Ohio governor signs bill allowing school staff to be armed with 24 hours of required training

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill that would cut down the required training time for teachers and staff to carry guns on school grounds into law.The bill, House Bill 99, sponsored by Butler County Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.), was signed into law Monday. Hall said he introduced the bill after his father, who was serving as a Madison High School resource officer, chased a shooter from the school back in 2016.Video above: Ohio bill outlining gun training requirements for teachers includes ongoing simulated trainingAs of now, school staff members need to finish 700 hours of training to become peace officers.The bill lowers that to a maximum of 24 hours followed by 8 annual hours, though school districts could require more. School boards can also develop their own training plans that are submitted to DPS for approval.Of the 24 hours of gun training teachers would need to take in year one, four would involve “scenario-based or simulated training.”After that, the bill calls for eight hours of annual training with similar tactical requirements.It will be up to individual school boards to allow for staff to be armed, but they are required to notify parents if they do so. The staff that does train to be armed will get an annual criminal background check. The legislation also creates the Ohio School Safety Center which will be made up of a chief mobile training officer and 16 regional officers that will be assigned to geographic locations around the state. The officers must be peace officers or veterans.The center will also help schools develop and implement emergency management plans and assist schools with security. The bill remains the subject of intense debate.Critics say it requires too little training for teachers approved to carry a gun in a classroom.Supporters say it will help keep students safe should an active shooter suddenly show up. “I think it’s a step in the right direction to help protect our children from the madness that’s happening more and more these days,” Jon Villing, a firearms expert, said. A supporter of the plan, Villing says any teacher who gets the green light from their school board to have a firearm needs to train rigorously for a possible encounter with an active shooter. “Nobody understands what your body and your brain are, how you’re going to react when your heart rate goes through outer space and then back, right. I mean, you’re going to be scared when something like that happens,” Villing said. Critics of the bill say the 24 hours of gun training is too little, especially since police recruits in Ohio have to have at least 60 hours of firearms training.”I think what folks need to understand as far as the law enforcement side goes, 60 hours of firearms training ā€” that’s in the police academy,” Hamilton Township Police Chief Scott Hughes said. After that, Hughes says based on Ohio law, officers only have to fire 25 rounds once a year. “That’s very static. It’s very standing there. It’s not dynamic, anything like that,” Hughes said. The bill’s author, Butler County Rep. Thomas Hall, said when it comes to teachers carrying guns, simple classroom instruction isn’t enough. “That’s why we put in there the scenario-based and simulated training exercises that they have to take part in,” Hall said. Before a court ruling ratcheted up training requirements last year, Hall said about 200 schools in Ohio had teachers who carried guns. The measure takes effect in 90 days.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill that would cut down the required training time for teachers and staff to carry guns on school grounds into law.

The bill, House Bill 99, sponsored by Butler County Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.), was signed into law Monday.

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Hall said he introduced the bill after his father, who was serving as a Madison High School resource officer, chased a shooter from the school back in 2016.

Video above: Ohio bill outlining gun training requirements for teachers includes ongoing simulated training

As of now, school staff members need to finish 700 hours of training to become peace officers.

The bill lowers that to a maximum of 24 hours followed by 8 annual hours, though school districts could require more. School boards can also develop their own training plans that are submitted to DPS for approval.

Of the 24 hours of gun training teachers would need to take in year one, four would involve “scenario-based or simulated training.”

After that, the bill calls for eight hours of annual training with similar tactical requirements.

It will be up to individual school boards to allow for staff to be armed, but they are required to notify parents if they do so. The staff that does train to be armed will get an annual criminal background check.

The legislation also creates the Ohio School Safety Center which will be made up of a chief mobile training officer and 16 regional officers that will be assigned to geographic locations around the state. The officers must be peace officers or veterans.

The center will also help schools develop and implement emergency management plans and assist schools with security.

The bill remains the subject of intense debate.

Critics say it requires too little training for teachers approved to carry a gun in a classroom.

Supporters say it will help keep students safe should an active shooter suddenly show up.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction to help protect our children from the madness that’s happening more and more these days,” Jon Villing, a firearms expert, said.

A supporter of the plan, Villing says any teacher who gets the green light from their school board to have a firearm needs to train rigorously for a possible encounter with an active shooter.

“Nobody understands what your body and your brain are, how you’re going to react when your heart rate goes through outer space and then back, right. I mean, you’re going to be scared when something like that happens,” Villing said.

Critics of the bill say the 24 hours of gun training is too little, especially since police recruits in Ohio have to have at least 60 hours of firearms training.

“I think what folks need to understand as far as the law enforcement side goes, 60 hours of firearms training ā€” that’s in the police academy,” Hamilton Township Police Chief Scott Hughes said.

After that, Hughes says based on Ohio law, officers only have to fire 25 rounds once a year.

“That’s very static. It’s very standing there. It’s not dynamic, anything like that,” Hughes said.

The bill’s author, Butler County Rep. Thomas Hall, said when it comes to teachers carrying guns, simple classroom instruction isn’t enough.

“That’s why we put in there the scenario-based and simulated training exercises that they have to take part in,” Hall said.

Before a court ruling ratcheted up training requirements last year, Hall said about 200 schools in Ohio had teachers who carried guns.

The measure takes effect in 90 days.

Contributed by local news sources

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