Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill Monday that allows school districts to authorize teachers, principals, bus drivers, custodial staff and other employees to carry guns while at work. House Bill 99 was drafted in response to the murder of 19 children and two teachers in the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting on May 24.
House Bill 99 would change state law to enable staff to carry weapons on school grounds by requiring the completion of a training program equivalent to “twenty hours of handgun training and five hours of
training in the use of other firearms, if any other firearm is to be used.”
The Ohio State Supreme Court previously ruled in 2021 that state law required those wishing to carry a gun on school grounds had to complete peace officer training or 20 years of peace officer experience, effectively barring regular staff from carrying weapons on school grounds due to the 728 hours of training required.
The bill moved quickly through the State Senate after the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, with only two Republicans joining all Democrats in voting against the bill.
However, Governor DeWine’s office said in a press release that “It is important to emphasize that the bill does not mandate the arming of school staff members but leaves the decision entirely to local school boards, which have the best understanding of the needs of their individual districts.”