teachers in conservative states volunteering to carry firearms.