2013 - BFA in the News

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December 27, 2013
Akron Beacon-Journal - Akron area women buying guns, obtaining concealed carry permits

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a pro firearms political action committee, said his group estimates that about 392,000 Ohioans have CCW permits, and about 150,000 of those are women.

"A lot of instructors say women make up over half of their classes," he said.

December 16, 2013
Gongwer News Service - Education Notes: OEA Takes Stand Against Teachers-With-Guns Policies; Firearm Group Polls On Armed Faculty

Armed Personnel: The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, meanwhile, reports that at least 20 Ohio school districts have allowed individuals to carry firearms in school, according to a survey it conducted.

Among those granting teachers, administrators and others permission to carry guns are rural, urban and suburban district types as well as public, private and parochial schools, the group said. (Survey details)

"While 20 districts may not seem like an overwhelming number, it's important to note that this is not an exhaustive list," Buckeye Firearms Foundation Chairman Jim Irvine said. "We know of districts that authorized people to carry many months ago, but didn't participate in our survey. So that's not counted in the 20 districts.

"Additionally more respondents answered that they expect to be authorized to carry firearms in the next year than answered that they were already authorized. Our conversations with districts indicate that many have shifted their thinking from 'Should we authorize carry?' to 'How should we authorize carry?' Fifty three percent of respondents indicated they would like to have permission to carry a gun, but have not discussed it with their school board."

Buckeye Firearms said it surveyed more than 300 teachers, administrators and school employees who had signed up to be trained to carry firearms in schools. Of the districts that allow faculty to carry guns, some implemented such policies soon after last year's Sandy Hook shooting, the group said. Others waited until the start of this school year.

One-third of respondents indicated they had armed persons in their schools at least some of the time, the group reported. Most of those individuals are school resource officers, who are law enforcement officers with additional training to deal with school violence.

About 20% of respondents said their school is frequented by uniformed police officers. Others are visited by plain clothes officers or have space available as a remote office for police in their school, according to Buckeye Firearms.

Of those schools without an SRO, 60% of respondents said they never had one, while 12% indicated they used to have one but the position was eliminated because of budget issues. Only 2% indicated they are planning to hire an SRO, the survey showed.

December 15, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "The Great Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest on "The Great Outdoors" with host Calvin Pyle. The show is syndicated Sundays at noon on WKFI AM 1090, WEDI AM 1130, WBZI AM 1500, FM 100.3 and on the Internet at www.myclassiccountry.com .
 

December 14, 2013
Norwalk Reflector - Survey: More Ohio schools authorize teachers to carry guns

Today marks the one-year anniversary since a man murdered his mother, stole her gun and her car, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

There he broke a window through which he entered the school, murdered several administrators then walked down the hallway and shot teachers before killing a classroom full of children. All told, he killed 27 people before committing suicide.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation recently surveyed school employees to find out what has changed in the year since the Newtown killings. The information below is from slightly more than 300 responses taken from school teachers, administrators, and other employees who signed up to be trained to carry firearms in schools.

There are at least 20 different school districts in Ohio that have authorized individuals to carry firearms in schools. The list includes rural, urban and suburban schools. It includes public, private and parochial schools. It covers small, medium and large schools and all grade levels. Those authorized include teachers, administrators and others. In short, it is a cross section of Ohio, and the United States of America.

Some of these districts took quick action and had authorized people carrying soon after the Sandy Hook killings. Others waited until the start of the current school year. Many are considering expanding their program to include more people as they realize there is great upside potential and almost no downside issues with authorizing good people to carry the tools necessary to stop an active killer.

One third of respondents indicated they had armed persons in their schools at least some of the time. Most of those are School Resource Officers (SRO) who are law enforcement officers with additional training to deal with school violence. Most SROs are assigned to a specific school, but many split their time between multiple schools.

About 20 percent of respondents said their school is frequented by uniformed police officers. Others are visited by plain clothes officers or have space available as a remote office for police in their school. Anytime police are present in the building, kids are safer.

Of those schools without an SRO, 60 percent of respondents said they never had one, while 12 percent indicated they used to have one, but they were let go because of budget issues. Only 2 percent indicated they are planning to hire an SRO.

"While 20 districts may not seem like an overwhelming number, it's important to note that this is not an exhaustive list. We know of districts that authorized people to carry many months ago, but didn't participate in our survey. So that's not counted in the 20 districts," said Jim Irvine, Chairman of Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

"Additionally more respondents answered that they expect to be authorized to carry firearms in the next year than answered that they were already authorized," Irvine said. "Our conversations with districts indicate that many have shifted their thinking from 'Should we authorize carry?' to 'How should we authorize carry?' Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated they would like to have permission to carry a gun, but have not discussed it with their school board."

When asked who should be permitted to carry guns in schools, only 1% answered that "only law enforcement" should have access to guns. 20% indicated that anyone with a concealed handgun license should be permitted to carry in schools. That has been the law in Utah for about 10 years.

Twenty-nine percent indicated that anyone who can pass the same shooting qualification as police should be able to carry, and 49% indicated that those authorized by the school board should be permitted to carry. Only one response indicated that no one should be able to have guns in schools.

When asked "In your opinion, what do parents think about having armed security?," 61 percent indicated they had not had enough conversations to provide a good answer. Of those who had discussions, slightly over half indicated parents support armed security, and most of the rest thought parents were fairly evenly split on the topic. Only 7 percent thought parents oppose armed security in schools. Many district surveys over the past year have found similar results.

"There is unanimous agreement that we need to keep our kids safe in schools," Irvine said. "While there is broad support for authorizing people to carry firearms in schools, there is a vocal minority who are strongly opposed. Those opposed come up with hypothetical situations that, while possible, are incredibly unlikely and have never materialized elsewhere in the US.

"Why would Ohio be any different? Their worst case scenario pales in comparison to the reality of Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Newtown. What is even more frustrating is that they offer no alternative solutions with a realistic chance of stopping a killer inside the building. Maybe that is because there is no other workable alternative for this problem."

The fact remains that the only reliable way to end a mass shooting is resistance with enough force to stop the killer. Most of the time that response comes from civilians, not law enforcement. An armed response is safer and quicker than an unarmed response when facing an armed adversary. A response from within a building will be quicker than a response from outside the building.

Time is the most critical element of the response and ability to limit the death toll, gun supporters say. Many districts have studied the facts and realized that authorizing the good people who are already in their school to carry firearms is the best return on their investment for school safety and security.

Many other schools are realizing that this is no longer just a fringe idea. There is comfort in numbers. As more districts authorize individuals to carry firearms, neighboring districts are finding it more comfortable to follow that trend.

Irvine said guns are simply a safety tool. "There will come a time when the number of schools with armed persons is equal to the number of schools with fire extinguishers. It's not about guns anymore than it's about fire extinguishers. It's about safety. It is understandable that most schools didn't want to be the first to authorize people to carry guns. It will be far worse for those forced to defend why they were last."

December 14, 2013
WTAM 1100AM (Cleveland)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed for a news report on WTAM addressing the introduction of a Constitutional Carry bill in the Ohio legislature.
 

December 14, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Last year's Sandy Hook school shootings added to safety concerns that the Chardon shootings had already raised in Ohio

The Buckeye Firearms Association this week said that more than 20 school districts in Ohio have decided to allow properly trained staff to have guns in their buildings. But Jim Irvine, the association’s chairman, declined to name them.

Irvine said districts should decide themselves whether they want the public to know, or whether possible attackers should have to wonder. He also said he respects keeping response plans private, so attackers can't plan to counter them.

"I have the list," Irvine said. "I can't send it to you."

Irvine said his organization ran seven training sessions for school staff that want to carry a gun at school, each with 24 students. Three were in Medina County, he said, and were run by the Chris Cerino Training Group, of Wadsworth.

State law requires any staff to have a concealed carry permit to have a gun in schools, so the classes were not basic handgun training, Irvine said. They covered advanced firearm handling and things like first aid, previous school shootings and how to find a clear shot in a crowded and chaotic situation.

Irvine said his goal is for school systems to find "safety in numbers" and feel more comfortable allowing guns as other districts do so. He predicted that by next year, 40 to 50 Ohio districts will allow guns.

"I really believe that the day will come when the number of schools with an armed person in them will be the same as the number of schools with a fire extinguisher -- which will be all of them," Irvine said.

December 13, 2013
NRAnews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com. Linda discussed her interview for the Washington Post article entitled "In Ohio, momentum favors gun rights movement" with Cam & Co. host Cam Edwards.
 

December 13, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) - Bill would eliminate concealed carry licenses in Ohio

Gun advocates often point out that the Second Amendment is the only one that requires permission to exercise. The bill's sponsors believe this would put the Second Amendment on the same level as others.

"Similar bills have been introduced in every session going back as far as I can think of and none of them have passed yet and I'd be surprised if this one really moved too," said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Irvine supports the concept of the bill, but his group hasn't officially voiced support for the legislation. He says they're focused on a bill that makes reforms to gun laws in Ohio.

"If it passed, I don't think we would see any big change in Ohio," he said.

Opponents, like Amy Pulles with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, say that without a license those wanting to carry a concealed weapon wouldn't have to take training courses.

"Without the training you're not aware of what the concealed carry laws are in Ohio," she said.

Pulles also worries that criminals would be able to carry concealed weapons in public, but Irvine says that happens now.

"If they're criminals they're going to carry the gun anyway," he said.

There are a handful of other states that don't require a license to carry a concealed weapon. Irvine claims those states don't have any major issues.

December 11, 2013
Washington Post - In Ohio, momentum favors gun rights movement

Ohio's gun lobbying group, the Buckeye Firearms Association, has also had a busy year. The organization is less than 90 memberships from becoming the National Rifle Association's top recruiting club this year, having signed up more than 1,200 people.

In Columbus, the Republican-controlled legislature has considered, but not passed, a range of gun-related bills, including universal background check legislation and a measure that would allow state officials to carry guns in public buildings. A "stand your ground" law, which would make it easier for property owners to use deadly force, passed the House of Representatives last month and is awaiting action in the Senate.

A proposal backed by gun-control advocates would require firearm owners to secure their weapons when minors are in the home. Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the Newtown shootings, testified in favor of the measure Tuesday in Columbus.

Yet most of the momentum in Ohio in the past year has clearly favored gun rights forces. "It's been historically difficult for the gun-control side to effectively not only mobilize, but sustain that effort across a long period of time," Spitzer said. "It's kind of the asymmetry of this issue."

But Linda Walker, chair of the Buckeye Firearms Association and an NRA board member, says gun-control groups are much-better funded and organized than before.

"I wouldn't say the anti-gun side is being quiet," Walker said, pointing to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's large contributions to political candidates who support gun control. "He's spending a significant amount of money in multiple states."

December 9, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Deep divisions remain after Sandy Hook

"If the state requires that a gun is locked up in a house, that's the gun I use for self-defense, and that's illegal and unconstitutional," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "You cannot require the gun to be locked up and unusable in the house."

...Irvine said break-ins and home invasions are far more common than murder sprees such as Sandy Hook, and Ohioans need access to their firearms to protect themselves and their families.

December 8, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "The Great Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on "The Great Outdoors" with host Calvin Pyle. The show is syndicated Sundays at noon on WKFI AM 1090, WEDI AM 1130, WBZI AM 1500, FM 100.3 and on the Internet at www.myclassiccountry.com .
 

December 2, 2013
HumanEvents.com - Women the 'Holy Grail' of gun rights movement

Over the past couple of years there has been an increase in the number of women participating in firearm training courses, said Linda Walker, central Ohio chair of Buckeye Firearms Association.

"Two-thirds of our new enrollees are women," said Walker. "Across the board our instructors are reporting an increase in women participants."

Even leadership roles are being filled by women, she said. "I was the only female with BFA who was a leader since I became involved in 2005, as of last year there are now four females in leadership positions."

There has been a complete shift in the mindset of mostly women who are now open to receiving firearm training, she said. "Women are becoming aware that self-defense is up to us because our husbands or boyfriends are not always there to protect us."

Women have certain physical capabilities, she said. "I know I could not physically fight-off a man who was attacking me."

Walker who is also an N.R.A. board member said the earlier in which we teach children about gun safety and responsibility the more safe they will be.

Enrolling children in an Eagle Program for firearm education at an early age is the quickest way to keep them safe, she said.

"Just like we teach a child not to touch a hot stove, we can teach a child not to touch the gun."

November 25, 2013
WOSU 89.7 FM (NPR Columbus) - Prospects for Ohio's "Stand Your Ground" Law

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson appeared as a guest on WOSU's "All Sides with Ann Fisher" discussing House passage of House Bill 203, legislation which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws.
 

November 25, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Accidental shootings have tragic consequences for kids

Millions of parents with minor children own guns, and sometimes owners underestimate the ability of children to access and operate their firearms, child advocates said.

Meanwhile, gun-rights groups said educating and training children on gun safety is the only way to prevent tragic accidental shootings.

"We should be teaching them, 'If you find a gun, stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult,'" said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "The only way to guarantee safety is to educate them."

...Under current law, prosecutors can determine whether an unintentional shooting was accidental or the result of criminal negligence, and there is a huge difference, said Irvine, with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"If someone runs over a child and kills them with their car, there are cases where it was criminal negligence and there are cases where it was a tragic accident," he said. "It's the same thing with guns - there are cases where it was criminal negligence and they should be prosecuted and there other ones that are terrible accidents."

Safely securing a firearm in one household may not be safe in another, depending on a variety of factors, including the age and temperament of the children, he said.

"Safe storage is important, but a law telling me what is safe is impossible to craft because I don't know what your house is like or what my house will be like a year from now," Irvine said.

Accidental gun deaths among children are tragic, but they are rare, said the Institute for Legislative Action, the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association. The odds are more than 1 million-to-1 against a child in the United States dying in a firearm accident, the group said.

"The only possible way to keep that child safe is education," Irvine said. "They have to know the basic firearms rules - you treat all guns as if they are loaded."

November 22, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Ohio gun bill would limit police stops, some fear

Ken Hanson, an attorney and legislative chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told lawmakers the provision means "simply carrying a gun is not a violation of Ohio law." Supporters have argued that people who are legally carrying guns are sometimes stopped and frisked for no reason other than that someone else felt the need to alert police.

"Can a citizen exercise a right without risking dangerous, armed confrontations with police?" Hanson said. "Is the policy of Ohio that a citizen can exercise a right without risking armed confrontation with the police?"

November 21, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Marc Amazon Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Marc Amazon Show. Joe discussed House passage of HB 203. Joe also discussed the very latest on the move to arm teachers and school employees to protect school children. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

November 21, 2013
Dix Communications - Ohio House Passes 'Stand Your Ground' Bill

"'Stand Your Ground' is a marketing label, it's a media label, it has no independent meaning," Ken Hanson, legislative chairman for the Buckeye Firearms Association, told reporters the day before the House vote on the bill. "Ohio is the only state a person acting in self defense has to prove they were acting in self defense. Every other state, it's up to the prosecution to prove they weren't acting in self defense. So trying to compare what Ohio is proposing to do to what other states have done, it's not a valid comparison."

November 21, 2013
Van Wert Independent - Ohio House OKs conceal carry legislation

Submitted information
COLUMBUS — HB 203, a bill that seeks to update Ohio's concealed carry program, has passed the Ohio House by a 62-27 vote, and will now be forwarded to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

HB 203 has significant support as shown by the overwhelming House vote. Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA have both endorsed the legislation, which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio’s concealed carry laws.

The bill would strengthen the background checks required to obtain an Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Under the bill, Ohio CHL applicants would need to pass a NICS-compliant background check (National Instant Check System), making it compatible with more states. This improvement will also help prevent people with mental health disqualifiers who have been entered into the federal database from obtaining a CHL.

The bill would also move Ohio to an automatic reciprocity system, relieving the Attorney General from the requirement to sign agreements with every state for reciprocity. The Attorney General would still be permitted to sign agreements if needed, but the bill seeks to streamline the process and open up agreements with states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Georgia with which Ohio does not currently have agreements.

"Reciprocity remains a critical issue for people with a CHL," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association. "Background checks have been a hot topic since the Newtown killings, and ours has some issues that should be addressed. This bill makes sure people with disqualifying offenses are not issued CHL's. This is something everyone should be happy about."

The bill would also update the requirements and disqualifications to obtain an CHL. Currently there are different standards to possess a gun under federal and state law, and different still to obtain a CHL. HB 203 harmonizes Ohio law with federal law so that someone who is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm will not be issued a CHL. Ohio would also be able to issue licenses to out-of-state residents, something many other states already do.

Under the bill, required topics for Ohio CHL training would remain the same, but the arbitrary mandate that requires instructors to spend 12 hours covering those topics would be reduced to four hours. Most experienced instructors agree that the same training can be covered in less time.

"Ohio has one of the nation's most egregious CHL training requirements," said Irvine. "Other states have seen that more people get training when the time requirement is reduced. We are strong advocates of training and want to see more people become trained in the safe use of firearms. But padding the classes to fill 12 hours when the same information can be effectively covered in less time makes no sense.

Finally, HB 203 seeks to modify the state's self-defense law. Current law specifically states that a person has no duty to retreat before using deadly force if that person is in he or her own home or automobile. HB 203 would expand that to anyplace that a person lawfully has the right to be.

"The law should not impose specific 'duties' on people whose lives are in jeopardy," observed Sean Maloney, a Cincinnati-area attorney specializing in self-defense and firearm law. "It should protect the innocent and their right to defend their own life from criminal attack. The bill would not otherwise change the threshold to legally use lethal force in defending one’s life."

November 20, 2013
WLWT (NBC Cincinnati) - Ohio House passes 'Stand your ground' law

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board Member Gerard Valentino was interviewed about House passage of HB 203. Click here to view the video.
 

November 20, 2013
Gongwer News Service - House Passes Bill To Ease Concealed-Carry Requirements, Interstate Handgun License Agreements

The Buckeye Firearms Association released a statement after the House vote applauding the bill's passage.

The bill "has significant support as shown by the overwhelming House vote. Buckeye Firearms Association and the NRA have both endorsed the legislation, which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws," the group said.

"Reciprocity remains a critical issue for people with a CHL," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association. "Background checks have been a hot topic since the Newtown killings, and ours has some issues that should be addressed. This bill makes sure people with disqualifying offenses are not issued CHL's. This is something everyone should be happy about."

Regarding the new training guidelines in the bill, he added, "Ohio has one of the nation's most egregious CHL training requirement."

"Other states have seen that more people get training when the time requirement is reduced. We are strong advocates of training and want to see more people become trained in the safe use of firearms. But padding the classes to fill 12 hours when the same information can be effectively covered in less time makes no sense."

November 20, 2013
UPI - Ohio House set to act on expanded 'stand-your-ground' bill

The proposed law would still require a person to prove he acted in self-defense, said Ken Hanson, legislative chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

November 20, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Stand your ground" bill nears vote in Ohio House

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in an interview that the change wouldn’t affect a huge number of cases in Ohio. But when people’s lives are in danger, he said, it’s important that they know they can act in time to protect themselves.

“If you’ve gone through defending your life from a violent encounter, I don’t think it’s right that you have your life in jeopardy again because of legal problems now,” Irvine said.

The change would bring Ohio law into line with what most other states already have, he said. In addition, he said, Ohio would still have tough self-defense laws on the books.

...Irvine said the changes would help preserve gun rights, increase safety, and reduce red tape.

November 20, 2013
DailyCaller.com - Ohio concealed carry licenses soar

Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association, said the numbers show that the public rejects recent gun control efforts. "It is abundantly clear that Ohioans don’t want more gun control. In fact, they want to exercise their Constitutional rights and have the ability to own and carry firearms for personal protection."

..."It has been over nine years since Ohio's concealed carry law took effect," said Irvine. "It is clear that despite the handwringing and dire predictions some made, the law is obviously working well and is popular with responsible, law-abiding adults who care about safety."

Irvine also says none of this should be surprising. "The fact is, all 50 states now have concealed carry laws in effect. And not a single state has ever had a problem with it. Today, the same people who predicted concealed carry would create a bloodbath, are now saying Stand Your Ground will create a crime wave. They were wrong then and they're wrong now."

November 20, 2013
Toledo Blade - 'Stand your ground' vote on tap - Ohio's House could decide on measure as soon as today

Ken Hanson, legislative director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee that Ohio's law will remain distinctive from those of other "stand your ground" states and insisted it will not lead to government-excused shootings in the name of self-defense.

"Ohio is in the minority of one, perhaps two states, that require a defendant to prove an affirmative defense that they were acting in self-defense," he said. "The other states ... require the prosecution to prove that the defendant was not acting in self-defense."

November 19, 2013
Ohio Public Radio - Ohio's Version of "Stand your Ground" Bill Passes House Committee

The bill that's passed the Ohio House committee is controversial. The Buckeye Firearms Association's Ken Hansen says this bill will make it easier for Ohioans to defend themselves. But he says this bill would not be like the Stand your Ground laws on the books in some other states, like Florida for example.

"So for instance, here in Ohio, the defendant has the burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they were acting in self-defense," Hansen explained, "In Florida and these other states, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they weren't acting in self-defense so we are trying to differentiate the label because when they use the label, they think Ohio is doing what these other states are doing and Ohio is still going to be vastly different. We are going to be in the minority of one still that the defendant still has to prove it."

November 19, 2013
Gongwer News Service - Wide-Ranging Gun Legislation Clears House Committee, Garners Array Of Witness Testimony

Speaking in support of the bill, Ken Hanson, of the Buckeye Firearm Association, argued that "really what we're voting on in HB 203 is the public policy in the state of Ohio." He added that the police need to be held accountable for doing their job, in response to concerns raised by some opponents.

The witness further urged the state to consider the "duty to retreat" logically, not emotionally, saying you can't compare what happens nationwide to Ohio.

In response to Rep. Clyde, Mr. Hanson said there isn't a "constitutional right to induce panic," but there is a right to peacefully authorize a constitutionally given power.

November 19, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - ‘Stand Your Ground’ Gun Bill Clears Hurdle At Ohio Statehouse

Ken Hanson from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation say current Ohio law is antiquated and should be changed.

"Ohio is the only state that requires that a defendant prove by a preponderance of evidence they were acting in self-defense," said Hanson. "Every other state requires the prosecution to prove they weren't acting in self-defense. So there is no logical way to compare what Ohio's proposing to do compare to what other states are doing."

Gary Daniels with the Ohio ACLU says the proposed law is unfair because it targets minorities.

"There's a racial component to this," said Daniels. "There will be certain people who will be at the business end of an expansion of Stand Your Ground laws and that is the minority community."

Hanson says it should be legal for a person to fight back and use deadly force whenever attacked.

“Can a person outrun a gun? Well, no that's absurd to think about that," said Hanson. "Well then our law is absurd because we have to prove I couldn't outrun that gun. We're just trying to modernize our law like every other state.”

Daniels says there are many similarities between Ohio's proposed law and Florida’s.

"Stand Your Ground comes in all different kind of flavors and the devil is always in the details as to what legislators want to put in legislation," said Daniels.

Hanson says, if anything, the proposed law just suffers from a PR problem.

"There's no way we're going to change the labeling it's just too convenient for people to use it as a shorthand," said Hanson.

November 19, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - 'Stand your ground' gun bill gets committee approval

"There is nothing wrong with the existing self-defense standard in Ohio," Mike Weinman of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, told the committee today, arguing that "stand your ground" laws escalate violence.

"No one with proper training would believe that they need to run away when a weapon is placed upon their person by a criminal."

If that is true, then the law is flawed, said Ken Hanson, legislative chair for the Buckeye Firearms Association, because the law unnecessarily requires a person to prove he or she could not have retreated from the situation.

The law would still require a person to prove he acted in self defense, Hanson said.

November 19, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Scott Sloan Show. Sean discussed news that demand for Ohio handgun licenses continued at a record setting pace, setting new records for the most number of initial licenses issued and most number of licenses renewed during a third quarter.
 

November 18, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Arguments to ricochet as gun bill is debated

The duty to retreat is unnecessary, supporters argue, because the person must still prove that he or she was not the aggressor in the conflict, and there was imminent danger with the only option being deadly force.

"All the bill would do is remove the duty to physically retreat from the self-defense test," said Ken Hanson of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "It doesn't give any new powers to use self-defense or create situations that don’t exist currently."

November 18, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on The Bill Cunningham Show. Jim discussed news that demand for Ohio handgun licenses continued at a record setting pace, setting new records for the most number of initial licenses issued and most number of licenses renewed during a third quarter. Download the podcast.
 

November 18, 2013
WTTE (Fox Columbus) - Guns At Home: An Ohio Lawmaker Pushes to Lock Them up

Buckeye Firearms President Jim Irvine says resources would be better spent on education, not more legislation and litigation.

"At the end of the day, we've already got laws on child endangerment that are used against people who leave a gun in a reckless situation where a child gets hurt," Irvine said. "The harder you make it to get that firearm, the less likely a homeowner will be able to defend themselves."

November 16, 2013
Gannett News Service - Concealed carry permits top '12 totals

Buckeye Firearms Association has compiled a county-by-county list of firearm instructors on its website. To find one in your area, check www.buckeyefirearms.org/Ohio-CCW-Instructors.

November 15, 2013
NRAnews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com. Linda discussed the testimony about HB 203 by anti-gun rights crazies with Cam & Co. host Cam Edwards.
 

November 13, 2013
WRGT (Fox Dayton) - Standing Their Ground

Supporters of the law say you already have a right to defend yourself in your car or your home. This would give you that same right no matter where you are.

"Currently in Ohio if I'm the victim of a crime outside my car I don't have that same presumption as if I'm inside my car," says Joe Eaton with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Eaton says even with the change you would still have to prove you didn't start the confrontation and that you had an immediate fear of death and deadly force was the only option.

"The only time this comes into play if someone is the victim of a criminal act," Eaton says.

November 13, 2013
WRGT (Fox Dayton) - Stand Your Ground Future Uncertain

Those who support the bill though say it would make our streets safer, "now, the hysteria is gun owners will use this law to walk across the street and shoot somebody they don't like. Well, that's not going to meet the self defense test in Ohio," said Larry Moore, with Buckeye Firearms Association.

November 3, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Capitol Insider: Gun lobby quick on the draw for politician

It seemed like a routine question.

State Rep. Terry Johnson had called a Statehouse news conference to discuss his revamped gun bill, which would bring "stand your ground" and other gun-friendly provisions to Ohio.

After going through his bulleted talking points on the substitute measure, he was asked: "What are the changes in the sub bill?"

The McDermott Republican appeared befuddled by the question, before turning to the gun-rights advocates standing behind him for the answer.

Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms Foundation, stepped to the microphone to explain the proposal that was introduced under Johnson's name.

November 1, 2013
The Sportsman Channel - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest on The Sportman Channel's Cam & Co. with host Cam Edwards.
 

October 31, 2013
Defiance Crescent - Proponents Defend Proposed Ohio Gun Law Changes

Ken Hanson, legislative director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said there are substantial legal differences between what's being proposed in Ohio and those in place in states like Florida.

October 30, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Ohio Lawmakers Debate Series Of Gun Laws

Gun proponents say they have such a majority at the statehouse, it's sometimes difficult for them to keep track of proposed gun legislation.

"An unfortunate but beneficial side to that is that many people want to introduce legislation so they can go back and campaign on it,” said Ken Hanson of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. “So with 12 or 13 bills down here, we can get stretched pretty thin."

Ohio's gun lobby is now taking aim at restrictions that prevent concealed weapons in churches, schools, universities and day care centers.

"We refer to these places a "victim zones" because the only people who are armed are the criminals," said Hanson. "Removing these victim zones will allow the people who have passed the training and gotten their license to go into these places armed makes sense."

...The most controversial gun proposal this fall is Ohio's version of a stand your ground law, made famous in Florida when George Zimmerman was acquitted in the Trayvon Martin killing.

...While the ACLU opposes the bill, Hanson says lawmakers should ignore the emotion the Florida case generated.

"If people look at what we're trying to do which is simply to remove the duty to retreat then they understand it," said Hanson.

October 30, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Ohio's self-defense law doesn't need fixing, officials say

Ken Hanson of the Buckeye Firearms Association said that under the bill, the state's lethal-force self-defense law would still say the person cannot be at fault in creating the situation. Also, there must still be reasonable grounds to think there was imminent danger of suffering physical harm or death.

"All the bill would do is remove the duty to physically retreat from the self-defense test," he said. "It doesn't give any new powers to use self-defense or create situations that don't exist currently."

Linda Walker, vice president of the Buckeye Firearms Association and a member of the NRA board of directors, described a scenario where a mom in a grocery-store parking lot, after putting her baby in the car, turns around and has a gun put to her head.

"Does she have a duty to retreat? In Ohio right now, she does," Walker said. "I don't know a mother who would run away from her babies."

No, she doesn't have to retreat, said both Michael Weinman, a retired Columbus police officer now working for the Fraternal Order of Police, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

...But Hanson said the woman still has to prove that she couldn't retreat. "The burden should be on the state to prove why this duty to retreat should continue."

October 29, 2013
Toledo Blade - Ohio lawmaker seeks to broaden self-defense rules in gun measure

Ken Hanson, legislative director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the proposed "stand-your-ground" law in Ohio would not be the same as in Florida. In Ohio, someone who uses a gun for self-protection in such a situation still would have to prove he did not cause the situation and show that he has reasonable grounds to believe he was in imminent danger.

October 29, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Revised legislation would further change Ohio gun law; 'stand your ground' language remains

Ken Hanson, legislative director of Buckeye Firearms Association, said the Florida law and this legislation are different. For example, he said, unlike Florida, Ohio law gives defendants the burden of proving they acted in self-defense.

Even if this bill passes, he said, Ohio law would still require that defendants must prove they weren't at fault in creating or escalating the situation that led to the death and that they had a reasonable belief that their life was in danger.

The duty to retreat, he said, comes from 13th and 14th century England.

"We're using a medieval concept for modern self-defense," Hanson said. "And no one believes you can outrun a gun."

October 29, 2013
Gongwer News Service - Concealed-Carry Overhaul Draws Support In House Panel

Ken Hanson, of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the greatest illustration he can give committee members on the stand your ground provision is to imagine him standing before the committee with a firearm.

"How many of you feel you can retreat?" he asked. "That's what we're talking about."

Self-defense is both a federal constitutional right and a state right, Mr. Hanson said. Ohio's self-defense law, however, puts the burden of proof on the defendant through the duty to retreat. This duty, he said, would be removed under the legislation.

In response to Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Mr. Hanson said there were compromises made in the concealed carry law, but stressed that the less burden to entry that we give people to enter that right, however, "is a good step to take."

He added that he's not aware of any state that's seen the "wild wild west" erupt from reforms to its self-defense laws, in response to Rep. Grossman.

October 29, 2013
Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau - Gun groups say Ohio's "Stand Your Ground" law would differ from Florida's

The Buckeye Firearms Association's Ken Hansen says the bill under consideration in Ohio differs from Florida's. He says that’s because it would include a standard that the person firing the weapon in self-defense could not be the one who created the situation that put him or her at risk in the first place.

And Hansen notes there would still be a requirement that the person legitimately feels as if his or her life or well-being is in danger. But Hansen says a current requirement now on the books mandating the person retreat from the situation would be removed.

"It doesn't create any new powers to use self-defense. It doesn't create situations that don't exist currently. All that would happen is rather than having a three-step lethal force test, it would simply be a two-step lethal force test."

The bill would also reduce training requirements, would require instant background checks and would increase reciprocity for gun ownership with other states.

October 29, 2013
NRAnews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on NRANews.com. Jim discussed the scheduling of HB 203 (Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform) for a second hearing with Cam & Co. host Cam Edwards.
 

October 28, 2013
NRAnews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com. Linda discussed the scheduling of HB 203 (Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform) for a second hearing with Cam & Co. host Cam Edwards.
 

October 23, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Bill Cunningham Show. Joe discussed news that yet another multiple victim public shooting has happened in a school where guns are banned.
 

October 14, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) - Veterans would be exempt from firearms training to get concealed carry permit

Gerard Valentino with the Buckeye Firearms Foundation supports the bill and says many veterans don't pursue their license because they can't afford them. He points out that Ohio wouldn't be the first state to make this move and none have had problems

"I find it difficult to believe that Ohio's veterans are dumber, less responsible, or more blood-thirsty than the veterans anywhere else," he said.

...Valentino says training in the military is much more intense than the training civilians get in the concealed carry training course.

October 13, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Background check debate moves online

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said there ought to be a better way to identify mental problems in the existing background check system, which currently doesn't prohibit weapons purchases by someone who has voluntarily sought mental health treatment. But, said Irvine, illnesses such as schizophrenia do respond to medication, so it raises for him the question of "when should they get their guns back" and be able to defend themselves?

Irvine said it is possible that the internet makes it easier for criminals to buy guns, but he argues that criminals use all kinds of weapons to kill and wonders if the next law would require background checks for such things as knives.

"I think people overestimate the kind of damage that guns can do," Irvine said. "So should we do all this stuff with knives? No, because the rapist wouldn't follow the rule. But a knife cut is not as emotional as guns."

October 8, 2013
MediaMatters.org - The Secret Fears Of The Gun Lobby And What They're Planning Next

Jim Irvine, of Ohio's Buckeye Firearms Association, explained how Republican legislators are playing defense, allowing them to play offense on issues like open carry, Stand Your Ground, and gun training for teachers. Irvine told the crowd to act locally but think and link nationally, that a victory or defeat for one is a victory or defeat for all. "Like Hitler and the Nazis," said Irvine, "Bloomberg looks for targets he can pick off. The idea is to take those one at a time, until there's nobody left except you."

October 7, 2013
The New Political - 'Stand Your Ground' bill stirs up controversy in Ohio

"It's removing a legal hurdle that a crime victim has to clear in the middle of a violent encounter," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Currently, you have the right to try and defend your life, but you have a duty to try and get away first…[H.B. 203] removes an unreasonable burden on the crime victim."

Irvine emphasized his belief that the current legal standard is unreasonable and tips the scales in favor of a dangerous perpetrator.

"It's not fair to force the crime victim to try and outrun the aggressor in a life or death situation. Stand Your Ground removes that very difficult obstacle," he said.

... Irvine believes that H.B. 203 really won't have any effect on the current standard of self-defense in Ohio. He said that in order to jeopardize someone else's life, a person must have three things: a weapon or the ability to kill, proximity to the other person, and intent to kill. According to Irvine, these would still apply if H.B. 203 passes.

"At the end of the day, it's a very small change to the law...the prosecutor can still argue that you didn't have to kill anyone," Irvine said.

He added that if someone were to kill an aggressor in a life-or-death situation, that person would still have the burden of proof, just like in any other murder case.

October 4, 2013
Gongwer News Service - Gun Advocates Say Proposed Change To ‘Duty To Retreat' Not Florida Law

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, disputed that characterization, saying the measure is much different than the divisive Florida law.

"There's been a lot of discussion on this bill, but this is really a minor tweak in Ohio law. This is not a drastic change," he said in an interview. "But because of the emotion of Zimmerman-Martin, it has become a political hot button."

The bill expands the circumstances under which a person has no duty to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of the person's residence, according to the Legislative Service Commission. Under the proposal, a person need not retreat if they are in a place where they have a lawful right to be.

Current law only specifies that individuals need not retreat from someone who is threatening them if they are at home or in their vehicle. The so-called Castle Doctrine was adopted several years ago.

Mr. Irvine said a critical difference between Rep. Terry Johnson's (R-McDermott) legislation and the Florida law is that the burden of proof will remain on an individual to prove their innocence by a preponderance of evidence that a lethal use of force was a matter of self-defense.

In Florida, the burden is on the state to prove that an individual committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt - a much lower standard, he said.

"So, obviously, it's a whole lot easier to get a conviction on somebody who uses lethal force against somebody in Ohio when the burden of proof is on somebody who used the gun, instead of on the state," he said. "In Ohio, the state doesn't have to prove anything."

Moreover, Florida's law allows for civil immunity, Mr. Irvine said. Under the Ohio proposal, someone who was found innocent of homicide due to self-defense could still be found liable in a civil suit for damages.

"Now the family's going to sue you because you intentionally shot their family member and he did have hospital bills, he did have pain and suffering, and you admitted you did it on purpose - you admitted that in criminal court," he said. "You did it because you had to, but now you're responsible for all his medical bills and you get sued for that. Florida's law has civil immunity for that. That's not in House Bill 203."

...Mr. Irvine said the current "duty to retreat" in Ohio law didn't make sense in actual life-threatening situations.

He dismissed concerned that it would make it too difficult for prosecutors to convict criminals. "We get people claiming self-defense all the time in screwy cases and they still get convicted of murder."

Mr. Irvine said the bill also includes important changes to reciprocity of concealed carry permits with other states and improvements to background checks.

"We can't get reciprocity with Texas because Texas looks at us and says our background checks aren't good enough," he said. "It actually solves a real problem with background checks that everybody's talked about for the last year."

October 3, 2013
Akron.com - Ohio considering self-defense law changes

Q: I’ve been hearing about “stand-your-ground” laws in the news. What does Ohio law say about using lethal force in a self-defense situation?

A: In Ohio, if you use lethal force in self-defense, you must prove by a “preponderance” (greater weight) of the evidence that you were properly acting in self-defense. Under current law, in order to act in self-defense, you must prove: 1) you were not at fault in creating the situation; 2) you had an honest belief and reasonable grounds to believe that you were in imminent danger of suffering serious physical harm or death, and that the only reasonable way to stop or avoid the attack was to use lethal force; and 3) you did not violate any duty to physically retreat from the situation.

Q: When might I be “at fault in creating the situation”?

A: A court would consider you to be at fault if you created the situation, unnecessarily prolonged it or escalated the amount of force involved.

Q: How does a court decide whether I had reasonable grounds to believe that I was in imminent danger?

A: Whoever is examining your claim of self-defense, “steps into our shoes,” taking into account your age, gender, physical condition, medical condition, training, etc., and looks at the objective facts to determine if you were reasonable in concluding that you were in imminent danger.

Q: Why would I have to prove that the only reasonable way to stop or avoid the attack was to use lethal force?

A: To claim self-defense, you must establish that the only reasonable way you could have stopped or avoided the attack was to use lethal force.

Q: What is the “duty to physically retreat”?

A: Before using lethal force, the law says you must physically retreat from the situation, if you can do so without taking unreasonable risks. However, the law does not require you to physically retreat from your own residence, place of business or vehicle.

Q: What is a “stand-your-ground” law?

A: Typically, “stand your ground” is used to describe a self-defense law that does not require a duty to physically retreat in a threatening situation.

Q: What changes is Ohio considering to its self-defense laws?

A: Ohio legislators are considering House Bill (H.B.) 203, which would entirely remove the duty to try to physically retreat from the situation. The proposed legislation also states, affirmatively, that a person does not have a duty to retreat as long as that person is someplace where they may legally be present. If H.B. 203 passes, you would have to prove, by a “preponderance of the evidence” that, in using lethal force against another person, you were properly acting in self-defense. Specifically, you would have to prove that: 1) you were not at fault in creating the situation; and 2) you had reasonable grounds to believe and an honest belief that you were in imminent danger of suffering serious physical harm or death, and that the only reasonable way to stop or avoid the attack was to use lethal force. If this bill passes, you would no longer have a duty to physically retreat from the situation.

This column was provided by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and prepared by L. Kenneth Hanson, of counsel at Firestone, Brehm, Wolf, Whitney and Young LLP in Delaware. Articles in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, the OSBA urges readers to seek advice from an attorney.

October 3, 2013
Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau - Self-Defense Bill Greeted With Protests At The Statehouse

Sean Maloney is a leader with the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun-rights advocacy group. He says liberal activists are the first ones who brought up Florida's Stand Your Ground laws and it was never actually used in the prosecution of George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of Trayvon Martin's death.

Maloney says adding a Stand Your Ground law wouldn't change much in the state of Ohio but urges that it's still necessary.

Maloney: "I feel that—if I reasonably believe that I'm in fear of death—it should stop there. My decision making process should stop there and I should have the ability—faced with death—to immediately protect myself, my family members, or whoever else is nearby."

Maloney explains that a person facing a deadly situation doesn't have time to think about which laws would apply to their dilemma.

Maloney: "No they're not going to—absolutely not—I think that analysis takes place after the fact because we already know that in a defensive gun-use situation or when we're fighting for our life we have a rush of adrenaline—we have tunnel vision—hearing deprivation—there's so much physically going on that we don't even remember what's happened shortly before, during, or even after until days later.

October 2, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Protesters rally against 'stand your ground' gun bill

While prosecutors and many law enforcement organizations oppose the bill, it is supported by many gun groups, including the Buckeye Firearms Association.

September 27, 2013
New York Times - Guns at School? If There’s a Will, There Are Ways

Meanwhile, in states where the laws do not prohibit teachers from carrying guns, teachers and other school personnel are seeking private training in increasing numbers.

"I think the number would shock people," said Jim Irvine, a firearms trainer in Ohio who has taught 168 teachers to carry guns in school since he began a program specifically for educators this year.

Mr. Irvine said he knew of several districts whose teachers and administrators were armed or training to be.

"Our law has always been that it's up to the individual school district," he said. "It's not new, but it's new in popularity."

September 24, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - ABC 6 TOWN HALL: 'Stand Your Ground' Discussion TODAY

As Ohio's lawmakers consider a proposal to expand self-defense laws in the state, supporters and opponents continue to debate the merits of the so-called "stand your ground" bill.

According to OSU law professor Joshua Dressler, Ohio law states: "If there's a place a person can retreat to safely, they're expected to do that rather than kill."

But that stipulation would be a thing of the past if House Bill 203 (Ohio's proposed stand your ground law) passes, according to Ken Hanson of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"It simply removes the duty to try and outrun the bad guy," Hanson said.

John Gilchrist of Ohio's Association of Police Chiefs has grave concerns about the proposal, saying, "This whole concept of stand your ground is immoral."

Both these men will take part in Tuesday's ABC 6 Your Voice, Your Future town hall meeting on the bill -- and so will the audience. Everyone in attendance will be able to voice their opinions via special instant polls.

Columbus Council Member Michelle Mills is creating a resolution opposing House Bill 203, and believes a public conversation about this controversial measure is vital as the bill is debated within the state legislature

Gilchrist believes passage of the bill would lead to increased danger in the state.

"This upsets the balance," he said. "It moves it to a situation where more and more homicides will become justified."

But according to Ken Hanson, "203 doesn't give anyone a right to do anything. It simply removes the duty to physically retreat. There is no new legal right created by 203."

The ABC 6 Your Voice, Your Future Town Hall Meeting will take place at the OSU Union on September 24 at 7 p.m.

September 24, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Joel Riley. Jim discussed President Obama's latest comments advocating gun control in the wake of yet another mass shooting in a "gun-free" zone. Download the podcast.
 

September 23, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) & WTTE (Fox Columbus) - "Stand Your Ground" Voice Your Opinion

Ohio gun law states, "if there's a place a person can retreat to safely, they're expected to do that rather than kill." But if House Bill 203 passes, the Buckeye Firearms Association says, "it simply removes the duty to try and out run the bad guy," to which Ohio's Association of Police Chiefs responds, "this whole concept of stand your ground is immoral."

Both of these men will take part in Tuesday's town hall meeting, and so will the audience. Everyone there will be able to voice their opinion in our special instant polls.

..."203 doesn't give anyone a right to do anything. It simply removes the duty to physically retreat. There is no new legal right created by 203."

September 23, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) & WTTE (Fox Columbus) - "Stand Your Ground" Supporters Speak Out

"People have both a federal constitutional right and a state constituional right to defend themselves."

And Ken Hanson from the Buckeye Firearms Association also says that when it comes to describing or characterizing what HB 203 does, some people are well...misfiring.

"Either through ignorance or through deliberate misinformation, the way the people opposed to this law are characterizing it is completely innacurate."

Hanson says 203 doesn't give anyone a right to do anything...it simply removes the "duty" to physically retreat from a threatening situation.

"If people are willing to objectively consider this, look at the before and after of what this law is, a lot of the current distress will go away."

September 19, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) & WTTE (Fox Columbus) - "Stand Your Ground" Supporter Wants Honest Debate

Buckeye Firearms Association's Ken Hanson is among the bill's vocal supporters, claiming the proposed legislation has been misinterpreted by critics.

"Either though ignorance, or through deliberate misinformation, the way the people opposed to this law are characterizing it is completely inaccurate," Hanson said. "People have both a federal constitutional right and a state constitutional right to defend themselves."

Hanson disagrees with the criticism from many "stand your ground" opponents who fear the proposal could discourage Ohioans from walking away during altercations.

"If people are willing to objectively consider this, look at the before and after of what this law is, a lot of the current distress will go away," he said.

September 15, 2013
Gun Talk Radio Show

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk®, a nationally syndicated radio show. Sean discussed the Colorado recall elections and the work Sean & other Buckeye Firearms Association leaders did there with show host Tom Gresham. Download the podcast.
 

September 15, 2013
Le Journal de Montreal - TEACHERS ARMED - Three days offered by the Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio

Day 1
√ The training begins with a two hour lesson on killings in the United States, analysis and how the police responded. "In 98% of cases, the shooter acted alone and achieved an average of five deaths per minute if no one intervenes, says James Irvine, president of the association. We've studied hundreds of killings to achieve these conclusions."
√ The rest of the day is over shooting at targets outside. The teachers must be very accurate. They are taught to reload their weapon quickly, shooting positions, how hold their weapon, aim and shoot.
√ To complete the training, teachers must have have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and have experience handling a weapon. They use their own weapon for the course. Most use 9mm caliber semiautomatic pistols.
Day 2
√ teachers are taught how to shoot moving targets at the shooting range and how to conceal their weapons when they wear them.
√ The tactical training begins. Teachers learn how to properly use the space of a school, for example, how the concrete wall
the classroom can be a protection.
√ A classroom, a corridor and a school hall have been recreated in the firearms training center. The
teachers walk through this space several targets were placed and must decide how to use their weapon for every situation. They use their weapons unloaded for this exercise.
Day 3
√ This is the stage called training "force against force. " This is a simulation of gunman entering the school. Teachers play each
turn the role of the killer or the victims. The situation is realistic, they should react amid shouts and chaos and learn how to find the shooter when all world is everywhere.
√ For this part, the teachers use guns compressed air that shoot plastic projectiles. "If you are hit by the bullets, the pain is sufficient to create a situation of stress in teachers and an adrenaline rush, "says James Irvine.
√ We do live teachers several scenarios different in case the shooter is in a large place like a cafeteria or auditorium. "They are faced with tough decisions like letting someone die in order to have a best target, "says James Irvine.
√ They receive medical training three hours to rescue the injured.

...

"If we could afford to have armed guards in every school, OK, but there are 150 000 schools across the country, it is impossible, "says James Irvine, President of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

September 14, 2013
Le Journal de Montreal - The guardians of the flock

Hundreds of teachers in the United States are back classroom after learning to wield a weapon against attack by a crazed gunman. It is predicted some might even carry a gun at campus, without the approval of their school board.

"It's always the same with the school shootings: we cry, we make vigils, it is unworthy, it restarts the debate on guns, but nothing
concrete is done. Stop talking and move to act. It is the time to train teachers, "said James Irvine, President of the Buckeye Firearms
Association, Ohio.

The pro-gun political action committee launched a training program last March for teach teachers how to make and to play a shooter.

There were 24 seats to be filled at the start, instead they received 1400 applications. The formation of $ 1,000 is available for free
teachers.

...

"They are willing to die for the children of others, "said James Irvine, President of the Buckeye Firearms Association and intructor. He saw teachers respond to all kinds of training. In many cases, they collapse in tears to the realism of the scenarios. "They are learning to respond when it is hell around them and manage their emotions. This is a very intense workout, they even forget to breathe, their brain stops working."

September 6, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - South Euclid Council President David Miller sponsors resolution opposing proposed 'stand your ground' law

Pro-gun organizations such as Buckeye Firearms Association endorse the bill. Others, such as the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, denounce the GOP-led initiative.

...Kaleda, who teaches those seeking a license to properly carry a gun, said rational and responsible people go through the process to gain a license to carry.

"Responsible people don't want to shoot somebody," he said. "The second worst thing I would ever have to do is shoot somebody. The worst thing would be just standing there without a gun when somebody is threatening my family."

As for carrying a gun into a bar, Kaleda refuted Nietert's assertion that one enters a bar only to drink alcohol.

"It's illegal now to drink alcohol and carry a firearm," he said. "But I would tell the chief to look at the menu in a bar."

Kaleda said he goes regularly with his young daughters to establishments that serve alcohol, while carrying his gun, to buy hamburgers, desserts and to eat from the salad bar.

"The most important point is that anytime we make an advancement and are moving forward there are opponents who try to give doom and gloom predictions that never happen," Kaleda said. "They're not a clairvoyant group of people.

September 4, 2013
Guns.com - Epic fail for Bloomberg group: No one goes to gun-control rally except 2A advocates (VIDEO)

Linda Walker of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, the pro-gun organization that assembled the folks for the counter-rally, had a more direct message for MAIG.

"There's no reason for Mayors Against Illegal Guns to be in Ohio," said Walker "Ohioans stand up for our constitutional rights and that's the way it's going to be."

"People are fired up, people are concerned," she noted. "It's overwhelming this many people show up on a Friday afternoon because our constitutional rights are that important."

September 3, 2013
MediaTrackers.org - Buckeye Firearms Association Flips Mayors Against Illegal Guns Rally

BFA chairwoman Linda Walker ultimately took over the tiny MAIG rally, expressing the crowd's support for the Second Amendment.

Barnacle, Luczyk and several other MAIG volunteers quickly packed up the banner they had been holding as a backdrop, distributed a press release to the reporters present, and left as the gun control rally morphed into a Second Amendment rally.

Walker, a member of the National Rifle Assocation (NRA) board of directors, explained to Media Trackers that the obvious lack of support for Bloomberg's anti-gun agenda in Ohio was representative of a larger movement nationwide.

"People are fired up, people are concerned that the direction of our country is not the direction that our forefathers wanted it to be," Walker said.

Walker asserted that Bloomberg "can't run his own state, let alone his own city."

"To have the gall — the gall — to come to the other 49 states, and want to intermingle in our politics, especially where the Second Amendment is concerned, is appalling," she added.

In response to the efforts of MAIG and other groups, Walker said BFA is joining what many consider a new front in America's ongoing debate over restrictions to the Second Amendment.

This week, Walker plans to visit Colorado with BFA legislative directors Ken Hanson and Sean Maloney. Several Colorado state legislators face recall elections as a result of their votes for strict new gun control laws this spring.

Hanson, Maloney, and Walker hope to assist local volunteers in their efforts to unseat Colorado state senators John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo).

"Combined, collectively, there will be 21 days that, between the 3 of us, that we will be there," Walker explained.

"I believe that, because Buckeye Firearms is willing to spend the money out there," she continued – while holding a $100 bill donated by an attendee of the August 30 rally, "that it should send a clear message to Ohio, particularly the anti-gun legislators that, 'Hey, if we're willing to spend $7,000 in another state, because their people stood up for their rights, can you imagine what we're gonna do in Ohio?'"

September 3, 2013
Guns.com - Gun-control advocacy gone wrong, overwhelmed by gun supporters (VIDEO)

Background checks, it's what everybody has been talking about.

According to the Pew Research Center, 80-90 percent of the country supports expanded background checks, but according to the turnout of pro gun control organizers at an Ohio rally, those numbers may be exaggerated.

Few pro gun-control advocates showed up, and were quickly overwhelmed by the opposition.

Those who arrived to support pro gun-control policies were vastly outnumbered by the NRA and Buckeye Firearms Association supporters in Columbus.

..."There's no reason for Mayors Against Illegal Guns to be in Ohio," said Linda Walker of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "Ohioans stand up for our constitutional rights and that's the way it's going to be."

"People are fired up, people are concerned," said Walker. "It's overwhelming this many people show up on a Friday afternoon because our constitutional rights are that important."

August 31, 2013
Youngstown Vindicator - Gun-rights advocates plead their case in Columbus

Luczyk was one of a handful of people supporting Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is pushing for tougher gun-control laws. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is co-chairman of the group and a major backer.

The Columbus stop was aimed at urging Republican Sen. Rob Portman to change his stance on gun-related issues.

But upward of 75 gun-rights advocates also got wind of the press event and were on hand to show their support for Portman and opposition to stricter gun- control efforts.

"There is no reason for Mayors Against Illegal Guns to be in Ohio," said Linda Walker, representing the Buckeye Firearms Association and a board member of the National Rifle Association. "Ohioans stand up for our constitutional rights, and that's the way it's going to be."

August 30, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Rally For Gun Background Checks Quickly Becomes Pro-Gun Event

It was a rally organized by gun-control supporters, but by the end, it looked more like an NRA rally.

"As a gun owner, I'm a responsible person and I think it's responsible to ask to have all gun owners have a background check," said Blanche Luczyk. "It's just common sense. Any responsible person who is willing to take the ownership of a gun should be willing to have that background check."

Luczyk was one of a half dozen members of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns who hosted the rally in the Arena District on Friday.

But when Luczyk started her speech by telling the crowd that former President Ronald Reagan supported background checks, she was drowned out by shouts of "Germany 1933" and "Hitler."

About 50 guns-rights supporters were on hand, some with rifles over their shoulders and others with handguns in hip holsters.

Charlie Roberts said he was there to make sure that gun rights advocates had their voices heard.

"I want to show my support for the NRA, gun rights and the 2nd Amendment," said Roberts. "We need to go after the criminals who commit crimes with guns and not the honest law abiding citizens. We don’t need any new laws, just enforce the ones on the books."

Roberts says with today's political divide, it's almost impossible to have a civil discussion on the gun issue.

"Our country is so split down the middle, I think it's tough to get a rational discussion on almost any social subject," said Roberts.

Luczyk says she's particularly disappointed in Republican Sen. Rob Portman for voting against background checks earlier this year.

"I'm surprised at our Congress every day that they're not doing anything," said Luczyk.

But the majority of people at the rally ended up chanting "We love Portman."

The counter-rally was another demonstration of the organizational power of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and the NRA, which quickly took control of the rally and the message.

"There's no reason for Mayors Against Illegal Guns to be in Ohio," said Linda Walker of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "Ohioans stand up for our constitutional rights and that's the way it's going to be."

After Luczyk addressed the crowd to some jeers and boos, Walker, with the crowd on her side, replaced her as a speaker.

"People are fired up, people are concerned," said Walker. "It's overwhelming this many people show up on a Friday afternoon because our constitutional rights are that important."

August 30, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Protest Turns Into Gun Rally In Arena District

What started out as a protest against Ohio Sen. Rob Portman turned into a 2nd Amendment rally in the Arena District Friday.

A small group of people who want stricter gun legislation and increased background checks were greatly outnumbered by an opposing group.

There were five people on one side, and at least ten times that number on the other. The groups debated the gun issue Friday at McFerson Commons Park, a grassy area south of the arch in the Arena District.

"The second amendment means what it says shall not be infringed, and I do not know what part of not be infringed they don't quite understand, but obviously they don't," said Doug Eakins, who was at the rally as an opponent of additional background checks.

"There's no reason not to have background checks. They just promote fear, horror that we're going to take guns away. That's not what this is about. This is about trying to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible people who don't deserve to have a gun," said Blanch Luczyk, a gun owner but supporter of additional background checks.

The smaller group, Mayor's Against Illegal Guns, originally started by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, came to Columbus to protest Portman, who voted in April against increased background checks.

The larger group came to support him, and it became a protest of a protest.

"The gun owners of Ohio are going to come out in droves today to show their support to Senator Rob Portman who has consistently been staunch on the second amendment rights," said Buckeye Firearms Director Linda Walker.

August 29, 2013
National Public Radio (NPR) "Middle Ground" by Celeste Headlee

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by NPR. Jim discussed the news of the start of a yet another faux gun group. Click here to listen to the podcast. The discussion begins at 10:35.
 

August 29, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases.

But guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too, at the nooner at McPherson Commons (Arch Park), 218 West St. near Nationwide Arena. (The event originally was scheduled for outside Portman's Columbus office on West Broad Street.)

"We need REAL GUN OWNERS to show up Friday in Columbus to push back against (New York City Mayor Michael) Bloomberg's anti-gun propaganda!" the Buckeye Firearms Association is emailing supporters.

"Feel free to make and bring signs, but be sure to keep the signs respectful and in good taste, such as "Guns Save Lives." Also, please make sure that you wear NRA or BFA clothing or hats to prevent you from being counted as a gun control supporter. Buckeye Firearms Association organizers will have signs for you to wave and stickers for your to wear."

August 28, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Guns and the mentally ill: A cloudy enforcement issue

"We have to strike a good balance between helping people and not sticking them with a stigma," said Jamestown resident Larry Moore, a regional leader with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

He said the fear of being labeled crazy and having guns seized could deter people from seeking help.

"We have to be aware that that confidentiality is there so that people will go get help without fear that it will haunt them later," he said.

Moore pointed out that people who may be a danger to themselves or others at one point in their life could become responsible gun owners after proper treatment. He also noted that guns are not the only weapons which an individual can be prohibited from owning.

August 28, 2013
WKEF (ABC Dayton) & WRGT (Fox Dayton)- People React To "Stand Your Ground" Law Potentially Coming To Ohio

"If the Dayton City Commission pursues a resolution opposing "Stand Your Ground" it may be out of a lack of thorough understanding of the law and how it functions. I know a lot of black community leaders have opposed it," said Larry Moore with the Buckeye Firearm Association.

August 25, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Law sought to curb youths' access to guns

The Children's Defense Fund says researchers have found that child-access prevention laws reduce gun injuries and fatalities, but the Buckeye Firearms Association disagrees.

"We're opposed to those laws because they don't work," Chairman Jim Irvine said. "We don't support legislation; we support education."

August 23, 2013
The (UK) Guardian - Keep the guns out of my classroom

If I were in Ohio, though, it's entirely possible that I could have been attending summer trainings on how to shoot guns on the run, how to shoot while navigating obstacles like narrow hallways and staircases, and how to anticipate the actions of a killer.

This training isn't just for police anymore. The Buckeye Firearms Association offered this class for teachers who wanted to learn how to effectively use a gun against an intruder to their school. The seminar drew over 1,400 applicants for 24 spots. It seems that teachers in Ohio and in the more than 30 other states which have proposed laws allowing teachers to carry firearms are taking National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre's statement after the awful Newtown shooting to heart:

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The sheer number of teachers applying for the Buckeye Firearms Association seminar belies the fact that, when nearly 11,000 teachers were surveyed nationwide a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, 72.4% of teachers said that they would not bring a gun to school even if they could. Our nation is divided on this issue, especially after the brutal killing of 20 young children and 6 staff members in Newtown.

August 23, 2013
Salon.com - George Zimmerman shops for a shotgun in Florida

Recently acquitted, Zimmerman has not yet gotten back the gun he used in the shooting, after the Department of Justice requested that it be held as evidence pending a civil rights investigation. One Ohio gun group, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, began raising money to buy Zimmerman a "firearm, holster, and other gear" instead, in response to what it called "an unacceptable abuse of power."

August 23, 2013
WRGT (Fox Dayton)- UPDATE: Stand Your Ground Town Hall Meeting

The death of Trayvon Martin and the not-guilty verdict of his shooter is still heavy on the hearts of those in attendance. But there are some who feel Stand Your Ground would create a safer Ohio.

"If they're already a victim of a crime, and that's where Stand Your Ground comes into play, you shouldn't have to consider if you're going to be charged," says Joe Eaton with Buckeye Firearm Association.

Eaton says House Bill 203 is simply an extension of a law that's already been in play for over a decade. The Castle Doctrine says if you're attacked in your home or your car you have the right to defend yourself.

"If you're standing outside your car and you're victim to a violent attack you do not have that assumption. HB 203 would expand the assumption to when you're outside your car," explains Eaton.

August 20, 2013
Al Jazeera America's "Consider This"

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board Member Gerard Valentino was interviewed on "Consider This." Gerard discussed the issue of school security with host Antonio Mora.
 

August 20, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - 'Stand your ground' bill in Ohio legislature rouses foes

But Buckeye Firearms Association official Sean Maloney, a criminal-defense lawyer from Butler County, said the bill would not make a substantial change in law.

"It's basically the same — you can't use lethal force in either case unless you fear serious bodily injury or death. This only removes the perceived duty (to retreat) so you don't have to think once or twice about running," he said.

August 12, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Joel Riley. Jim discussed the spike in Ohio concealed handgun licenses.
 

August 10, 2013
Tribune-Chronicle - Home is your castle

"What it does is remove the burden of proof from the homeowner," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun-rights advocacy group. Castle laws give homeowners the presumption of innocence, he said.

"The idea that your home is your castle is centuries old," he said. "No one ever passed a law and said your home is not your castle. But we had case law in which judges - not in one big case but in a series of cases - started whittling down rights of homeowners. Caste Doctrine restores some of those rights."

...Irvine said, "Before we had an insane situation where the burden of proof was on the crime victim. That doesn't happen in other cases.

''But now there's strong consideration into the fact that somebody broke into your house and therefore has already committed a crime.

''If the prosecution can show some reason why someone should be prosecuted, maybe there are extenuating circumstances, that's a different story. But for the most part, what Castle Doctrine does is restore the right of the homeowner to protect themselves in their home owns, even if it means they have to use deadly force and the result is the death of the intruder, the person who actually came there to commit a crime in the first place,'' Irvine said. ''This resets the balance on things."

August 10, 2013
WXIX (FOX Cincinnati) - Leaders urge Sen. Portman to change gun views

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was interviewed on Fox19 News. Sean discussed the rally funded and staged in Cincinnati by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Cick here to view the interview.
 

August 9, 2013
WFMJ (NBC Youngstown)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed about the Attorney General's announcement that Second Quarter 2013 CHL statistics set new records.
 

August 9, 2013
NRAnews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com. Linda discussed the Attorney General's announcement that Second Quarter 2013 CHL statistics set new records with Cam & Co. host Cam Edwards.
 

August 9, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - More than ever, Ohioans getting OK to carry concealed gun

Linda Walker, central Ohio chairwoman for Buckeye Firearms, said she was "excited to see the stats."

Walker said the turbulent political climate and the economic situation are prompting people to obtain weapons to protect themselves.

August 7, 2013
The Ohio News Network (Columbus)

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson appeared as a panel guest on the ONN's Capitol Square discussing debate over House Bill 203, legislation which seeks to make many improvements to Ohio's concealed carry laws.
 

August 5, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - George Zimmerman's lawyer thanks Ohio gun group for $12,000 check

George Zimmerman's attorney has formally thanked the Buckeye Firearms Foundation for the $12,150.37 check the Ohio gun rights group mailed to the exonerated Florida "stand your ground" man.

Mark M. O'Mara of Orlando said the money would be forwarded directly to Zimmerman "to replace items necessary for him to protect himself and also to accomplish security systems for his house."

The Buckeye group started out raising money to buy a new gun for Zimmerman because the one he used to kill Trayvon Martin is still being held by authorities as they await a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice whether to prosecute Zimmerman under federal law after a Florida jury declared him not guilty under that state's laws. The effort raised far more than anticipated, attracting 774 donations from 47 other states and four other countries: Lithuania, New South Wales, Australia and Switzerland.

"We didn't need that much," said Jim Irvine, the foundation's president, "just enough to buy a quality firearm, holster, flashlight, ammo, and any accessories Mr. Zimmerman may need. But the story went national and we raised far more than we expected."

The fundraising drive also drew unwanted attention; the Ohio group's website was attacked and shut down for several days.

August 5, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Black Legislative Caucus Circulates Petition To Stop Stand Your Ground Bill

"I think the national trend is the duty to physically retreat from the bad guy is something not making sense in the United States," said Ken Hanson from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Hanson says the change from Duty to Retreat to Stand Your Ground is not that drastic because people will still have to prove in court that they were acting in self-defense.

"It's not that big of a change," said Hanson. "What it does is remove the perception that you have to get in a foot race with the bad guy."

Heard and Hanson adamantly disagree on whether the Florida Stand Your Ground law, debated during the trial of George Zimmerman, has targeted, or benefited, minorities.

"When you look at how cases were determined since that law, to ask whether there's a disparity there, all you have to do is look at the numbers," said Heard. "If the victim was a white person, it was 30 percent that Stand Your Ground applied to the minority shooter. If the victim was a minority or African American then it was 73 percent where the Stand Your Ground applied if the shooter was a white person - a definite disparity."

Hanson says study's in Florida show it has been the opposite.

"Stand Your Ground is not racial, and in fact if you look at the cases that were brought in Florida disproportionately African Americans and Hispanics are using the Stand Your Ground laws successfully compared to Caucasians," said Hanson. "In fact they are using it at a rate that is double per capita. So it is a success regardless of race."

One area where Heard and Hanson agree is that the current Republican dominated legislature is very likely to approve Stand Your Ground, and other pro-gun bills, in the immediate future.

"If you're looking at Ohio, absolutely," said Heard. "Unfortunately things tend to go in cycles. "I'm hoping we don't have another Trayvon Martin because we have Trayvon Martin's in my district every single day."

Hanson acknowledges the pro-gun majority at the statehouse, but says that doesn't mean every bill gets his organizations support.

"It's an embarrassment of riches it really is," said Hanson. "We've done so well over the last 8 and 10 years at the ballot box. Every time there's a gun bill that's introduced the naysayers say 'blood in the streets, it's going to be a gun fight, people will draw guns at any point.' That never turns out to be right and everything we're saying is going to be right ends up being right."

August 3, 2013
WTTE (Fox Columbus) - Money Raised to Buy Zimmerman a New Gun &
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Money Raised to Buy Zimmerman a New Gun

A Central Ohio based gun rights group has raised more than enough money for George Zimmerman to buy a new gun. Zimmerman was recently acquitted of murdering Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. But federal investigators have confiscated evidence relating to the case, including his gun, in preparation for a potential civil rights lawsuit.

Gerard Valentino with Buckeye Firearms Foundation says that move didn't sit with with the group's members.

"Whether we thought he should have been acquitted or not, it's not our decision to make," Valentino said. "The fact is, that's what the court decided and that's what the jury found. Therefore since he has the right to have a gun, we felt it was the right thing to do to get him another gun."

In just a few days, Buckeye Firearms Foundation raised more than $12,000 to cover the cost of Zimmerman buying a new gun, and whatever other security expenses he and his family have.

But some say buying a new gun for Zimmerman is in poor taste.

"It's just ignorant," said Brian Rothenberg with ProgressOhio. "It's throwing salt into the wounds of the American public which is very concerned about guns in this country."

Rothenberg also says it sends the wrong message.

"If I'm George Zimmerman, I'm going to rip up that check and send it back because if I didn't have that gun, nothing would have happened," Rothenberg added.

Valentino says the Buckeye Firearms Foundation has worked to get new guns for other people who were acquitted in self-defense cases too. He says the money raised has already been sent to Zimmerman's legal team.

August 3, 2013
WBEX 1490 AM - More Gun Bills Headed For Ohio Statehouse
(this article was published by Clear Channel stations across the state)

Ohio lawmakers have introduced 19 gun-related bills at the Statehouse. Of them, 11 expand gun owners' rights. There were 14 bills introduced during the past two years combined.

"It's not really gun-driven it's problem solution driven," said Jim Irvine with the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "On the anti-gun side their problem is guns so their focus is banning guns."

He believes Ohio is 20 years behind the rest of the nation when it comes to gun laws and lawmakers are trying to catch up. However, Irvine says measuring the number of bills isn't the right metric. He says what really matters is how many are signed into law. Three were last year and he's hoping for at least that many this year. None have made it out of committee so far.

"We won't be safer with more weapons, weapons made to hurt one another," said Toby Hoover with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

She's concerned about the number of gun-related bills, especially those that make it easier to get guns.

"I'm not sure what this message is to the people of Ohio," said Hoover.

Irvine believes that making sure law-abiding citizens can access firearms is key to keeping criminals in check. He says banning guns from certain areas doesn't work.

"The idea that we can post a sticker on the door or write a policy on a piece of paper and declare it gun-free and then murders don't happen there, that has been proven 100 times over not to work," he said.

One area where Hoover and Irvine do agree is that there is some common ground on certain issues. Irvine points to a bill from Rep. Terry Johnson, a Scioto County Republican, that would align Ohio's conceal carry permit guidelines to match federal standards. Right now Ohio can legally issue a conceal carry license to someone who is prohibited under federal law from owning a gun.

"I think everybody can agree that probably is bad policy, it doesn't make sense, so let's change it," he said.

August 1, 2013
TMZ.com

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson was interviewed about news that Florida resident George Zimmerman, who was charged with second degree murder and found not guilty after a self-defense shooting, was pulled over for speeding in Texas.
 

August 1, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Marc Amazon Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Marc Amazon Show. Joe discussed a Cincinnati Enquirer news article entitled "WATCHDOG: Ohio has gun reversal since Sandy Hook" that has been picked up by the Associated Press and is gaining national attention. Joe also discussed the very latest on the move to arm teachers and school employees to protect school children. Click here to listen to the podcast. Joe's segment begins at 16:00.
 

August 1, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Eddie & Tracy Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Eddie & Tracy Show. Joe discussed a Cincinnati Enquirer news article entitled "WATCHDOG: Ohio has gun reversal since Sandy Hook" that has been picked up by the Associated Press and is gaining national attention.
 

August 1, 2013
Cincinnati Enquirer- WATCHDOG: Ohio has gun reversal since Sandy Hook

The flurry of firearm legislation is a result of 20 years of inaction on the state level, said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a pro-gun rights group that commonly helps draft firearm legislation.

"A lot of this is cleaning up stuff that we should have done years ago. We have been 10 to 20 years behind the rest of the country on these issues and were catching up," Irvine said.

...

Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association is confident the legislature, which spent most of 2013 working on the state budget, will act on a lot of the bills.

"I think in the fall we'll see the rubber hit the road not just on the firearms issue but a number of other issues," Irvine said.

July 31, 2013
NRAnews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on NRANews.com. Jim discussed the news that a Cleveland councilman applauds two residents after they shot armed attackers in separate incidents, as well as the recent events involving the Buckeye Firearms Foundation's "Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund" with Cam & Co. host Cam Edwards.
 

July 30, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Buckeye Firearms website back in operation

An Ohio gun-rights group's website is back online after it was hacked and disabled last week in response to members collecting money to buy George Zimmerman a gun.

The Buckeye Firearms Association told members and news subscribers in an email that its main site and forums are again available.

The message said that the organization’s donor data and information were not the target of the cyberattack and "remain 100 percent secure."

The association's charitable arm, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, made news after collecting more than $12,000 to send to Zimmerman. The check was sent on Thursday to the Florida man, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

The gun that killed Martin is being held by the U.S. Justice Department as part of its civil-rights investigation into the shooting.

Ken Hanson, legislative director for the association, said the Web attack was in retaliation for the group's support of Zimmerman's right to have guns. An anonymous tweet indicated responsibility, he said. The incident remains under investigation.

July 30, 2013
Guns.com - Piers Morgan lashes out at man who gives Zimmerman $12,000 to buy another gun, "This is not an issue of race, it's an issue of self-defense law" (VIDEO)

The Buckeye Firearms Association raised over $12,000 in an effort to provide recently acquitted George Zimmerman with another gun. During a CNN interview with Piers Morgan, Ken Hanson defended his group and their goals against repeated attacks.

After acknowledging that Zimmerman had been receiving death threats since being found not guilty, Morgan then immediately asked Hanson, "Why do you want George Zimmerman to have a gun so badly?"

Hanson quickly pointed out that it wasn't just a gun he wanted Zimmerman to have. It was a "gun, gear, ammunition, training, security systems, personal protection" and whatever else he felt was appropriate to defend himself and his family.

Morgan asked Hanson if he had extended the same offer toward the Martin family as well, to which Hanson replied, "I'm not aware of any threats against Mr. Martin's family." He went on to assure Morgan that if the Martin family is ever threatened, he would "step up to the plate" for them as well.

An undeterred Morgan asked, "Right, but what if he (Zimmerman) does it again? What if Trayvon Martin's older brother is walking in the same area … and George Zimmerman decides to shoot him as well? Where does that leave you if you're the one that supplied the gun?"

"If someone is on top of Mr. Zimmerman again, repeatedly bashing his head into the concrete, and he acts in self-defense – that's incredible bad luck that he found himself in that situation twice – but we'll sleep soundly," Hanson replied matter-of-factly.

The Buckeye Firearms Association said they have acted on behalf of the Pink Panthers – a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender group, an African-American male who acted in self-defense, an anti-gun legislator, and others.

"When we're acting on behalf of those people, it’s not a problem. It's only in this case when the villagers have gone out with the torches and the pitch forks that it somehow becomes a problem. This is not an issue of race. It's an issue of self-defense law," Hanson said.

The interview went on to cover "Stand Your Ground" law as well as several other relevant topics and closed fittingly with Morgan admitting that "words fail him."

July 30, 2013
TheBlaze.com - Piers Morgan Clashes With Pro-Gun Advocate Who Helped Raise $12K+ To Get Zimmerman Gun, Security (And Wait Until You Hear CNN Host's Hypothetical)

CNN's Piers Morgan on Monday grilled the legal chair of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation over the group's decision to raise over $12,000 to help George Zimmerman and his family get a gun, ammunition, training and personal protection. Zimmerman and his family have been receiving a slew of death threats following his acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Morgan pressed the Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Ken Hanson on the move and also questioned him on a hypothetical situation in which Zimmerman kills Martin's older brother with the gun his group helped him buy.

"What if Trayvon Martin's older brother is walking in the same area in a few months time, George Zimmerman happens to be passing, finds him suspicious as he did Trayvon...and decides to shoot him as well?" Morgan asked. "Where does that leave you, if you’re the one who supplied the gun?"

"Well, if we're the ones that supplied the gun, and again remember, we provided money, not a gun," Hanson replied. "But if someone is on top of Mr. Zimmerman, again repeatedly bashing his head into the concrete, and he acts in self defense, that's incredible bad luck he found himself in that situation twice. But we'll sleep soundly."

Though Morgan repeatedly questioned the idea that Zimmerman should have a gun following his tragic altercation with Trayvon Martin and threw out several hypothetical situations in which he could shoot someone else, Hanson reminded the host that Zimmerman is an innocent man, therefore well within his constitutional rights to own a firearm.

"Two different levels of government review have found no fault with Mr. Zimmerman's actions. We can go through all the hypotheticals you'd like to go through, what it comes down to is that he's gone through a government review," Hanson lectured.

July 30, 2013
Dayton Daily News - New gun group gets foothold in Ohio

Jim Irvine, spokesman for Buckeye Firearms Association, said universal background checks would lead to mandated gun registration, which he said the public opposes and it wouldn’t be effective. The background check proposal failed because in part it would have applied to private sales between individuals, he said.

"You can't solve a criminal problem by restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. You need to focus on the criminal problem," Irvine said.

July 29, 2013
Mediaite.com - Piers Grills Man Raising Money For Zimmerman Gun: 'You Would Sleep Soundly' If He Kills Someone Again?

After George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin, there was an effort by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation to raise money to get Zimmerman another gun. They raised over $12,000 for Zimmerman, and on CNN tonight, Ken Hanson defended his group's aim to Piers Morgan, who repeatedly confronted him about how he would feel if Zimmerman went out with his gun and shot someone again.

Hanson explained it wasn't just a gun they got for Zimmerman, it was ammunition, training, personal protection, and a few other things so he could defend himself and his family. Morgan asked, "Have you offered to do the same for the family of Trayvon Martin?" Hanson replied, "I'm not aware of any threats against Mr. Martin's family."

Morgan told Hanson many people are obviously concerned about Zimmerman having another gun, and asked him point-blank, "What if he does it again?" Hanson told Morgan if Zimmerman had to use his gun in self-defense against someone bashing his head in again, "That's incredible bad luck that he found himself in that situation twice, but we'll sleep soundly."

A baffled Morgan asked, "You would sleep soundly"?" Hanson affirmed what he said.

Morgan continued pressing Hanson about whether this says something about Zimmerman's responsibility for his actions. Hanson told Morgan that "we can go through all the hypotheticals" and remarked that no one complained when his group helped out a pro-gay gun rights group and an anti-gun legislator who received death threats, but in the Zimmerman case "the villagers have gone out with the torches and the pitchforks" and made it all about race.

Morgan confronted him over Stand Your Ground, the need to defend yourself in dangerous situations, and whether he believes less guns would mean less situations like that. Hanson argued that no matter who writes what on pieces of paper, criminals will still find ways to attain guns. They tussled over the effects of assault weapons bans and countries with strict gun laws and low gun deaths, before Morgan concluded, "Words fail me too."

July 29, 2013
HuffingtonPost.com - Buckeye Firearms Foundation Defends Raising Money To Buy A Gun For George Zimmerman (VIDEO)

Does George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was recently found not guilty in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, need another gun? One Ohio gun group thinks so, and it has raised $12,000 to buy him one.

Ken Hanson, a gun instructor and the legal chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, appeared on "Piers Morgan Live" on Monday night to describe the reasoning behind the group's fundraising efforts.

"The first thing to point out is the purpose of the fundraiser was not just to buy a gun. It was to buy a gun, gear, ammunition, training, security systems, personal protection, whatever he felt was appropriate to defend himself, defend his family, defend his parents," Hanson said.

When Morgan asked if the group plans to make the same offer to Martin's parents, particularly since it was their son who was shot and killed, Hanson demurred, saying he was not aware of any threats to the victim's family.

"Obviously they lost their teenage son, who was unarmed, to a gun. A gun that was owned by George Zimmerman. Many people would feel the last thing George Zimmerman should be having right now is another gun," Morgan countered.

Morgan then asked Hanson what would happen if Zimmerman takes that new gun and shoots another unarmed teenager.

"If someone is on top of Mr. Zimmerman again, repeatedly bashing his head into the concrete, and he acts in self-defense, that's incredible bad luck that he found himself in that situation twice. But we'll sleep soundly," Hanson said.

July 29, 2013
CNN - Ken Hanson defends George Zimmerman owning another gun: "We'll sleep soundly"

With Piers Morgan back in his regular chair after a week of guest host's aptly filling in, tonight the British television presenter fired up his trademark interview segment, inviting Ken Hanson to have a seat on "The Grill."

The Legal Chair of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Hanson has been instrumental in raising funds that will enable George Zimmerman to purchase a gun.

Suggesting the recently acquitted neighbor watchman is not someone who should be encouraged to own a firearm, Morgan asked Hanson how'd he feel if history hypothetically repeated itself, and the late Trayvon Martin's older brother was to one day engage in an altercation with Zimmerman, only to end succumbing to the same fate:

"Well, if we're the ones that supplied the gun, and again remember, we provided money, not a gun," Hanson reminded the host. "But if someone is on top of Mr. Zimmerman, again repeatedly bashing his head into the concrete, and he acts in self defense, that's incredible bad luck he found himself in that situation twice. But we'll sleep soundly."

Still uncertain of Zimmerman's motives, Morgan continued to press his guest:

"At what point does he have to take responsibility for pursuing, some would say stalking, unarmed teenagers who are walking home?"

Using the law to support his argument, Hanson accurately stated that Zimmerman is an innocent man:

"Two different levels of government review have found no fault with Mr. Zimmerman's actions," Hanson noted. "We can go through all the hypotheticals you'd like to go through, what it comes down to is that he's gone through a government review."

Joining the program live via satellite, Hanson found fault with how strongly Americans felt nationwide about this case in particular, while ignoring so many others:

"The problem is, when we go out and help The Pink Pistols - a gay, lesbian , bisexual transgender group, who's being denied their gun rights, when we go up to a young African-American male in Cleveland who was wearing a hoodie who acted in self-defense," he detailed. "We go to a Cleveland legislator in the Ohio General Assembly, when we're acting on behalf of those people it's not a problem, it's only in this case, when the villagers have gone out with the torches and pitchforks that it somehow becomes a problem. This is not an issue of race, it's an issue of self defense law."

July 29, 2013
CNN - Ken Hanson appears on Piers Morgan Live on CNN

Ken Hanson, Legal Counsel for Buckeye Firearms Foundation, appeared on Piers Morgan Live Monday night, July 29 at 9pm ET on CNN. Ken discussed the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund to replace Zimmerman's firearm after the DOJ ordered it withheld after a not guilty verdict. Click here to view the entire interview you YouTube.

July 29, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland man with concealed carry permit kills robber in his driveway, police say

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said this shooting is not the common outcome when a concealed-carry permit holder is confronted by someone who would do him harm.

"The most common result is the person with the permit pulls out a gun and the suspect runs away. No shots are fired, as the suspect realizes, 'I picked the wrong person,'" Irvine said.

In this case, it may have been too dark for the robber to realize the homeowner had grabbed a gun, Irvine said.

And if Irvine had the opportunity to talk to Peak, he said he would say, "I'm sorry for the situation and glad you were prepared and able to survive it."

It sounds like a justified shooting, Irvine said, but "if it bothers you, get some counseling. There’s no shame in it. The vast majority of permit holders don't want to shoot someone."

July 29, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland homeowner fatally shoots robber early today on the East Side

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said this shooting is not the common outcome when a concealed-carry permit holder is confronted by someone who would do him harm.

"The most common result is the person with the permit pulls out a gun and the suspect runs away. No shots are fired, as the suspect realizes, 'I picked the wrong person,'" Irvine said.

In this case, it may have been too dark for the robber to realize the homeowner had grabbed a gun, Irvine said.

And if Irvine had the opportunity to talk to the homeowner he would say, "I'm sorry for the situation and glad you were prepared and able to survive it."

It sounds like a justified shooting, Irvine said, but "if it bothers you, get some counseling. There's no shame in it. The vast majority of permit holders don't want to shoot someone."

July 29, 2013
Guns.com - Gun Group Raises over $12K for George Zimmerman despite Setbacks (VIDEO)

The Buckeye Firearms Association collected $12,150.37 in donations and delivered it to George Zimmerman on Friday in the form of a check. What started as a simple fundraiser to gather money for the purchase of a new gun for Zimmerman resulted in far more donations than the association ever anticipated, as well as a few bumps in the road from some who were none too happy about the fundraiser.

The association started the fund about two weeks ago when the Justice Department refused to let Zimmerman have his Kel-Tec PF9 back despite the Florida justice system clearing him in charges related to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The DOJ did not allow any of the evidence from the case to be returned, as the department is currently investigating the possibility of a civil lawsuit against Zimmerman.

The association views the action of the DOJ as "an unacceptable abuse of power" and added, "the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain." And according to the association, that's why they decided to take action — that coupled with the apparent immediate need for protecting Zimmerman and his family.

When Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara was asked during an interview with NBC News if Zimmerman intended to carry a gun since being acquitted, O'Mara replied, "Yes. Even more reason now, isn't there?" as he cited death threats abound for both Zimmerman and his family.

In fact, the hate against Zimmerman is so vivid that a family that he helped after a car wreck just days after his trial’s end, refused to speak to the media out of fear that they will portray him as a hero and become targets themselves for violence.

The Buckeye Firearms Association, an Ohio-based gun rights advocacy group, said they had raised over $2,000 within the first few hours of establishing the fundraiser, but as word spread, more and more donations continued to accumulate, and more and more people – including those who did not agree with the association’s actions – took notice as well. The story began to spread throughout the media and trouble began for the somewhat small association.

Just days after setting up the fund, the group became the victim of hackers. "This isn't the first time we've been the victim of an attack. In fact, it happens all the time. In most cases, though, these attacks are unsuccessful or so minor that they go largely unnoticed. The attack on Wednesday, however, not only took out our website, it effectively shut down our hosting company, disabling thousands of other sites,” the group said.

Although the hack temporarily took out the website, the fundraiser was still successful. The group said that they collected 774 separate donations from residents of 48 states as well as donations from Australia, Lithuania and Switzerland. At the start of the fundraiser, the association only anticipated raising $1,000 to $2,000.

The check for more than $12,000 was delivered by FedEx and according to O’Mara’s office, they received the check Friday afternoon.

The Buckeye Firearms Association legal chairman, Ken Hanson said, "The money is intended to be used for anything he needs to defend himself or his family. He has complete discretion on how to use the money."

Zimmerman's spokesman, Shawn Vincent, also stated that Zimmerman has been offered free guns, but has yet to accept any such donation.

July 28, 2013

WBZI 1500 AM's "The Great Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest on "The Great Outdoors" with host Calvin Pyle. The show is syndicated on AM 1500 Xenia, AM 1130 North Dayton, and AM 1090 Wilmington.
 
 
July 27, 2013
 
Hackers angry that an Ohio gun-rights organization raised money to buy George Zimmerman a new gun launched a cyberattack that disabled the Buckeye Firearms Association's website.
 
Ken Hanson, the association's legislative director, said members began receiving phone calls and threats shortly before the website crashed on Wednesday. An anonymous tweet also indicated responsibility, he said yesterday.
 
The gun-rights group had been in the news after its charitable arm, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said this week that it had collected donations in excess of $12,000 — far more than the original goal of $1,000 — to send to Zimmerman.
 
"It doesn't take a leap of faith to say this is related," Hanson said. "It was in response to the fundraiser."
 
The gun Zimmerman fired in the killing of Trayvon Martin is being held by the U.S. Justice Department as part of its civil-rights investigation into the shooting. The foundation says that violates the rights of Zimmerman, a Florida man who was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of the unarmed black teen. Hanson said the Web attack is being investigated by the FBI and by a local law-enforcement agency, which he declined to identify. The association's Web server is not in Delaware, Ohio, where the group is based.
 
Jim Irvine, chairman of the association, said members knew that aiding Zimmerman would be controversial. "We've heard from some of our supporters who said, 'Hey, you shouldn't be getting involved with this.' But the majority said, 'Thanks for stepping up.'"
 
Officials with the Children's Defense Fund, which just released a report on gun injuries and deaths among U.S. children, said more guns just lead to more violence.
 
American children and teens already are 17 times more likely to die from gun violence than their peers in 25 other high-income countries combined, said Renuka Mayadev, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio.
 
"If George Zimmerman hadn't had a gun, maybe we'd have had a fistfight," she said. "We wouldn't have a child dead."
 
Irvine said the foundation acted only after Zimmerman was acquitted. Donations poured in from 48 states and three countries; leftover money could be used for a security system or to help with Zimmerman's legal bills, the foundation said.
 
Irvine said the check was sent this week. "It wasn't about publicity. It was about helping someone who needed it."
 
The association's website likely will be down until next week as investigators work the case and the organization improves its online security, he said. Members are communicating through email and Facebook.

July 26, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Bill Cunningham Show. Joe discussed news that the Senate is on the verge of voting on anti-gun rights legislation that would include a "universal background check" gun registration scheme, as well as other current news related to gun rights. Click here to listen to the podcast. Joe's segment begins at 13:45.
 

July 26, 2013
The Cleveland Leader - Ohio Gun Group Gives George Zimmerman $12000 to Purchase New Gun

After learning that the gun that George Zimmerman used to kill Florida teenager Trayvon Martin would not be immediately returned to him after the trial in which he was found not guilty, an Ohio gun group pledge to buy the former defendant a new one.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation said that it planned to replace Zimmermans gun after learning that the weapon was still being held by authorities. The group's spokesman, Ken Hanson, argued that Zimmerman's right to his property had been violated and that in response, the BFF would purchase him whatever he wants so that he can be back to shooing again as soon as possible.

Hanson revealed that more than $12,000 had been raised to buy Zimmerman a guy. He added:

"The Department of Justice refused to return him his gun, and he's in need of protection... The money is intended to be used for anything he needs to defend himself or his family. He has complete discretion on how to use the money."

Prior to sending off the $12,000 check, the gun group said:

"Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently,Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights…. George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back... And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants."

The $12,000 check sent to Zimmerman is due to arrive today.

July 26, 2013
WYSO (NPR Dayton) - Buckeye Firearms Group Raises Money for Zimmerman Firearm

A pro-gun group in Ohio has raised more than 12,000 dollars to buy George Zimmerman a new firearm. He is the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of all charges in the fatal killing of the unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, in Florida.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation spokesperson Jim Irvine says his group raised money because they believe Zimmerman's gun owner rights are being violated. The foundation posted a story on their website after the Justice Department ordered the Sanford Police Department to keep George Zimmerman's gun, pending their investigation into civil rights violations in the case. The site brought in more than 12 thousand dollars from 48 states and three counties and Irvine says the check was delivered to Zimmerman on Tuesday.

"Cause we want to help someone who needs help," says Irvine. "That's the bottom line, and when the Department of Justice said we're gonna put a hold on all his property after he's acquitted and not return his stuff to him, we said, 'Man that stinks. This guys in a bad spot.' So we just thought, let's raise a little money for him and help him out."

Irvine says because of their support, their website has been hacked and taken offline. The Buckeye Firearms Foundation is working with the FBI to find out who is responsible.

July 26, 2013
WTTE (Fox Columbus) - Buckeye Firearms Website Hacked

The Central Ohio Group that raised enough money for George Zimmerman to buy a new gun says it has been targeted.

Members of the Buckeye Firearms foundation say someone hacked into their website, not only crashing their site, but crashing websites of other groups who use the same web service. The group believe it was hacked because of the support they gave to Zimmerman.

Members raised 12-thousand dollars so that Zimmerman could buy a new gun and then use the rest of the money to protect his family.

The group says its website will likely be down for about two weeks.

Members are communicating through facebook. They are working with investigators to find out who is responsible.

July 26, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Hackers cripple website of gun group that supported George Zimmerman

Hackers angry that an Ohio gun-rights organization raised money to buy George Zimmerman a new gun launched a cyber-attack that disabled the Buckeye Firearms Association's website.

Ken Hanson, the association's legislative director, said members began receiving phone calls and threats shortly before the website crashed on Wednesday. An anonymous tweet also indicated responsibility, he said today.

The gun-rights group had been in the news after its charitable arm, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said this week that it had collected donations in excess of $12,000 — far more than the original goal of $1,000 — to send to Zimmerman.

"It doesn't take a leap of faith to say this is related," Hanson said. "It was in response to the fundraiser."

The gun Zimmerman fired in the killing of Trayvon Martin is being held by the U.S. Justice Department as part of its civil-rights investigation into the shooting. The foundation says that violates the rights of Zimmerman, a Florida man who was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of the unarmed black teen.

Hanson said the web-attack is being investigated by the FBI and by a local law-enforcement agency, which he declined to identify. The association's web server is not in Delaware, Ohio, where the group is based.

He said the attack also temporarily affected the communications of other businesses, including a hospital.

Jim Irvine, chairman of the association, said the website likely will be down until next week as investigators work the case and the organization improves its online security. Members are communicating through email and Facebook.

Irvine said members knew that aiding Zimmerman would be controversial. "We've heard from some of our supporters who said, 'Hey, you shouldn't be getting involved with this.' But the majority said, 'Thanks for stepping up.'"

He said the foundation acted only after the conclusion of the criminal case against Zimmerman. "I don't think it was appropriate for us to get involved when he was an accused murderer," Irvine said.

Once the foundation decided to send Zimmerman money for a new gun, donations poured in from 48 states and three countries, Irvine said. Leftover money could be used for a security system or to help with Zimmerman's legal bills.

Irvine said the check was sent this week. "It wasn't about publicity," he said. "It was about helping someone who needed it."

July 26, 2013
Latinos Post - After Trial Verdict Ohio Gun Group Raises $12000 for George Zimmerman to Buy More Guns

A U.S. firearms group has raised more than $12,000 on behalf of George Zimmerman to buy more guns or a security system for protection.

According to Zimmerman's attorney and his brother, he is concerned about his safety and has been receiving death threats since he was acquitted in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin on July 13, 2013. The 29-year-old former neighborhood watch volunteer claims that he shot Martin in self-defense after he stalked and confronted the teen, who was walking home from a convenience store.

On Tuesday, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, an Ohio-based gun advocacy group, cut Zimmerman a check for $12,150.37 to purchase more guns, reports Think Progress.

According to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, Zimmerman's gun rights are being violated by the U.S. Department of Justice which has taken all the evidence from the trial, including the gun that killed Martin, as part of a civil rights investigation, reports USA Today.

The foundation's donation for Zimmerman is meant to be spent on guns, ammunition, protective gear or a security system, said Ken Hanson, the group's legal chairman.

"The Department of Justice refused to return him his gun, and he's in need of protection," Hanson said. "The money is intended to be used for anything he needs to defend himself or his family. He has complete discretion on how to use the money."

However, the money could be used to pay for Zimmerman's defense costs and fees.

Zimmerman's spokesman, Shawn Vincent, said that although Zimmerman has been offered free guns, he has not accepted such donations.

July 26, 2013
Wisconsin Gazette - Gun group raises $12,000 for Zimmerman to buy guns, security system

An Ohio firearms group has raised more than $12,000 for George Zimmerman to buy guns or a security system, according to The Associated Press. Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

The money could also be used to pay for Zimmerman's legal defense.

The $12,150.37 the group has sent to Zimmerman was raised after the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would review the evidence in the Florida case. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2012 shooting of Martin in a gated community in Sanford.

Zimmerman, 29, told police he shot Martin, 17, after the black teenager physically attacked him. Martin's family and supporters say Zimmerman racially profiled Martin as a potential criminal and wrongly followed him.

Since the verdict, Zimmerman's attorneys have said the former neighborhood watch volunteer receives threats and is concerned about his safety. His brother said, on television, that Zimmerman fears "vigilantes."

So the Buckeye Firearms Foundation raised money for Zimmerman to buy guns, ammunition or a security system, according to member Ken Hanson, who noted that the Justice Department, in taking the evidence in the case, has Zimmerman's gun.

A spokesman for Zimmerman has said that more than $315,000 in donations have been sent to cover legal fees. The spokesman also told the AP that Zimmerman had been offered free guns but he hadn't accepted any.

July 26, 2013
USA Today - U.S. gun group raises $12,000 for George Zimmerman

A U.S. firearms group has raised more than $12,000 to be spent on guns or a security system for George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation believes Zimmerman's gun rights are being violated by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department has taken all the evidence from the trial, including the gun that killed Martin, as part of a civil rights investigation.

The acquittal sparked nationwide protests and calls for federal officials to charge Zimmerman with violating Martin's civil rights.

Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting of Martin in a gated community in Florida. Zimmerman, 29, told police he shot Martin, 17, after the teenager physically attacked him; Martin's family and supporters say Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, racially profiled Martin as a potential criminal and wrongly followed him.

Zimmerman's brother and one of his attorneys have said he receives threats and is concerned about his safety.

The foundation's donation for Zimmerman is meant to be spent on guns, ammunition, protective gear or a security system, said Ken Hanson, the group's legal chairman.

"The Department of Justice refused to return him his gun, and he's in need of protection," Hanson said. "The money is intended to be used for anything he needs to defend himself or his family. He has complete discretion on how to use the money."

The money could end up being used to pay for Zimmerman's defense costs and fees.

Zimmerman's spokesman, Shawn Vincent, said Zimmerman has been offered free guns, but such donations haven't been accepted.

July 26, 2013
Washington Times - Ohio firearms group sends George Zimmerman $12K to buy guns, security system

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation said its members have raised more than $12,000 to help defend George Zimmerman, who's been the subject of widespread threats after his acquittal of murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The Ohio group said the money can be used to buy guns or a security system for Mr. Zimmerman, a Florida resident, The Associated Press reported.

A spokesman for the group said its members were concerned that Mr. Zimmerman's rights were being violated. Ken Hanson, on the group's behalf, said they've sent him a check for $12,150.37, AP reported.

Mr. Zimmerman was supposed to have his gun returned after he was cleared of all criminal charges from the February 2012 shooting. But the U.S. Department of Justice confiscated his weapon, saying it's still part of an ongoing investigation.

The Justice Department has not yet confirmed whether the federal government will launch a civil suit against him.

July 26, 2013
SKY News - Gun rights group sends Zimmerman $12K

An Ohio firearms group has raised more than $12,000 (£7,800) to be spent on guns or a security system for George Zimmerman.

The $12,150 cheque is the result of a fundraising effort that was launched because the group believes Zimmerman's gun rights are being violated by the US Department of Justice.

The department took all the evidence from the trial as part of a civil rights investigation, including the gun that Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation's legal chairman, Ken Hanson, said the raised funds are meant to be spent on guns, ammunition, protective gear or a security system.

"The Department of Justice refused to return him his gun, and he's in need of protection," Mr Hanson said.

"The money is intended to be used for anything he needs to defend himself or his family. He has complete discretion on how to use the money."

The cashier's cheque was sent through certified mail and was scheduled to be delivered on Friday.

The former neighbourhood watch volunteer, who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of the unarmed teen, has received threats and is concerned about his safety, his brother and one of his attorneys have said.

But the money raised by the firearms group could end up being used to pay for Zimmerman's defence costs and fees.

Zimmerman's spokesman, Shawn Vincent, said before his acquittal that all donations he received were deposited into a fund to pay for his legal defence and managed by an independent administrator.

He said the Ohio foundation's cheque could be allocated similarly.

Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.

Zimmerman, 29, told police he shot the 17-year-old after the black teenager physically attacked him.

Trayvon's family and supporters say Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, racially profiled the teenager as a potential criminal and wrongly followed him.

The verdict sparked protests and calls for federal officials to charge Zimmerman with violating Trayvon's civil rights.

Mr Vincent would not say what the donations to the fund have amounted to, but said they have exceeded the $120,000 (£78,000) that Zimmerman's attorneys had said was needed to put on a good defence.

The fund had raised almost $315,000 in January.

Mr Hanson said donations raised by the firearms group were sent from 48 states and three other countries.

Mr Vincent said Zimmerman has been offered free guns but such donations have not been accepted.

July 26, 2013
CNN - Gun rights group sends Zimmerman $12K
(this article was republished in hundreds of news outlets across the country and around the world)

An Ohio gun rights group has sent George Zimmerman more than $12,000 following his acquittal of second degree murder.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation said the money was raised for Zimmerman's defense or any other expenses he or his family might have.

The organization said one of its main objectives is to defend gun rights around the nation.

A spokesperson said this is the first time the group has sent Zimmerman money.

Zimmerman admitted shooting and killing teenager Trayvon Martin in February of 2012, but he says he killed martin in self defense.

A Florida jury found him not guilty of second degree murder.

July 26, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Juror: Zimmerman got away with murder

Meanwhile, An Ohio group — the Buckeye Firearms Foundation — has raised $12,150.37 to be spent on guns or a security system for Zimmerman. The money also could be used to pay his defense costs.

The group raised the funds because it says Zimmerman's gun rights are being violated by the U.S. Justice Department, which has taken all the evidence from his trial, including the gun that killed Martin, as part of a civil-rights investigation.

July 26, 2013
ThinkProgress.org - Gun Advocacy Group Sends Zimmerman $12,000 To Buy Guns

On Tuesday, an Ohio-based gun advocacy group sent George Zimmerman, who fatally shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a $12,150.37 check with which to purchase more guns.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation said that it came under cyber attack since raising money for Zimmerman and has had its website hacked. The page was not accessible at the time of publication.

The group, however is no stranger to controversy; it has actively trained teachers and administrators to carry arms in the classroom since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The so-called Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) program is designed to "help deal with mass murders at schools" by ensuring that schools "are no longer 'victim zones,'" the group claims. Participants will be able to carry weapons inside the classroom after completing "an intensive 3-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by law enforcement."
Ohio law allows teachers and staff to carry firearms if approved by the school board and the FASTER program hopes to attract teachers from the kindergarten through collegial levels.

The U.S. Department of Justice is still holding the gun that killed Martin, as part of a civil rights investigation into the killing, though an attorney for Zimmerman claims that since the verdict, there is "even more reason" for Zimmerman to always be armed. Attorney Mark O'Mara "said his client is getting threats since the verdict earlier this month and has been carrying a weapon."

July 26, 2013
Associated Press - Ohio gun group sends Zimmerman $12K for guns, gear
(this article was republished in hundreds of news outlets across the country and around the world)

An Ohio firearms group has raised more than $12,000 to be spent on guns or a security system for George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of all charges in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. But the money could end up being used to pay for Zimmerman's defense costs and fees.

The $12,150.37 check that the group has written out to Zimmerman is the result of a fundraising effort that was launched because the group believes Zimmerman's gun rights are being violated by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department has taken all the evidence from the trial, including the gun that killed Martin, as part of a civil rights investigation.

Zimmerman was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the 2012 shooting of Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. Zimmerman, 29, told police he shot Martin, 17, only after the black teenager physically attacked him; Martin’s family and supporters say Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, racially profiled Martin as a potential criminal and wrongly followed him.

The verdict sparked protests and calls for federal officials to charge Zimmerman with violating Martin's civil rights. Zimmerman's brother and one of his attorneys have said he receives threats and is concerned about his safety.

The check sent to Zimmerman from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation is meant to be spent on guns, ammunition, protective gear or a security system, said Ken Hanson, the group's legal chairman.

"The Department of Justice refused to return him his gun, and he's in need of protection," Hanson said. "The money is intended to be used for anything he needs to defend himself or his family. He has complete discretion on how to use the money."

The cashier's check was sent through certified mail and is scheduled to be delivered Friday.

Zimmerman's spokesman, Shawn Vincent, said before his acquittal all donations he received were deposited into a fund dedicated to pay for his legal defense costs and fees and managed by an independent administrator. He said the Ohio foundation's check could be allocated similarly.

Vincent would not say what the donations to the fund have amounted to. But he said they have exceeded the $120,000 that Zimmerman's attorneys had said was needed to put on a good defense before the trial started in May. The fund had raised almost $315,000 in January.

The foundation's fundraiser, which began last week, ended Tuesday. Hanson said donations were sent from 48 states and three other countries.

Vincent said Zimmerman has been offered free guns but such donations haven't been accepted.

July 25, 2013
Hamilton Journal-News - Other districts mull concealed carry policy

Edgewood's policy is similar to one adopted this month by Newcomerstown Schools in Tuscarawas County of eastern Ohio. Like Edgewood, Newcomerstown's policy was prompted by deadly school shootings in Newtown Conn., and other cities, said Newcomerstown's past board president Arlene Mayhew.

But Newcomerstown's policy is not limited to administrators. It is open to teachers, and indeed, any employee of the district, Mayhew said. However, each applicant must also have a concealed carry license, plus a three-day training course by the Buckeye Firearms Association. Simply learning how to handle and fire a gun is not enough, according to their policy.

"Just CCW is not enough. There is much more intense training where you learn to diffuse a situation and you learn psychological profiling. Not everyone is suited to carry a firearm," Mayhew said.

July 25, 2013
Guns.com - Pro-gun group raising money to buy Zimmerman new gun has website hacked, shut down

The Buckeye Firearms Association, a non-profit, pro-gun organization based in Ohio, had its website hacked and shut down after it sent George Zimmerman a check so that the neighborhood watch volunteer could purchase a new gun.

In an email to The Daily Caller, Director of Marketing and Communications Dean Rieck explained what happened to the Buckeye Firearms Association and Buckeye Firearms Foundation's websites.

"Our IT guy says it's a 'denial of service' or DoS attack. This is not the ordinary 'hack' attack that we've experienced many times in the past,” Rieck said." A DoS attack involves using significant resources to bombard a server to temporarily or permanently disrupt service."

Rieck went on to discuss the extent of the damage wreaked by the attackers, which went far beyond the websites.

"This attack was so overwhelming, it took down the entire company that hosts our website. Thousands of IP addresses have been caught up in the digital bloodshed," he lamented. "Shortly after all the company servers went down, their power went down. And our IT guy says his cell phone service vanished."

As noted by The Daily Caller, a DoS attack is usually an artificial call for content resulting in an overwhelming amount of server requests. It is designed to disable the targeted servers or cripple the servers so that content is delivered so slowly it makes the website unusable.

While it's not exactly clear who initiated the DoS attack or their motive for doing so, Reick and the other members believe it has something to with the fundraiser they started last Saturday for Zimmerman.

"We don't yet know where this attack came from, but we find it hard to believe that it is a coincidence that it's happening at the very moment a story went national about raising funds to enable George Zimmerman to purchase a new firearm after Eric Holder and the DOJ decided to prevent him from getting his personal property back," he said.

See, although Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a Florida court, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Sanford Police Department to hold on to all the evidence in the case, including Zimmerman's Kel-Tec PF9, the firearm he used to fatally wound Martin, until the Department of Justice evaluates whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights during the night of the encounter.

This unfortunate turn of events for Zimmerman, who in the eyes of some is public enemy number one, is what prompted the Buckeye Firearms Association to start a fund to replace his concealed carry weapon.

"We consider this an outrageous abuse of power to score political points at the expense of an American citizen," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Foundation, on the group's website prior to it being attacked.

"Mr. Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found not guilty. And now all evidence should be returned to the rightful owner, including his firearm," he continued.

Putting aside the DoS attack, the fundraiser was a huge success for Zimmerman. The group raised a total of $12,657.48, which amounted to a net of $12,150.37 after PayPal transaction fees had been deducted. That's easily enough money to get Zimmerman a quality handgun, holster, flashlight, ammo and whatever accessories he may want.

"We received 774 donations from 48 states, plus Australia, Lithuania, New South Wales, and Switzerland. Donations ranged from $1 to $100, with the average being $16.35," said Rieck, when discussing where all the money came from in a press release.

"For privacy and security reasons," continued Rieck, "we've decided to send Mr. Zimmerman a check rather than try to arrange a meeting or transfer gear directly. We spoke with his attorney, Mark O'Mara, who agreed to provide evidence that Mr. Zimmerman receives the check."

"We also agreed to provide evidence that we were passing along 100 percent of the donations received. O'Mara was thrilled that we were being so transparent. He told us 'lots of cranks' are raising money in Zimmerman's name and not sending the funds to him."

While Zimmerman seems to be well taken care of as a result of the fundraiser, the Buckeye Firearms Association and Buckeye Firearms Foundation's websites are still down (at the time of writing this article). Hopefully, they get their serves up and running in the very near future.

July 25, 2013
WORL 660 AM (Orlando) "American Adversaries"

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Legal Counsel Ken Hanson was a guest on American Adversaries. Ken discussed the news that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has raised more than $12,000 for Florida crime victim George Zimmerman. Ken was joined on the show by Zimmerman's brother, Robert. Download the podcast. Ken's interview begins at 15:45.
 

July 25, 2013
WKEF (ABC Dayton) & WRGT (Fox Dayton)- Potential "Stand Your Ground Law" In Ohio

"If I'm out someplace with some of my grandchildren, and we're lugging a stroller and a couple diaper bags, it's not so easy to run away. It's good we won't have to run away and have the law on our side when defending ourselves against attack," said Larry Moore with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

...Those who support "Stand Your Ground," like the Buckeye Firearms Assocation, believe the law would simply allow responsible gun owners to protect themselves from attackers without fear of legal retaliation.

"If you're walking down a street and you see someone you don't like and you think you want to pop a cap on them, that's going to be murder. That's not going to be you were attacked and in fear of your life," said Moore.

Right now, Ohio's "Stand Your Ground" bill is pending in legislative committee. Twenty-four other states currently have "Stand Your Ground" laws in place.

Meanhwhile, the Buckeye Firearms Association took a hit Wednesday morning for supporting George Zimmerman. The group's website was hacked. It's unclear when the site will be back up and running.

The association raised more than $12,000 for Zimmerman so he can buy a new gun and accessories.

Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin but the Feds have taken the gun, while the Justice Department considers bringing civil rights charges against him.

July 25, 2013
WTTE (Fox Columbus) - Money Raised to Buy Zimmerman a New Gun

A Central Ohio based gun rights group has raised more than enough money for George Zimmerman to buy a new gun. Zimmerman was recently acquitted of murdering Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. But federal investigators have confiscated evidence relating to the case, including his gun, in preparation for a potential civil rights lawsuit.

Gerard Valentino with Buckeye Firearms Foundation says that move didn't sit with with the group's members. "Whether we thought he should have been acquitted or not, it's not our decision to make," Valentino said. "The fact is, that's what the court decided and that's what the jury found. Therefore since he has the right to have a gun, we felt it was the right thing to do to get him another gun."

In just a few days, Buckeye Firearms Foundation raised more than $12,000 to cover the cost of Zimmerman buying a new gun, and whatever other security expenses he and his family have.

But some say buying a new gun for Zimmerman is in poor taste.

"It's just ignorant," said Brian Rothenberg with ProgressOhio. "It's throwing salt into the wounds of the American public which is very concerned about guns in this country."

Rothenberg also says it sends the wrong message. "If I'm George Zimmerman, I'm going to rip up that check and send it back because if I didn't have that gun, nothing would have happened," Rothenberg added.

Valentino says the Buckeye Firearms Foundation has worked to get new guns for other people who were acquitted in self-defense cases too. He says the money raised has already been sent to Zimmerman's legal team.

July 24, 2013
DailyCaller.com - Group raising funds to buy George Zimmerman a gun slammed with massive Denial of Service attack

A Denial of Service web attack took down the Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association website on Wednesday after the association sent George Zimmerman a check to purchase a new firearm.

Director of Marketing and Communications Dean Rieck sent out an email statement Wednesday afternoon, saying the overwhelming attack took out both Buckeye Firearms Association and Buckeye Firearms Foundation's websites.

"Our IT guy says it's a 'denial of service' or DoS attack. This is not the ordinary 'hack' attack that we've experienced many times in the past," Rieck said. "A DoS attack involves using significant resources to bombard a server to temporarily or permanently disrupt service."

According to Rieck, the damage was so extensive, it cut off cell phone service and shut down the company hosting the association's website.

"Our email communication services also went down. Leaders are located all over the state of Ohio, so we've had to set up a temporary alternate email list to stay in touch as we work through this issue," Rieck said. "This attack was so overwhelming, it took down the entire company that hosts our website. Thousands of IP addresses have been caught up in the digital bloodshed. Shortly after all the company servers went down, their power went down. And our IT guy says his cell phone service vanished.”

In a Facebook post, the association also said the attack shut down power in the building.

A Denial of Service attack is usually an artificial call for content resulting in an overwhelming amount of server requests. It is designed to disable the targeted servers or cripple the servers so that content is delivered so slowly it makes the website unusable.

Rieck suspected that the attack was spurred by the association's recent fundraiser on Zimmerman's behalf.

"We don't yet know where this attack came from, but we find it hard to believe that it is a coincidence that it's happening at the very moment a story went national about raising funds to enable George Zimmerman to purchase a new firearm after Eric Holder and the DOJ decided to prevent him from getting his personal property back," he said.

The organization started raising funds to purchase a gun for George Zimmerman after he was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. A hold was placed on trial evidence, which prevented the return of Zimmerman's gun and prompted the association to begin its fundraising effort on July 19.

The association has sent a check to George Zimmerman to purchase a new firearm.

July 23, 2013
WFMJ (NBC Youngstown) - Ohio gun rights group collects funds to buy gun for Zimmerman

It took a little longer than a day for an Ohio based firearms rights group to raise more than enough money to buy George Zimmerman a new gun.

On Saturday, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation posted on it's web site a call for donations to buy a new gun for George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murdering Florida teen Trayvon Martin during a confrontation between the two in Florida.

Foundation President Jim Irvine says the call for donations was in reaction to reports that the gun used during the incident has not been returned to Zimmerman.

Irvine tells 21 news that more than twelve-thousand dollars were donated from 774 individuals in 48 states and three countries including Australia, Switzerland and Lithuania.

The size of the donations ranged from one dollar to $100.

Irvine says Buckeye Firearms is no longer taking donations, and instead of buying Zimmerman a gun and holster, he'll send a check to him in the amount of $12,150.37.

Irvine says since Zimmerman has received death threats, he can use the money to purchase a firearm of his own choice, a ballistic vest, or other security devices.

This isn't the first time Buckeye Firearms has intervened to help an individual whose firearm was confiscated by authorities.

Irvine says that his organization came to the aid of Damon Wells who in 2007 fatally shot a fifteen year old who tried to rob him in Cleveland.

July 23, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Ohio Gun Group Raises Thousands For Zimmerman – But Not For New Gun

Ohio gun rights advocates raised a lot of cash very quickly for George Zimmerman to purchase a new gun, but that's not what it will be used for, according to his legal team.

"It's well over $10,000," said Gerard Valentino from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "The U.S. Government has stepped in and taken his gun, and we don't feel that's right."

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation started asking for contributions Saturday. The headline on their website read, "We're buying ZIMMERMAN a NEW GUN - We need your help."

It said contributions would be used for Zimmerman's "firearm, holster and other gear."

Zimmerman spokesman Shawn Vincent told 10TV that Zimmerman had been offered new guns by individuals and groups across the country.

"Many of these groups are just seeking publicity," Vincent said. "A new gun is not the appropriate way to support George. The appropriate way is to donate to the legal defense fund to help with his living expenses."

Vincent said Zimmerman is prepared to accept the check from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation with the understanding it will not be used to purchase a gun.

Late Tuesday, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation cut Zimmerman a Cashier's Check for $12,150.37.

"The plan was always to turn the money over to him and allow him to purchase the gun for his own safety," Valentino said.

Zimmerman was acquitted, but evidence in the case, including the gun he used to shoot Trayvon Martin, were turned over to the federal government.

They're now investigating whether Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights when he shot the black teenager.

"They're bigoted, they see situational times when they can express their bigotry," said Sam Gresham from the Columbus Urban League. "I think most see this as a race issue, as a symbol and an opportunity to express their feelings about African Americans in Ohio and across the country."

Gresham says contributions to Zimmerman were not made for a new gun and send a harmful message to African Americans.

July 22, 2013
TEA Party Radio (Jacksonville) "Capitol Hill"

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Rick Kaleda was a guest on Capitol Hill. Rick discussed the news that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has raised more than $12,000 for Florida crime victim George Zimmerman.
 

July 22, 2013
AOL.com - Group Raising Money to Buy George Zimmerman New Gun

VIDEO DESCRIPTION:An Ohio political action committee is raising money to buy George Zimmerman a new gun, the group announced on its website Saturday. The Buckeye Firearms Foundation wants to provide the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin "with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear."

July 22, 2013
Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau (NPR) - Ohio Gun Owners Group Offers Gun To Zimmerman

A group that represents gun owners in Ohio is offering to replace the gun formerly owned by George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who was recently acquitted of killing an unarmed teenager in self defense. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports on what the effort by the Ohio gun group.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s Ken Hansen says members of his group want to help George Zimmerman now that he's been vindicated of criminal charges against him. The Ohio gun group wants to make sure Zimmerman can protect himself.

KH: When we heard the Department of Justice was ordering the Florida police to withhold Mr. Zimmerman's gun, we decided that we need to provide him with a way to defend himself and family etc, so we sent out a fundraising appeal. Our goal is to raise money for Mr. Zimmerman to replace his gun, ammunition, holster, any associated gear, any ballistic vest that he feels is appropriate for defense of himself and his family.

TH: We've all just been sort of appalled that they would even think such a thing.

That.s Toby Hoover with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. She thinks Zimmerman would be even faster to react to a perceived threat of violence.

TH: I think he would react much quicker than any other person because he is afraid. He's been led to believe and maybe rightfully so that he is in some kind of danger, that people are really angry about the verdict and what he did and so if you are living like that, you are just going to easily believe anyone who approaches you has a gun and is going to use it against you.

Hansen says his group has already raised an amount in the mid four figures. The gun that Zimmerman used in the killing is still being saved by authorities for evidence in future legal proceedings. There is no word yet on whether or when Zimmerman will take the gun group up on its offer.

July 22, 2013
Press TV (Tehran) - Ohio organization raising funds to buy George Zimmerman new gun

A pro-gun group in the US state of Ohio is raising money to buy a new gun for George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, an Ohio political action committee, announced on its website that it wants to provide Zimmerman "with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear."

"Since he was acquitted he should have the ability to protect himself and his life and to be an American citizen," said Buckeye Firearms Association legislative committee member Sean Maloney.

July 22, 2013
The Grio.com (NBC Universal) - Ohio organization raising funds to buy George Zimmerman new gun

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation started a fund to buy George Zimmermann "a new gun and fight attacks on the Second Amendment."

Zimmerman was charged with the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He plead not guilty, arguing self-defense, and a Florida jury acquitted him of all charges.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Department of Justice has an open investigation into the case. Sanford Police Capt. James McAuliffe confirmed Thursday that all evidence related to the February 2012 shooting is on hold, which includes Zimmerman’s gun.

"This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power," the Buckeye Firearms Foundation wrote in their post. "And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain."

The post says that the organization will be "purchasing a NEW FIREARM for [Zimmerman], including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants."

TheGrio has reached out to the Buckeye Firearms Association for comment and is awaiting response.

It is unclear whether any funds have been donated to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation's fund.

July 22, 2013
Salon.com - Ohio gun group: We'll buy George Zimmerman a new gun

An Ohio gun group is raising money to buy George Zimmerman a new "firearm, holster, and other gear," because the gun he used to shoot Trayvon Martin is still being held as evidence by law enforcement.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation is asking for donations, writing on its website that they are "raising funds to buy Zimmerman a NEW GUN and fight attacks on the Second Amendment," WHIOTV first reported.

The Sanford Police Department in Florida said last week that it would delay returning Zimmerman's gun, along with other evidence, following a request from the Department of Justice, which is reviewing the case and considering bringing civil rights charges against him.

"This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power," The Buckeye Firearms Foundation writes, continuing: "Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights."

July 22, 2013
US News & World Report - Political Action Committe's[sic] Zimmerman Fundraiser Will Buy Gun, Cover Defense Costs

An Ohio second amendment political action committee's fundraiser to get George Zimmerman a new gun has been so successful that extra funds may be used to cover his defense costs in the controversial second-degree murder trial of Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, who was acquitted, was previously due to have the gun he used to kill Martin returned to him by Florida police before the Justice Department ordered it held as evidence in a potential federal civil rights suit.

The fundraiser has already raised plenty of money to replace Zimmerman's gun since it started July 18, and it is possible that extra funds will be used to cover Zimmerman's defense costs, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association's legislative chair Ken Hanson.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is collecting donations for its Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund through its website, asking people to give "whatever you can afford, $100... $50... $25... even just $10."

"Whatever you might think about the Zimmerman verdict, the fact remains that we are a nation of laws, not mob justice," the association's website reads. "George Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found not guilty, and that entitles him to continue exercising all his rights, including his second amendment right to own a firearm."

The donations collected will be used to replace Zimmerman's gun, holster and "other gear."

"Since he was acquitted he should have the ability to protect himself and his life and to be an American citizen," said Buckeye Firearms Association legislative committee member Sean Maloney.

Buckeye Firearms Association is "dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition and recreation."

The group bills itself as a "non-partisan, all-volunteer organization" that works to elect pro-gun candidates and lobbies for pro-gun legislation.

July 22, 2013
DrudgeReport.com - Supporters raise money to buy him new gun...

July 22, 2013
Associated Press - Gun Rights Group Collecting Donations To Buy Zimmerman New Gun

A non-profit gun rights group is collecting donations to buy George Zimmerman a new firearm.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation created the "Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund" to raise money to buy him a new gun after the Justice Department placed a hold on all evidence related to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said during an NAACP convention in Orlando last week that the Justice Department has an open investigation into the case. The department is looking into whether Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights. Zimmerman was legally entitled to reclaim his gun he used to shoot Martin before the Justice Department placed a hold on evidence.

"George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back," the foundation wrote on its website. "And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants."

The foundation calls Holder's actions an "abuse of power."

"This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm," the foundation states.

The foundation added that "the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain."

Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Martin's death last year. Jurors found that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

July 22, 2013
Inquisitor.com - Buckeye Firearms Raising Funds For George Zimmerman's New Gun

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation wants to make sure that George Zimmerman gets his gun back. If Florida doesn’t give it to him, they say they’ll buy him a new one.

The Ohio political action committee is currently taking donations to help buy George Zimmerman a new gun if the state of Florida delays in returning the weapon he used to kill Trayvon Martin last year to him.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation wants to make sure that George Zimmerman gets his gun back. If Florida doesn’t give it to him, they say they’ll buy him a new one.

The Ohio political action committee is currently taking donations to help buy George Zimmerman a new gun if the state of Florida delays in returning the weapon he used to kill Trayvon Martin last year to him.

Since it was posted last Thursday, the PAC’s release has been read by over 4500 individuals. It is unclear how much money the organization has raised to buy George Zimmerman a new gun.

July 22, 2013
Esquire.com - HELP FOR THE STRUGGLING GUN OWNER

Of course, they are.

This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain. Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights. To be fair to all concerned, we have remained silent during the Zimmerman trial. We allowed the evidence to unfold and the justice system to run its course. Now the jury has spoken and that should be the end of the matter. George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back. And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants. This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm.

I'm sure that these are just some of the people out there whom it is our job now to understand, and whose natural fear of crime led them to seek the protection of George Zimmerman, crimebuster, and with whom we cannot engage in the kind of vituperative rhetoric that drives us further apart as a nation, so I am reluctant to point out the sheer dickishness of this move but, boy howdy, what a dick move this is.

July 22, 2013
Mediaite.com - Ohio Gun Group Raising Money To Buy George Zimmerman A New Gun, Send Message To Eric Holder

George Zimmerman may not get his gun back, but an Ohio group's got him covered: they're going to buy Zimmerman a new one.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates for the Second Amendment, is soliciting donations to replace Zimmerman's weapon and accessories following his acquittal for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The gun was supposed to have been returned to him following the conclusion of the trial, but the potential for further charges to be filed by the Justice Department means the weapon used in the shooting remains in evidence.

Writing on its website, the BFF called the government's retention of Zimmerman's possessions an "unacceptable abuse of power," and accused Attorney General Eric Holder of exploiting the case to further his gun control agenda:

The threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain.
Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration’s attack on gun rights.

To be fair to all concerned, we have remained silent during the Zimmerman trial. We allowed the evidence to unfold and the justice system to run its course. Now the jury has spoken and that should be the end of the matter.

George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back.

And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation most recent project was to give 144 local schoolteachers firearms training.

July 22, 2013
RawStory.com - Gun advocates raising money to buy new firearm for Zimmerman

A gun owner's advocacy group in Ohio is raising money to buy a new gun for former neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in response to federal officials' delaying the return of his old one following his acquittal on second-degree murder charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

WCPO-TV reported on Sunday that the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) began its campaign on Saturday in order to "fight attacks on the Second Amendment," calling the recent decision by the Justice Department a renewal of hostilities on the part of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

"This is outrageous. Mr. Holder is this nation's chief law enforcement officer. It is his job to uphold the laws, to support and defend our system of justice," the group wrote in a statement on its website. "This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain."

The FBI ordered police in Sanford, Florida on Friday not to return Zimmerman’s handgun pending an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether to pursue a civil rights violation lawsuit against him.

"We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear," the BFA said in its statement. "The rest will be set aside to fight similar injustices … [sic] and they happen all the time."

July 22, 2013
HNGN.com (Headlines and Global News) - George Zimmerman Gun Fund: PAC and Others Want to Purchase a New Firearm

As the Department of Justice continues there investigation into whether George Zimmerman violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin they have put a freeze on all of the case's evidence, including the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm handgun Zimmerman used in the shooting. While the government holds on to that firearm there are a plethora of people stepping forward to make sure that Zimmerman is armed including a novelist, a Florida gun shop owner and an Ohio PAC, according to the Huffington Post.

The Buckeye Firearms Association has created the "Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund" as an effort to raise money in order to buy Zimmerman a new gun, according to the Daily Caller.

"This is about more than mere principle," an email soliciting funds said. "Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm."

The gun-rights group has said that they will use any additional funds raised over the cost of re-arming Zimmerman to re-arm others in similar situations.

"We find this action outrageous," Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association, told the Daily Caller. "Whatever you think about the case, Mr. Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found not guilty. And now all evidence should be returned to the rightful owners, including Mr. Zimmerman's firearm."

July 22, 2013
OpposingViews.com - Ohio Gun Group To Buy George Zimmerman A New Gun And Gun Accessories

An Ohio gun group has announced it will give George Zimmerman the funds to buy a new firearm, holster, and other gun gear, after the U.S. Department of Justice asked Florida police to “keep possession of all the evidence” from the Trayvon Martin shooting trial.

While the Buckeye Firearms Foundation said it will raise money to buy a replacement for Zimmerman's Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm pistol, the group also posited a theory that the DOJ is keeping his old gun so Attorney General Eric Holder can launch a campaign for tougher gun legislation.

The DOJ likely wants the evidence maintained in order to conduct a federal probe into the shooting and decide if any federal charges will be filed in the case, but Buckeye Firearms said on its website that the DOJ is overstepping its boundaries.

"This is outrageous," the site says. "Mr. Holder is this nation's chief law enforcement officer. It is his job to uphold the laws, to support and defend our system of justice. This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain. Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights."

The group ratcheted up the paranoia surrounding Zimmerman’s personal safety after being acquitted, although no attempt to harm him has been reported.

"This is about more than mere principle," the group wrote. "Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm."

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, Ken Hanson, legal counsel for Buckeye Firearms Association, said the foundation would start providing "active killer training" to teachers in Ohio.

"It's our kids in these schools," Hanson told a Town Hall meeting at Ohio State University. "We're not asking for permission. We're not going to debate it. We're arming the teachers."

July 22, 2013
HuffingtonPost.com - Ohio PAC Raising Money To Buy George Zimmerman A New Gun

An Ohio political action committee is raising money to buy George Zimmerman a new gun, the group announced on its website Saturday.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation wants to provide the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin "with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear."

The pro-gun group takes issue with the Department of Justice's decision to put a hold on all evidence in the Zimmerman case, including the gun he used to kill Martin, until it determines whether or not Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights. While Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder charges, is permitted to purchase a new gun, the group expressed concern on its website that the Justice Department is attacking all gun owners:

"This is outrageous. [Attorney General Eric] Holder is this nation's chief law enforcement officer. It is his job to uphold the laws, to support and defend our system of justice.

This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain.

Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights."

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation is not the first to offer Zimmerman assistance. Brad Thor, a conservative author, took to Twitter last week to say he would buy Zimmerman a new gun and as much ammunition as he wants.

Read part of the post describing the "Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund" below:

"This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives. More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm.

Gun owners must stand together and refuse to allow an injustice like this to go unanswered. If we choose to sit idly by while the full force and weight of the federal government descends upon a free man, it will embolden others to take liberties with our rights."

July 22, 2013
TalkingPointsMemo.com - Pro-Gun Group Raising Money To Buy George Zimmerman A New Weapon

A pro-gun group from Ohio launched a fundraising effort over the weekend to buy George Zimmerman a new gun.

On the heels of reports that the Justice Department is placing a hold on all evidence in the case, including the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm pistol Zimmerman used to kill unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation announced that it is raising money to buy the former neighborhood watch captain a new gun.

"This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives," the group said in a post announcing the "Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund." "More than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm. Gun owners must stand together and refuse to allow an injustice like this to go unanswered. If we choose to sit idly by while the full force and weight of the federal government descends upon a free man, it will embolden others to take liberties with our rights."

The group said it is accepting any donations supporters can afford in order to provide Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, "with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear."

July 22, 2013
DailyCaller.com - Gun group taking donations to buy George Zimmerman a new pistol

The Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association has established the “Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund” for the purchase of a new handgun for George Zimmerman.

The Justice Department has put a "hold" on evidence for the Zimmerman trial. That decision means Zimmerman is unable to have his gun returned to him despite the fact he was found not guilty.

"This is about more than mere principle. Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats on their lives," the association wrote in an email soliciting funds, "more than ever, he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm."

Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin after an altercation ensued in a Sanford, Florida, housing development where Zimmerman was serving as a neighborhood watch volunteer.

"We find this action outrageous," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "Whatever you think about the case, Mr. Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found not guilty. And now all evidence should be returned to the rightful owners, including Mr. Zimmerman's firearm."

The gun being held for evidence is a Kel-Tec 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a manufacturer's price of $333. The Buckeye Firearms Association will use any monies above the purchase price of the pistol for Zimmerman to rearm others that have had their firearms confiscated and unreturned.

"We'll raise whatever funds we need for Mr. Zimmerman and we'll set aside the rest to address future assaults on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens," Irvine said in a press release.

July 22, 2013
Breitbart.com - BUCKEYE FIREARMS FOUNDATION RAISING MONEY TO BUY ZIMMERMAN A NEW GUN

On the heels of news that Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ will not give George Zimmerman his gun back anytime soon, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation is raising funds to buy Zimmerman a new one.

The Foundation posted the following on their website:

Regardless of what you think of the Zimmerman verdict, we are a nation of laws, not mob justice.

George Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found NOT GUILTY. And that entitles him to continue exercising all his rights, including his Second Amendment right to own a firearm.

They then explained how "outrageous" it is that Holder refuses to give Zimmerman back his gun, adding:

If Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman [the right to own a gun], Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a new firearm for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.

This is about more than mere principle--Zimmerman and his family now face daily threats against their lives. More than ever he has a right to defend himself against those who would seek to do him harm.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation is accepting donations for Zimmerman's new gun on their website.

July 22, 2013
ThinkProgess.org - Ohio Gun Group: 'We're Buying Zimmerman A New Gun'

An Ohio gun group is soliciting donations to "provide [Trayvon Martin shooter George] Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear." Citing a news report indicating that the U.S. Department of Justice asked police to "keep possession of all the evidence from George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial" — most likely so that they can use that evidence in conducting a federal investigation into the Martin shooting — the Buckeye Firearms Foundation spins a complex conspiracy theory built around the idea that Attorney General Eric Holder will use the Zimmerman investigation to somehow target other gun owners:

This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain.

Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration's attack on gun rights. . . . George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back.

And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.

Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin while the teen-aged boy was wandering through Zimmerman's neighborhood carrying an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Zimmerman was later acquitted after the jury hearing his case was instructed that he "had the right to stand his ground" and use deadly force against Martin if he "reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." One of the six jurors that acquitted Zimmerman confirmed in an interview with CNN that Florida's Stand Your Ground law played a role in her decision. In her words, "[b]ecause of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right."

Under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, prosecutors had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not engaged in such self-defense at the time that he shot Martin — meaning that the jury was required to let him off scot-free even if they were fairly certain that Zimmerman acted unlawfully, so long as they had reasonable lingering doubts regarding whether Zimmerman was actually the aggressor.

And now, an Ohio gun group wants to ensure that Zimmerman is armed once again — just in case he feels like he needs to stand his ground in the future.

July 21, 2013
Kentucky Post - Buckeye Firearms Association raising funds to buy George Zimmerman new gun

An Ohio organization is raising money to help George Zimmerman buy a new gun.

Zimmerman's gun was held by the Justice Department as evidence in his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. He was acquitted of all charges July 13.

The Buckeye Firearms Association, a political action committee (PAC) based in Ohio, posted on its website that it plans to help Zimmerman acquire a new firearm.

The article "We're buying ZIMMERMAN a NEW GUN - We need your help" was posted on the PAC's website on Thursday. The article asks for direct donations toward purchasing the new gun and to help "fight attacks on the Second Ammendment."

"We have created the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund. We encourage you to donate whatever you can afford, $100 … $50 … $25 … even just $10. We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear," the organization states in the article.

While members of the organization do not state on the website whether or not they agree with Florida jury's decision, the group lists its mission as "defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. We work to elect pro-gun candidates and lobby for pro-gun legislation."

Members of the group believe their mission was undermined when it was publicly announced Attorney General Eric Holder had confiscated George Zimmerman's gun.

...

As of 1:20 a.m. Sunday, more than 5,400 visitors had read the release by Buckeye Firearms Association since it was posted on the organization's website.

It is unknown how much money the organization has collected for the fund.

July 21, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Ohio PAC wants to buy George Zimmerman a new gun

An Ohio political action committee is raising money to help George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the murder trial of teenager Trayvon Martin, buy a new gun.

"We're buying ZIMMERMAN a NEW GUN - We need your help," reads the title of the article on the Buckeye Firearms Association's website that has garnered the attention of media outlets in the past few days.

Zimmerman's gun was held by the Justice Department as trial evidence. The Buckeye Firearms Association is now raising funds to help Zimmerman obtain a new gun and "fight attacks on the Second Amendment," according to the group's website.

"We have created the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund. We encourage you to donate whatever you can afford, $100 … $50 … $25 … even just $10. We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear.," reads a release by the organization.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is "a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities," according to their website.

More than 4500 visitors have read the release by the group since it was posted on their website on Thursday. It is unknown how much money the organization has collected for the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund so far.

July 21, 2013
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati)
- Buckeye Firearms Association raising funds to buy George Zimmerman new gun

An Ohio organization is raising money to help George Zimmerman buy a new gun.

Zimmerman's gun was held by the Justice Department as evidence in his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. He was acquitted of all charges July 13.

The Buckeye Firearms Association, a political action committee (PAC) based in Ohio, posted on its website that it plans to help Zimmerman acquire a new firearm.

The article "We're buying ZIMMERMAN a NEW GUN - We need your help" was posted on the PAC's website on Thursday. The article asks for direct donations toward purchasing the new gun and to help "fight attacks on the Second Ammendment."

"We have created the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund. We encourage you to donate whatever you can afford, $100 … $50 … $25 … even just $10. We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear," the organization states in the article.

While members of the organization do not state on the website whether or not they agree with Florida jury's decision, the group lists its mission as "defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. We work to elect pro-gun candidates and lobby for pro-gun legislation."

Members of the group believe their mission was undermined when it was publicly announced Attorney General Eric Holder had confiscated George Zimmerman's gun.

...

As of 1:20 a.m. Sunday, more than 5,400 visitors had read the release by Buckeye Firearms Association since it was posted on the organization's website.

It is unknown how much money the organization has collected for the fund.

July 21, 2013
WHIO (CBS Dayton) - Ohio PAC wants to buy George Zimmerman a new gun

An Ohio political action committee is raising money to help George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the murder trial of teenager Trayvon Martin, buy a new gun.

"We're buying ZIMMERMAN a NEW GUN - We need your help," reads the title of the article on the Buckeye Firearms Association's website that has garnered the attention of media outlets in the past few days.

Zimmerman's gun was held by the Justice Department as trial evidence. The Buckeye Firearms Association is now raising funds to help Zimmerman obtain a new gun and "fight attacks on the Second Amendment," according to the group's website.

"We have created the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund. We encourage you to donate whatever you can afford, $100 … $50 … $25 … even just $10. We will provide Mr. Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear.," reads a release by the organization.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is "a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities," according to their website.

More than 4500 visitors have read the release by the group since it was posted on their website on Thursday. It is unknown how much money the organization has collected for the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund so far.

July 21, 2013
WDBZ 1230 AM (Cincinnati) "The Nathan Ivey Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Nathan Ivey Show. Joe discussed the news that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has announced plans to raise funds for Florida crime victim George Zimmerman. Download the podcast.
 

July 21, 2013
Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum - Ohio could adopt 'Stand Your Ground' provision

The bill, which includes changes to Ohio's concealed-carry law, has support from Ohioans for Concealed Carry and the Buckeye Firearms Association, which collected more than $1,000 Friday to buy George Zimmerman a new firearm. Federal authorities continue to hold Zimmerman's firearm, even though he was acquitted of charges related to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.

"He still can't get his gun back. Why can't he? I don't like seeing people being denied personal property especially when somebody tried to kill him," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Irvine emphasized Zimmerman did not use Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law in his defense. However, the language was used in jury instructions and officials across America have used the trial as an opportunity to examine the duty to retreat.

Irvine said he supports the legislation that would protect individuals from being injured while trying to retreat.

...If adopted, people still would have to prove their aggressor had the ability, proximity and intent to kill to receive the legal protection of self-defense, Irvine said.

July 19, 2013
WKEF (ABC Dayton) - Buckeye Firearms Assoc. Starts Fund To Buy George Zimmerman A New Gun

The Buckeye Firearms Association is raising money to buy George Zimmerman a new gun.

George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter by a jury.

"He's been acquitted, but they have not returned his firearm. His property," Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine told us by phone Friday.

The US Department of Justice has requested that the Sanford Florida Police Department keep all the evidence from the trial since they are considering a civil rights case against George Zimmerman. That evidence includes the gun that took Trayvon Martin's life.

Within a few hours the fund already raised more than $2,000. More than enough money to replace Zimmerman's gun.

The group believes strongly that Zimmerman's constitutional rights are being violated and he should get his gun back and have a way to protect his family that now receives daily threats.

"We want to get a firearm in his hands so he can go back to the state he was in before this event as far as being prepared for things that come up," Irvine said.

"When someone is threatened in their life and use lethal force to stay alive, if we take the very tool that kept them alive away from them, that's psychologically damaging."

The organization insists the issue isn't about whether or not you agree with the verdict, it's about second amendment rights.

The organization tells us they will buy a new gun, holster, flashlight, and any other gear Zimmerman may want to feel safe.


EARLIER.... 

DELAWARE, OH - It's been nearly a week since George Zimmerman was acquitted by the jury in his second degree murder trial. Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

Now, according to several reports, the U.S. Department of Justice, overseen by Attorney General Eric Holder, has ordered the Sanford, Florida police department to keep possession of all the evidence from George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial - including the exonerated neighborhood watch volunteer's gun. The Department of Justice is looking into whether Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin's civil rights.

"We find this action outrageous," said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "Whatever you think about the case, Mr. Zimmerman was tried in a court of law and found not guilty. And now all evidence should be returned to the rightful owners, including Mr. Zimmerman's firearm.

"He is a free man and, as a citizen of the United States, he should be able to exercise all his rights, including his Second Amendment rights, which includes owning and carrying a firearm. This phoney 'hold' on evidence is just an underhanded ploy by the Department of Justice to punish Zimmerman because some people don't like the verdict."

Irvine says that since the DOJ won't return Zimmerman's firearm, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will raise funds to buy him a new firearm, holster, flashlight, and anything else he needs.

"We're calling this the Zimmerman Second Amendment Fund," continues Irvine. "We'll raise whatever funds we need for Mr. Zimmerman and we'll set aside the rest to address future assaults on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens."

July 19, 2013
Gongwer News Service - House Bills Would Ease Concealed Weapons Restrictions, Impose 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Rep. Maag said he's had discussions about the bill with the Buckeye Firearms Association and the National Rifle Association, though he hasn't yet sat down with law enforcement officials about the proposal.

July 18, 2013
WKRC (CBS Cincinnati) - Teachers Getting Tactical

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation sponsors this program. It's called faculty administrator safety training and emergency response... faster. All the applicants must have a concealed carry license. They're taught by highly acclaimed industry experts at John Benner's Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County.

Jim Irvine, Buckeye Firearms Association: "After Sandy Hook, it's different, because we killed little kids instead of big kids. It's a different emotion for everybody. So now, we looked at it and we thought you know after every one of these events. everyone talks about it. What we're going to do? So, we called up John and said, hey can you do a class for teachers and I didn't even get the sentence out, he said, I'm already working on it."

"A lot of the scenarios here at TDI use live fire. But some of them also involve the use air soft guns like this. However, when you're using one of these, it still feels very real."

July 17, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - How Protective Are Protection Orders?

Rep. Robert Hagan (D) of Youngstown has introduced legislation that would require anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order to temporarily surrender their firearms to police.

Ken Hanson of Buckeye Firearms Association says Hagan's proposal is unnecessary and will make no difference. Hanson points out that federal law already prohibits possession of a firearm by someone named in a state-issued protection order.

July 15, 2013
WCPN 90.3 FM (Cleveland) "The Sound of Ideas"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a studio guest on WCPN's The Sound of Ideas. Jim discussed the issue of gun safety in the home. In addition being aired on WCPN 90.3 FM in Cleveland, the show is also webcast, transmitted over the Ohio Channel, and made available on some cable systems. Click here to listen to the podcast or watch the video.
 

July 15, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Local School District Begins Arming School Staff

He would not say how many staff members would be armed. But because of an offer of training by the Buckeye Firearms Association, Staggs said there would no cost to the village for the concealed carry licenses or training.

July 9, 2013
Education Week - Ohio District to Authorize Armed Staff

The individuals would be required to have or obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun and undergo an extensive three-day certification program that would include tactical training. They would then be recertified every year by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Department. At present, one employee has gone through the certification program with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

July 8, 2013
WJW (Fox Cleveland) - Proposal Would Arm Staff at Local School

Jim Irvine from the Buckeye Firearms Association, which was involved in the process to arm the faculty in Newcomerstown, told FOX 8 News, "Any district that has not revamped their security is negligent and the kids are at risk."

The Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman also said other Ohio schools are taking similar action and more want to learn about the process. The Ohio School Board Association does not keep a count of the number of schools participating in similar programs and the Ohio Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment.

July 7, 2013
HumanEvents.com - Gun rights activists split on 'gun show loophole'

"Gun owners have sacrificed enough," said Linda Walker, central Ohio chair of Buckeye Firearms Association. BFA is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms.

Closing the so-called gun show loophole will not prevent violent crime, she said. "Facts show that less than 1 percent of firearms purchased at gun shows are used in a commission of a crime."

Legislators have been passing gun control for decades, she said. "There are thousands of gun laws on the books across the United States that are not being enforced."

The common thread of many, if not all mass killings involving firearms is mental health, she said. "Clearly, we are dealing with insane people."

State laws that provide for data collection concerning the mentally ill is one way to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands, said Walker, who is also a National Rifle Association board member. "We must insure that the states are enforcing their mental health laws already on the books."

Another way to stay safe is by being properly armed and trained, she said.

In conjunction with the Tactical Defense Institute, BFA has developed a three-day active killer curriculum for school teachers and other employees to train them to be proficient in firearm use, she said. "Fifteen-hundred school professionals have signed up."

As long as the school employee has permission from the school board to carry their firearm at the school premises, they have the opportunity to train with BFA at no cost, said the NRA-certified instructor. "So far we have trained 24 school employees and we are bringing six more classes this summer bring the numbers trained to over 168."

July 4, 2013
Times Reporter - Newcomerstown to allow guns on school property

Board President Jerry Lahmers said it would be counterproductive if the general public knew the number of people authorized to carry weapons or in which buildings they worked.

But he added that one employee already has gone through training provided by the Buckeye Firearms Association.

...Factors leading to the decision to arm staff were listed in the board’s resolution — a safety parent committee had recommended the move; all staff members have taken Active Shooter Training from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office; buzzer systems have been installed in all district buildings and school safety procedures have been revamped; the district is using the NaviGate program, technology that assists first responders dealing with emergencies at area schools; and the board has participated in work sessions with the Tuscarawas County sheriff, Newcomerstown police chief, and the Buckeye Firearms Association.

July 1, 2013
Toledo Blade - Celebratory bullets ‘sheer stupidity,’ police say

For Jim Irvine, chairman of the gun-rights advocacy group Buckeye Firearms Association, the practice of holiday gunfire remains an "irresponsible, dangerous, and illegal" action.

"It's just not acceptable and absolutely stupid," Mr. Irvine said. "One of the cardinal rules in firearms is that you are responsible for the gun, and shooting in the air puts other people's lives at risk."

June 28, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Protecting guns from destruction doesn't protect Second Amendment: Mark Naymik

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, is more measured. He told me that the bill's supporters have seen guns with great monetary and historical value indiscriminately destroyed. He believes the bill is a win-win for those who want to preserve the craftsmanship of some guns and for law enforcement, which always needs more money.

Irvine might also be open to changes to HB 210 that would make exceptions for weapons used in high-profile crimes if a victim's family objects to their sale.

June 27, 2013
MediaTrackers.org - Senator Seeks to End Media Access to Ohio Concealed Carry Registry

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA), echoed Uecker's and Daniels's sentiments, asserting that the concealed-carry registration database was "intended to be private data."

"My medical records are private, people don't have the ability to look at that, to check to see that doctors are giving the right treatments," Irvine told Media Trackers. "They don't have the right to go look at my driver license, my banking records, to make sure I'm not funding al-Qaeda — they don't have access to that data, and they simply shouldn't have access to this data, either."

June 27, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Stand your ground,’ other gun laws pushed in Ohio

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said "stand your ground" in Ohio would offer legal protection to people who are forced to protect themselves in a public place.

"The only thing it's stating is if in fact someone is close enough to you, has the ability to kill you and intends to kill you, you can defend your life. You don't have to play other games first," he said.

June 26, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Pro-gun group spending big dough to offer arms training for teachers

Once you realize you have a demand for something, you've got to make your product available to more people, right? It's not a novel technique, but the Buckeye Firearms Foundation announced today that they're applying it to their novel concept: getting groups of school teachers, administrators and faculty together and teaching them how to use a gun should a shooter enter their school.

The foundation is attempting to raise $100,000 to send 144 educators to gun school for "active shooter" training.

That's following what the foundation, a nonprofit spin-off of the Buckeye Firearms Association, considered a successful $30,000 pilot program that brought in 24 Ohio educators in March, handpicked from 1,400 applicants.

Jim Irvine, the foundation's president, said in March that more teachers would come to the first-ever Armed Teacher Training Program if they got more money.

"Now that we've created and tested the training with 24 teachers, it's time to roll it on a bigger scale," Irvine wrote Wednesday in an email to 43,000 recipients on the foundation's mailing list. They've committed to funding six more classes, but they still need more money.

It wasn't immediately clear how close the foundation is to hitting its $100,000 funding mark.

They insist none of the money they're asking for is for the foundation. It's just that expensive to put together such a program. After all, the foundation has in the past paid for three days of food, hotel rooms, ammunition and instruction for program attendees.

"The money is for our kids," Irvine wrote, adding that based on the percentage of people who have pledged in response to mass emails the past, the foundation could pick up $93,600. "Are our kids worth $20?"

June 21, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Criminals use Ohio as a conduit for guns

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye State Firearms Association, said he's against a statute directly outlining gun trafficking or straw purchasing as a crime, suggesting that the government could piece together existing statutes to put a trafficker or straw buyer away — as was done in Nelson's case.

"If you've got A, B, C and D, I don't think there's a need for a thing that covers all of them," Irvine said.

June 19, 2013
City Beat - Bill Could Ease Restrictions on Semi-Automatic Magazines

Supporters of the bill say the current wording prevents them from purchasing high-capacity magazines, an issue Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, says is mostly one of convenience for most gun owners.

June 17, 2013
NRAnews.com

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com. Linda discussed the introduction of SB 60 and HB 203 with Cam Edwards on Cam & Company.
 

June 16, 2013
Gun Talk Radio Show

Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine was a guest on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk®, a nationally syndicated radio show. Jim discussed the news that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has commissioned six more F.A.S.T.E.R. teacher classes with show host Tom Gresham. Download the podcast.
 

June 15, 2013
Associated Press - Ohio could ban reporters from seeing gun records

Uecker's measure is backed by the Buckeye Firearms Association. The group's chairman, Jim Irvine, said he sees no public interest being served by the law's exception for journalists.

"I don't think the media should be monitoring this, just as the media shouldn't be monitoring who gets a driver's license," Irvine said.

He said searchable databases such as the one that the New York newspaper posted on its website allow criminals to find out who doesn't own a gun and target those individuals.

June 15, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - 6 months later, more guns, no new laws

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said he feels the 'mindset is changing' in favor of gun owners since Sandy Hook. For one thing, he said, more school administrators and board officials are interested in his group's offer to provide firearms training for teachers and other employees.

"They used to say, 'You must be crazy.' Now, we're seeing things totally different. They want to be a part of it. For the school boards, it's not about guns. It's about safety."

Irvine also noted the big jump in new and renewed concealed-carry permits. There were 37,761 such permits issued in Ohio in the first three months this year, nearly double the number issued in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, firearm-maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. reported sales jumped 38 percent in the quarter ending on April 30, as many gun advocates have rushed to buy weapons in fear of tighter gun restrictions. Ammunition also has been selling out at sporting-goods stores nationwide.

Irvine pointed to two bills in the state legislature advocated by gun supporters. House Bill 203, sponsored by state Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, would eliminate the 12-hour training requirement for a concealed-carry permit. And House Bill 191, introduced by Rep. John Becker, a Cincinnati-area Republican, would redefine large-capacity gun magazines.

June 14, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Groups Push For Tighter Gun Laws 6 Months After Sandy Hook Shooting

Gerard Valentino with Buckeye Firearms said you can't conduct universal background checks without a gun registry, and, he said, that won't happen.

"What we need to look at is the mental health situation and the mental health industry, not the gun industry," said Valentino.

June 14, 2013
City Beat - Ohio Bill Could Ease Restrictions on Semi-Automatic Magazines

Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, says that the sentence Becker has proposed to remove is one that inherently conflicts the actual definition of an automatic weapon; he says it doesn't make sense to qualify a semi-automatic weapon under the same umbrella as an automatic weapon when the two are entirely different types of firearms.

He says that the issue is one of convenience for most semi-automatic gun owners, including himself. "Loading up magazines can take time," he says. "When I go to the shooting range I want to use my time up shooting, not reloading."

June 14, 2013
WWL (New Orleans) 870AM & 105.3FM "The Think Tank" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by "The Think Tank" host Don Dubuc. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has commissioned six more teacher classes. Download the podcast.
 

June 13, 2013
WKYC (NBC Cleveland)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed on WKYC. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has commissioned six more teacher classes.
 

June 12, 2013
CNN.com - In response to Newtown shootings, some states move to put guns in classrooms

In Ohio, Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun rights PAC, has launched a program to educate teachers on how to take down a gunman.

"We were mocked when we first said we wanted to teach this class," Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye, said. "People doubted if we could fill the class."

Yet more than 1,400 school staff members applied for the 24 spots first offered in late December, he said.

...John Benner, president and chief instructor at the Ohio-based Tactical Defense Institute, has trained school resource officers for years. He taught his first class to teachers this spring.

The three-day class, sponsored by Buckeye Firearms Association, examined mass shootings and taught school personnel how to predict a killer's behavior and shoot on the run amid obstacles like narrow hallways and stairwells. Police officers and SWAT commanders help teach the course. Participants had to have a concealed weapons permit before registering.

Buckeye paid about $1,000 per teacher, which includes tuition, room and board, and ammunition. The group will cover tuition and board for the six courses offered this summer.

Benner would like to see all school employees teachers, resource officers, administrators learn to use firearms.

"I hate the idea of arming teachers, but we have to," Benner said. Signs and locks won't deter an attacker and police can't respond quickly enough, he said. "It's the only thing that's going to work."

June 11, 2013
Cincinnati Enquirer - Local pol: Ease restrictions on semi-automatic magazines

In Ohio, a person can purchase an automatic weapon but it is costly, requires extensive background checks " and a local police chief must sign off on the purchase, said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. If legally purchased, the owner can fire an automatic weapon with a magazine of any size, but if the weapon is semi-automatic there is no legal way to use a magazine exceeding 30 rounds, Irvine said.

If the bill is passed, an automatic weapon would be defined as one that fires multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger. Becker and Irvine say this would align Ohio's definition of automatic weapons with the federal law's definition.

"The definition is wrong. You never changed the function of the gun at all," Irvine said. "It's actually an insane law."

[Toby Hoover, executive director for the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence], said she understands the reason for clarifying the definition but allowing larger magazines could lead to more gun violence.

Irvine says Hoover and others can work towards enacting magazine restrictions, but that would not solve a single problem.

"At the end of the day, the amount of ammunition in a magazine doesn't determine if someone is going to live or die. It's the person holding the gun who determines that," Irvine said.

June 10, 2013
CNN.com - Teachers pose with their guns

December's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut jarred parents and teachers around Ohio.

Thinking more had to be done to protect their children, a number of teachers and school staff members around Ohio have been signing up for a variety of gun training courses offered at a discount or for free.

Italian photographer Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini documented a concealed weapons course for school personnel in South Point school district in southern Ohio, where it borders Kentucky and West Virginia. He followed them throughout the two-day course in the classroom and outside practicing their marksmanship.

About 30 or 40 school personnel participated in the class. Everyone Piccolomini photographed shared their names and where they taught.

"They were very open to be photographed," he said. "I think because they believed in what they were doing and that it was their right to study and earn the right to carry a gun."

Mark Christian, an assistant superintendent for the South Point district, has had his concealed carry license for eight years. He comes to the shooting portions of the local courses for teachers to socialize and to practice. Though he's never used firearms in self-defense, he always has one with him when he's not working.

"I tell people if I don't have on a tie, I have on a gun," Christian said.

Piccolomini's images of the teachers participating in the course were boring and static, he said, but he saw something different when they went into the woods to practice. With the woods in the background, he said, it was perfect for portraits with guns.

"You don't always get natural settings," he said.

The photographer said the course was well-organized and emphasized safety.

This was the fifth free class that Alan Wheeler, a firearms instructor [who also serves as a Buckeye Firearms Association leader], had offered to teachers in the South Point district. He's trained 250 teachers so far. He had a few sporadically take his firearms classes before the Sandy Hook shooting, but interest went way up afterward.

Ohio law stipulates school boards may allow teachers and administrators to carry a concealed weapon into schools. It was largely ignored until Sandy Hook. In December, state Attorney General Mike DeWine recommended that school boards seriously consider having a trained person with access to a gun on school grounds. He also pointed out that the law already allows for teachers and school personnel be permitted to be armed on campus.

Those who pass the concealed weapons course that Wheeler teaches receive basic training in how a gun works and marksmanship. When they pass this course, they can then take a more in-depth training course.

Christian and Wheeler think training teachers in firearms is a necessary step.

"If you'd asked me 15 years ago, I wouldn't have thought so, but after Columbine and Virginia Tech, it made me think we've got to do it," Wheeler said. "They're the first line of defense for the kids."

His mother is a first-grade teacher, and he has many other family members who are teachers. His mother isn't authorized to carry a gun to school.

Wheeler still thinks it's important to have at least basic gun training.

"What if they find one on the playground?" he said. "They need to know how to safely handle it."

June 2, 2013
Gannett News Service - Protection orders see mixed results - Experts say they don't act as deterrent to victim's attacker

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearm Association, said taking firearms away from individuals who haven't been charged with a crime and haven't had a chance to defend themselves against allegations will create only more problems. He also questioned why guns were singled out because knives, fists and vehicles can do just as much damage to domestic violence victims.

A better solution would be to teach victims how to use a firearm in defense or ask neighbors to stop by when the victim feels most vulnerable, Irvine said. The NRA hosts a "Refuse to be a Victim" course that outlines safety precautions available to victims without using guns.

"The reality is some people are dangerous, violent people, and this law is not going to stop them," Irvine said.

May 30, 2013
PolitiFact Ohio - Do protection orders really protect? The answer isn't clear

The chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, Jim Irvine, said he backs Hagan's mission to quell domestic violence, but called HB 160 a "failed idea" that would not solve the problem.

"A gun is the tool the problem uses," Irvine said. "But there are knives, bats, clubs that are also tools. Are you going to take those away too?

"The idea that a protection order protects someone from another is a myth. It's like putting a 'no guns' sign on your building and thinking bad guys cannot get inside."

Is it a myth that protection orders work? PolitiFact Ohio was interested. We found several studies that suggest protection orders can be effective in deterring further violence, but we also found there are pitfalls in trying to prove whether they provide actual protection. So we're reporting our findings here, but not making a ruling on the Truth-O-Meter.

We started our research by asking Irvine for more information.

"There is already a law in place that prohibits all of us from murdering any of the others of us," he answered. "If that does not work, it's crazy to think a judge's words or a piece of paper will work any better.

"Bottom line -- protection orders don't work. We know that. We need to try something different."

Irvine said he had no studies or statistics "that officially lay out the odds of being murdered with a protective order," but he provided several stories with multiple examples of women being killed by men who had been served with protection orders.

May 16, 2013
Forbes.com - Five Reasons The NRA Won The Recent Gun Control Debate That Have Nothing To Do With Politics

In the recent debate on background checks, one of the NRA's [and Buckeye Firearms Association's] top volunteers, Sean from Ohio, took the initiative to approach like-minded organizations and volunteered to speak at their upcoming meetings about the pending legislation. For two months he was giving at least three speeches per week to local groups. Two things stand out about this: 1) he is willing to give three speeches a week; 2) he knows his stuff enough to do this. I wonder how many organizations have volunteers capable and willing to do the same for their cause.

May 15, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio Democratic lawmakers propose temporarily taking guns from people served with temporary protection orders

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said he sides with Hagan's mission to quell domestic violence, but called HB 160 a "failed idea."

The focus on taking guns away from defendants undermines the real problem -- a culture of violence, Irvine said.

"A gun is the tool the problem uses," Irvine said. "But there are knives, bats, clubs that are also tools. Are you going to take those away too?

"The idea that a protection order protects someone from another is a myth. It's like putting a 'no guns' sign on your building and thinking bad guys cannot get inside."

Irvine said victims could keep themselves safe by buying a gun and obtaining a concealed carry permit.

May 14, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Bill Removes Guns From Domestic Violence Aggressors

Supporters of gun rights have come out against the legislation.

"I don't see it as solving the problem at all," said Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Educating potential victims will do more good than passing another 'feel good, gun control' bill."

May 9, 2013
Sportsman Channel

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on The Sportsman Channel's live one-hour broadcast of Cam & Company with Cam Edwards. Linda discussed the reaction of some residents to the opening of a new gun store In Twinsburg, OH.
 

May 8, 2013
Gannett News Service - Ohio gun lobby calls for Portman supporters

The Buckeye Firearms Association has put out an all-call for gun-rights proponents to come to the rescue of Sen. Rob Portman, who they say is "under attack" for his vote against a proposal to expand background checks on firearms purchases.

"The establishment media are reeling from the defeat of the anti-gun Manchin-Toomey amendment," the Ohio gun-rights group said in an email alert to members. "And now they are working together to pressure pro-gun rights Senators like Rob Portman into caving."

When the Senate took up a contentious gun package last month, the most closely watched vote came on a bipartisan compromise amendment to expand background checks to include purchases made at gun shows and on the Internet, while exempting private sales. The provision, offered by Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Penn., and Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., fell six votes short of the 60 needed to pass.

Portman argued it would have made it "more difficult for law-abiding Ohioans to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights."

The fall-out from Portman's vote is unclear. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that an overwhelming majority of Ohioans" 84 percent"support universal background checks for gun buyers, including 80 percent of 84 percent of voters who live in households with guns. The survey was taken before the Senate vote, so it didn't measure public reaction to Portman's opposition.

Some liberal media outlets, such as the Huffington Post, have suggested that the Ohio Republican is "feeling heat" for his vote. The Buckeye Firearms Association says Portman is getting hammered by readers' letters sent to Ohio newspapers.

"Letters from anti-gun activists have been written to editors across the state, claiming that Rob Portman's votes to defend the Constitution represent an "uncaring disregard' for the people he represents," the gun group says.

"We must NOT let these lies go unanswered," the association says, calling on members to write their own letters in support of Portman. "Rob Portman has our back in the Senate. And now we must have his back as he faces these attacks."

May 5, 2013
NRAnews.com

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker and Region Leader Sean Maloney were guests on NRANews.com. The pair discussed pending gun-related legislation in Ohio with Cam Edwards on Cam & Company live from the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings in Houston, Texas.
 

May 3, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Joel Riley. Jim discussed the spike in Ohio concealed handgun licenses.
 

May 3, 2013
Zanesville Times-Recorder (and other Central Ohio Gannett-owned newspapers) - Ohio's concealed-carry permits spike

"Demand for a license is through the roof," said Ken Hanson, legislative director of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

In the first few months of 2013, the association has already taught concealed-carry classes to more people than they taught in all of 2012.

"People were thinking after the (presidential) election that, if they didn't get (a gun) now, the right might be taken away," Hanson said. "Also, in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, leaders started debating banning certain guns."

May 1, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus)

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was interviewed on WTVN. Sean discussed the spike in Ohio concealed handgun licenses.
 

May 1, 2013
Cincinnati Enquirer - EXCLUSIVE: Ohio concealed carry permits nearly doubled in Q1

"Demand for a license is through the roof," said Ken Hanson, legislative director of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

In the first few months of 2013, the association has already taught concealed carry classes to more people than they taught in all of 2012.

"People were thinking after the (presidential) election that if they didn't get (a gun) now, the right might be taken away," Hanson said. "Also in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, leaders started debating banning certain guns."

April 28, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "The Great Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on "The Great Outdoors" with host Calvin Pyle. The show is syndicated on AM 1500 Xenia, AM 1130 North Dayton, and AM 1090 Wilmington.
 

April 22, 2013
Toledo Blade - OHIO'S CASTLE DOCTRINE': Law allows homeowner's self-defense

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun-rights advocacy group, said the law has given homeowners the presumption of innocence something that had been lacking in such situations before 2008. Still, he said, he often tells gun owners who ask, "Can I shoot someone?" that they're asking the wrong question.

"The question is, 'Do I have to shoot someone?'" Mr. Irvine said. "If you have to shoot someone to stay alive or keep a family member alive or keep a family member from being critically injured, do it. If you don't have to, don't go down that road.

"It's a decision you have to live with, too," he said.

April 19, 2013
Media Trackers Ohio - Dayton Gun Control Advocate is a Registered Sex Offender

Several days after the January 26, 2013 Dayton Daily News story was published, Second Amendment advocacy group the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) discovered that reporters not only failed to question the accuracy of McCorry's allegations, but failed to note that McCorry " who had been organizing protests to rally against Ohioans' right to self-defense with a firearm " was a registered sex offender.

...McCorry has complained that BFA is engaging in character assassination, but regional BFA leader Larry Moore insists McCorry's criminal record is relevant.

A firearm in the hands of the capable woman could be a great equalizer, and perhaps stop that rape attack, Moore told ABC 22.

In an interview with Media Trackers, BFA spokesman Chad Baus insisted the group's criticism of McCorry has been justified.

"By inserting himself in this debate as someone who wants to take away the right of people to purchase guns for self-defense at a gun show, it is Jerome McCorry who made his status as a sex offender an issue," Baus said. "I don't think anyone, except perhaps Mr. McCorry, would disagree that his record as a convicted rapist is relevant to this discussion."

"People buy guns at gun shows to protect themselves against the exact types of violent crime that McCorry did time for," Baus added.

McCorry did not respond to requests for comment.

Ceasefire Dayton is a local affiliate of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence (OCAGV), a statewide gun control lobbying group which has collaborated with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) to limit Ohioans' Second Amendment rights.

April 18, 2013
WMAN News Radio 100.1 & 98.3 FM and 1400 AM

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on Mansfield's news talk stations. Jim addressed the news that the U.S. Senate had defeated a push to pass "universal" background checks, an "assault weapons" ban, a "high capacity" magazine ban and other gun control restrictions on law-abiding citizens.
 

April 15, 2013
Cincinnati Enquirer - Gun law backers target Portman

"We had multiple people contact us, (saying) 'Oh my gosh, look at what he said'," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a political action committee dedicated to promoting and preserving gun rights. "We contacted his office, and they assured us 'No, we're not saying we'll look at literally anything.'"

...But Irvine said he had no concerns that Portman will veer from his pro-gun rights record.

"He doesn't just vote for the pro-gun (position) because he wants the NRA's endorsement," he said. "He's a hunter. He gets the whole debate. He understands our issues because he himself is a gun owner."

Irvine said he couldn't understand why gun-control advocates were spending money on ads in Ohio. If they need Portman's vote, "they're in trouble," he quipped.

April 14, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "The Great Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on "The Great Outdoors" with host Calvin Pyle. The show is syndicated on AM 1500 Xenia, AM 1130 North Dayton, and AM 1090 Wilmington.
 

April 14, 2013
WRGT (FOX Dayton) & WKEF (ABC Dayton) - Local Gun Control Advocate's History Put Under Microscope

As the debate over tougher gun regulations roars on, the criminal background of a local man who's calling for stricter gun laws is causing a lot of controversy.

Reverend Jerome McCorry who is the head of the Adam Project in Dayton has continuously called for tighter gun restrictions. He typically protests at the Bill Goodman Gun and Knife Show and there's one happening this weekend.

There's one group in the Miami Valley that wants to know why anyone would listen to a convicted rapist who wants to limit your access to weapons.

McCorry had planned to protest outside the gun show Saturday afternoon, but after several attempts to talk to him on camera about his criminal history, he cancelled the protest citing another planned commitment. McCorry is an outspoken advocate for gun control in our community and on Thursday he spoke to ABC 22/FOX 45 and called for tighter gun control again.

He is also listed on the sex offender register as a convicted rapist and that conviction is causing Buckeye Firearm Association to question his credibility.

"The gentleman is a convicted felon and rapist. We take offense at the fact that he is going to protest a legal and legitimate gun show business," said Larry Moore, Buckeye Firearms Association.

For two days, we attempted to talk to McCorry about the conviction. Despite going to his home of multiple occasions, leaving multiple messages and going to a community event he was scheduled to be at Saturday, McCorry only spoke to us briefly on the phone. He said Buckeye Firearms is doing nothing but a smear campaign bringing up something he has talked about in the past.

In a past interview, McCorry said this, "we all have a past unfortunately, and once you have done time, once you have put that behind you, you now have the right to participate in a full scale kind of way, when it comes back out to registering and voting."

But, Moore says this, "a firearm in the hands of the capable woman could be a great equalizer and perhaps stop that rape attack."

McCorry says the Firearms Association is diverting from the real issue which is getting guns off the streets and stopping crimes.

But, they say that's not the problem, "we don't see it as a gun problem we see it as we have a violence problem in our society," said Moore.

McCorry sent a text to us saying "pray that focus continues on solutions and not character assassination."

The Buckeye Firearms Association says this is not a smear campaign, but a real concern.

The next gun show is scheduled for May 4th and 5th.

It is unclear if protestors will be present.

April 11, 2013
Yellow Springs News - What has changed since Newtown?

However, Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, an advocacy group for gun rights activists, does not agree that people are getting fired up about gun control. Rather, he sees renewed energy among those who support gun rights, as evidenced by robust gun sales.

"The demand for guns has gone through the roof the last three months. Every month is a new record," he said.

His statement is borne out by figures from the country's second largest gun manufacturer, Smith and Wesson, that gun sales through the end of January were up 40 percent over last year. And the Greene County Sheriff's Office had 1,255 requests for new and renewed concealed carry permits through the beginning of March, a dramatic increase over 2012 figures, which were already the highest on record, according to Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.

Buckeye Firearms Association regional representative Larry Moore agrees that gun owners are energized, as evidenced by increased donations to that group, along with increased volunteering.

"There's an increase in awareness in how all gun owners are being threatened," Moore said this week.

Teachers with guns?

In Ohio, the most publicized aftermath of the Newtown shooting are two new programs that seek to train teachers to deal with shooters in the schools. The most controversial, sponsored by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, trains teachers to use guns in the classroom, and is the first program in the country to do so.

The program, Armed Teacher Training Program, last week carried out its first training in Adams County. Over three days, 24 teachers selected from 1,400 applicants, included a day in the classroom and a day with active shooter training, which included "gunman scenarios based on real-life situations," according to a March 29 article in the Columbus Dispatch. During role play, the teachers used model Airsoft guns to shoot plastic pellets at other participants who were role playing as shooters.

The training, which cost $30,000, was covered by donations to the Buckeye Firearm Foundation.

Teaching teachers to shoot is necessary because, "We need to protect our kids," according to Buckeye Firearm Foundation President Irvine in an interview last week. It's customary for important public figures, such as the president, to have armed protection, and "our children are more important. I want them protected."

Secret Service agents and police may appear to be better trained than a teacher that took the recent training, but aren't really, Irvine said. Police are trained for a wide variety of situations while the teachers training only focuses on shooters in the schools.

"It's an intense three-day class," Irvine said. "These teachers are highly trained."

Training teachers is necessary because in a school shooter situation, "the whole battle is time," said Irvine, a professional airline pilot. "We need someone to stop them now, and the teachers are already there."

The training was developed by John Benner, owner of the Tactical Defense Institute, an organization that provides training to police, Irvine said. According to Buckeye Firearms Association member Chad Baus this week, the group is definitely planning more training sessions, and has currently raised funds for four more classes.

"We'll be working on this long after the media have moved on to the next thing," he wrote in an email. "We are going to protect these kids!"

...In December, Attorney General [Mike] DeWine suggested in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch that schools should consider arming at least one person at the school.

April 10, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on The Bill Cunningham Show. Jim discussed news that the Senate is on the verge of voting on anti-gun rights legislation that would include a "universal background check" gun registration scheme, as well as other current news related to gun rights. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

March 4, 2013
Wall Street Journal

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson was interviewed about various pro-gun groups' litigation strategies.
 

April 8, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Gun control supporters gather at City Hall to push Congress to pass stricter laws

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a political action committee that supports the rights of citizens to legally own and use firearms, said Monday that he does not oppose background checks.

"Everybody agrees there are certain people we don't want to get their hands on guns," Irvine said. "That's why we need background checks. My problem is with universal gun registration. Do you really think the criminals are going to submit to that? The criminals are going to do whatever they want."

...Irvine at the Buckeye Firearms Association said those calling for gun control as a way to stop future school shootings are misinformed.

"They really mean well, and it sounds like a great idea," he said. "But there is nothing proposed in those laws that will prevent another Newtown, Connecticut from happening."

April 7, 2013
Armed American Radio

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on the Armed American Radio Network, in conjunction with the United States Concealed Carry Association. Jim discussed the very latest regarding Buckeye Firearms Foundation's (BFF) actions to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge with Armed American Radio (AAR) host Mark Walters. Armed American Radio is broadcast live from the Intelligent Talk 920 WGKA studios in Atlanta and syndicated nationally by Salem Radio Network.
 

April 2, 2013
Middletown Journal & Dayton Daily News - Local schools analyzing NRA safety recommendations - Firearms group raises funds for teacher training

Local school officials said they are still analyzing the NRA's recommendations, but most said they were concentrating on making school entrances and procedures more secure and working with local law enforcement on ways to boost security.

A spokesman for the non-profit Buckeye Firearms Association, which is launching teacher and staff firearms training programs in Ohio, said more schools are at least considering that option, however.

...Warren County resident Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio chair of the Buckeye Firearms group, believes opposition to gun training for teachers and school staff is declining.

"More schools are showing a willingness to try new approaches, not just return the the knee-jerk reaction of the past that focused on restricting the ownership of firearms. That's a positive step," he said.

"The NRA program dovetails nicely with our educational initiatives. About 400 teachers from across Ohio attended our seminar on how to prepare for and prevent violence in the schools. Twenty-four teachers attended our first three-day Tactical Defense Institute and we've now raised funds to train 75 more."

April 1, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Man Arrested For Inducing Panic and Unlawfully Carrying Firearm

"If a court commits them, for lack of a better way of saying it, then that should show up on a background check."

Gun advocate Gerard Valentino said this case is no reason to expand background checks for gun buyers to include a mental record.

"Do we want the government to have a registry of people with mental illness?"

...No one was hurt in this case, but Valentino says changing the law because of it could hurt others.

"All we're doing in that situation is keeping someone else who maybe enjoys firearms from going in and getting help."

April 1, 2013
NRAnews.com

Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine was a guest on NRANews.com. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has conducted the first class as part of a pilot program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge with Cam Edwards on Cam & Company.
 

March 31, 2013
Associated Press - OH educators train how to handle shooters
(versions of this article have appeared in hundreds of news outlets across the country, including the New York Post and the Christian Science Monitor)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Two dozen Ohio educators have gotten firearms training through a pilot program organized by a gun rights group after the Connecticut school shootings.

The 3-day course organized by the Buckeye Firearms Association taught participants tactical maneuvers for reacting to school shooters. As part of the program, educators used model guns with plastic pellets while playing roles in gunman scenarios based on real-life situations, The Columbus Dispatch http://bit.ly/11MNdnX reported.

The Armed Teacher Training Program was conducted for the first time recently at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, in southern Ohio. The Buckeye Firearms Foundation paid $30,000 for the 24 educators to receive the training, said Jim Irvine, chairman of the association. Those selected to participate were among more than 1,400 applicants, the newspaper reported.

The program was organized after the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 students and six staff members.

A part of the training includes role-playing, where class members posing as "good guys" shoot at those playing the "bad guys. An instructor at the institute said the pellets from the guns do hurt some, but that makes the scenarios seem more real.

Angie, a substitute teacher from northeast Ohio who was not identified by the newspaper other than by her first name, agreed. She said she found the role-playing valuable.

"You can walk through a scenario, you know, just mapping it out a hundred times, and it's not going to be as memorable," she said.

The scenarios were set in areas simulating school commons areas such as hallways and auditoriums and more enclosed spaces such as offices.

Irvine said arming teachers is the best way to stop more mass murders, and gun control can't help.

"Gun control is purely political and has no place in this conversation," Irvine told the newspaper.

But Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, told The Associated Press that gun violence is a cultural and policy issue, and "anyone carrying a weapon into a school doesn't make policy or culture any better."

Course officials said all participants have gone through concealed-weapons training covering basic firearm safety and marksmanship, and obtained a permit. But school employees would need permission from their school boards to carry a gun at school.

Dick Caster, a senior consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association, said he isn't aware of any Franklin County school district that has allowed teachers with concealed guns into classrooms, although he said some districts in other parts of the state are considering it.

Irvine said some participants in the pilot program hope to persuade their boards to let them carry weapons, but he would not identify any districts.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has said that he would support allowing trained school officials access to a gun during classes if he were a member of a school board. The attorney general's office offers a four-hour "active shooter" class through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. In that course, educators can learn how to respond if a shooter enters their school - through ways like escaping or blocking doors - but it doesn't include armed teachers.

Deanna Wilkinson, an associate professor of human development and family service at Ohio State University, says more research is needed before school boards widely adopt policies allowing teachers to carry guns.

"I don't care how much firearm training a teacher gets," she said. "I think kids will be afraid of their teachers."

March 31, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "Class Country Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest on "Classic Country Outdoors". Sean discussed the anti-gun bills in the U.S. Senate, as well as the U.N. treaty that could mean the end of the Second Amendment. The show is syndicated on AM 1500 Xenia, AM 1130 North Dayton, and AM 1090 Wilmington.
 

March 28, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Ohio teachers get hands-on weapons training

March 28, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) & WTTE (Fox Columbus) - Teachers Attend Gun Training in Ohio

ADAMS COUNTY -- Two dozen educators have gone through the first tactical gun training program for teachers in the country.

The three day program was offered by Buckeye Firearms during the ABC6 town hall on guns and school safety.

Buckeye Firearms spent $30,000 to send 24 out of 1400 applicants the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams county.

"You can not put a price on our kids lives. Training 24 out of 1400 is not a success it's not the last class this is the first class," said Buckeye Firearms Jim Irvine.

The 24 Ohio educators ranged from people involved in maintenance at schools to longtime and substitute teachers and administrators.

"We're not trying to apprehend anybody it is last resort it is you or nothing else," said Anthony Head who is a Dayton area high school culinary and adult education teacher.

All the teachers are concealed carry permit holders.

But the training takes them to a new level beyond simply firing a gun.

The teachers have to think fast on their feet during heart-pounding scenarios where they pretend to be protecting children from a gunman in school libraries, classrooms and hallways.

"I think the training makes the difference they'd be uncomfortable with me walking around with a gun the training is everything," said Head.

The instructors were impressed with how the teachers handled themselves under high stress situations.

"They had no idea what was going to go on in each one so they had to react in real time based on their training to what was going on and solve the problem," said Chris Wallace with Tactical Defense Institute.

Buckeye Firearms plans to hold fundraisers to send more teachers through the training. It is also working to come up with a curriculum for other states.

March 28, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Bill Cunningham Show. Joe discussed news that Mayors Against Illegal Guns is staging rallies around Ohio to pressure Sen. Rob Portman to support a "universal background check" gun registration scheme, as well as other current news related to gun rights. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

March 28, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest on The Scott Sloan Show. Sean discussed Buckeye Firearms Association's new relationship with Second Call Defense legal protection. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

March 28, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Teachers pack heat at gun school

A shooter is loose in the school. Vulnerable staff members cry for help as the gunman stands close and shoots them all.

Even the good guy with a gun, who was supposed to keep everyone safe, doesn't make it out alive.

From the ground, one of the dead laughs and blurts out, "What took you so long?"

It's a lesson in the first-ever Armed Teacher Training Program, where participants learn tactical maneuvers so that they might be able to take down a school gunman.

An instructor walks around, helps the teachers, administrators and maintenance workers off their backs and explains what went wrong. They run the scenario again.

This time, the good guy takes out the bad guy.

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearm Association, said arming teachers is the best way to stop more mass murders, and gun control can't help.

"Gun control is purely political and has no place in this conversation," Irvine said.

This is why the Buckeye Firearm Foundation, a nonprofit with the association, paid $30,000 for 24 Ohio educators to learn how to react to a shooter in a school. The program is conducted by the Tactical Defense Institute, which trains everyone from civilians to federal agents in firearms and physical self-defense.

The 24 were chosen from more than 1,400 applicants. The program was organized after the December shooting in a Newtown, Conn., school that took the lives of 20 children and six staff members.

Deanna, an elementary-school teacher from central Ohio who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she doesn't know if she would have taken the training course had the Newtown massacre not occurred. "Tragedy wakes you up," she said.

Deanna said she feels better prepared to fend off a classroom shooter, but she does not think all teachers should have guns.

"This isn't just, 'Let's bring in teachers and train them, and then everyone's going to be able to carry a gun,'" Deanna said.

This is the only teacher-training program of its kind in the country, but school workers from across the nation have asked about future training classes, Irvine said.

The program began on Monday with classroom sessions and ended yesterday with active killer shooting, which involves gunman scenarios based on real-life situations, said John Benner, the owner of the institute that sits on a 186-acre training center in rural Adams County. It has seven ranges, three live-fire houses and classrooms.

In role play, the "good guys" use model Airsoft guns to shoot plastic pellets at other participants who are playing the "bad guys." The scenarios are set in common spaces in schools, such as hallways and auditoriums, as well as in more-enclosed spaces such as offices.

David Bowie, an instructor at the institute, said the pellets from the guns hurt, which raises stress levels and results in better responses in a more-heightened reality.

Angie, a substitute teacher from northeast Ohio, agreed and said it's valuable.

"You can walk through a scenario, you know, just mapping it out a hundred times, and it's not going to be as memorable," she said.

All participants have gone through concealed-weapons training, which covers basic firearm safety and marksmanship, and obtained a permit. Participants still need permission from their school boards to carry a gun while at school. In December, Attorney General Mike DeWine said it is something districts should consider.

Dick Caster, a senior consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association, said that to his knowledge, no Franklin County school district has allowed teachers with concealed guns into classrooms. Others in the state have, and he said many more are considering it.

Some participants in the pilot program already have permission from their districts, some will get it if they complete the program and others are planning to try to persuade their boards when the program is complete, said Irvine, who would not identify the districts.

DeWine's office also offers a four-hour "active shooter" class through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, where educators can learn how to respond if a shooter enters their school. That training focuses on how to keep a shooter from getting to students, even if that means running, jumping out windows and blocking doors with desks. It does not include teachers with guns.

Not everyone is convinced that arming teachers is the best way to protect children.

"It merely contributes to the 'gun culture' that has socialized young people to believe that guns are power and an appropriate tool for resolving disputes," said Dr. Antoinette Errante, a professor in Ohio State University's College of Education and Human Ecology.

Her colleague, Dr. Deanna Wilkinson, called for more research before school boards widely adopt any policy allowing teachers to carry guns.

"I don't care how much firearm training a teacher gets, I think kids will be afraid of their teachers," she said. "There should be controlled pilot studies. If there's a positive side to this, we need to know."

But Anthony Head, a high-school teacher from the Dayton area, said the positive side to the Buckeye Firearm Foundation's program is simple: Kids in his classroom would be safer if he had a gun. He's making a pitch for that to his school board now that he's passed the program."

Post-Newtown, this is what teachers need," he said. "This is our DEFCON-4."

March 27, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Teachers learn to shoot to protect students from gunmen

Arming teachers in classrooms is the best way to stop more mass murders, said Jim Irvine, the president of the Buckeye Firearm Association.

"Gun control is purely political and has no place in this conversation," Irvine said. "It doesn't work."

This is why the Buckeye Firearm Foundation, a non-profit with the association, paid $30,000 for two dozen Ohio school teachers, administrators and maintenance workers to learn how to handle a gun should a shooter invade a school.

The group was chosen from more than 1,400 applicants to participate in the foundation's first ever Armed Teacher Training Program, organized after the December school shooting in a Connecticut school that took the lives of 20 children and 6 staff members.

The $30,000 went toward instruction from the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County, catering, and hotel rooms during the past three days.

The program started Monday with classroom sessions and ends today with active trainer shooting, which involves gunman scenarios based on real-life situations, said John Benner, the owner of the Tactical Defense Institute. In role play, the "good guys" use model air-soft guns to shoot other participants who are playing the "bad guys."

David Bowie, an instructor at the institute, said the pellets hurt, which raises everyone's stress levels and results in better responses in a more heightened reality.

Deanna, an elementary school teacher from Central Ohio who chose to speak to the Dispatch on the condition of anonymity to keep her participation in the program a secret, said the training will help her in a threatening situation.

"Tragedy wakes you up," she said.

Deanna said she doesn't know if she would have taken the training course had the Newtown massacre not occurred.

"Newtown could be any town. It could be my town."

But some aren't so convinced arming teachers is the way to best protect children.

"It merely contributes to the 'gun culture' that has socialized young people to believe that guns are power and an appropriate tool for resolving disputes," said Dr. Antoinette Errante, a professor in the Ohio State University's College of Education and Human Ecology.

Participants need a concealed weapons permit to participate in the program, which does not directly give them the right to bring a concealed firearm into their classrooms. They need permission from their school board to do that.

Irvine said some participants in the association's pilot program have that permission now, some will get it if they complete the program and others are planning to convince their boards when the program is complete. Those specific districts were not identified.

The Ohio Attorney General's office was not aware of any records indicating districts approving faculty members' use of guns. That information could be filed with district's safety plans with the attorney general's office but those plans are not public record.

Irvine said the $30,000 price tag was well worth it, adding that "we don't put a price on kids' lives."

March 25, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Bloomberg's Pro-Gun Control Advertisement Running In Columbus Spurs Debate

But Gerald[sic] Valentino from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation strongly disagrees.

"Universal background checks make it impossible for me as a father to transfer a gun to my son. And it also creates a universal gun registry," Valentino said.

Valentino says Coleman and Columbus police already have enough gun laws on the books.

"When they figure out that a stolen gun was used in a crime, the very first charge that's usually dropped in a plea bargain is the gun charge. We know there's no compelling need here because as more people have carried guns, gun crime and gun violence has gone down," said Valentino.

March 25, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Ohio Targeted By TV Ads Pushing For Gun Buyer Background Checks

"What Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Coleman need to do is to crack down on the felons and the people out there committing crimes in the first place and this problem goes away," said Gerard Valentino, Buckeye Firearms Association Board member.

He said a Justice Department study shows that less than one percent of guns used in crimes can be traced to gun shows and private sales. Also, by law, licensed gun dealers in Ohio already have to do background checks.

March 23, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Gun sales in Cuyahoga County fairgrounds parking lot during gun shows may be banned

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a political action committee that supports the rights of citizens to legally own and use firearms, said he supports Walters though the association has no problem with people selling guns in parking lots.

"If Walters wants to solve a problem we are not opposed to him doing things to make the show better," he said. "This is about working with law enforcement and other officials to solve problems."

March 22, 2013
Outdoor Life - Three Proposed Assault Weapons' Bans Likely to Pass, 11 Likely to Fail

* Ohio: Senate Bill 18 would ban the sale and possession of "assault weapons," limits the size of a magazine to nine bullets or fewer, and creates a database to track all gun and ammunition sales.

Sen. Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) introduced SB 18 in February, prompting Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman. Chad D. Baus to write, "Smith's gun control bill should be dead on arrival in the Ohio Senate."

March 18, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Ohio Teachers Receive Firearms Training

Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine was interviewed as part of coverage of the "Bulletproofing the Mind" seminar hosted by Buckeye Firearms Foundation for 400 Ohio teachers. Click here to view the video.
 

March 17, 2013
WKRC 550 AM (Cincinnati) "Ballistic Radio"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on Ballistic Radio. Joe discussed the very latest on the move to arm teachers and school employees to protect school children. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

March 14, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - In Washington, local moms push for gun control

The measures face opposition from gun-rights groups. Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association said that by demanding universal background checks, the Senate could actually take the first step to a national registry of gun owners.

"There is not a registry of who owns a Bible, of what church you go to, or if you go to church," he said. "This is a constitutional right. You don't need permission for it."

Irvine said he worried that the government could use that information to eventually take guns away.

March 11, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Marc Amazon Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Marc Amazon Show. Joe discussed the very latest on the move to arm teachers and school employees to protect school children. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

March 11, 2013
NRAnews.com

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com. Linda discussed the upcoming Buckeye Bash, as well as news that approximately 400 teachers and school administrators will attend a seminar on school safety given by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman with Cam Edwards on Cam & Company.
 

March 11, 2013
The News-Record - UC Students Express Concern of Firearm Restrictions

Hamilton County issued the fifth-highest number of permits in Ohio counties.

"This large number is probably due to improving laws, a threatening political climate and general acceptance of concealed carry as a sensible safety measure," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

March 8, 2013
The Daily Caller - Ohio teachers attend "Active Killer" training course

DELAWARE, OH " On the weekend of March 2 and 3, both Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine and Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman Chad Baus attended an "Active Killer in Schools" training course in the Williams Co., OH community of Edgerton.

The training was conducted by the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI), a world-renowned training facility based in Adams Co., OH that is owned and operated by former SWAT Team commander John Benner.

There were more than 70 people in the 16 hour class, and Baus estimates more than half were school employees.

While TDI has been conducting active killer classes for quite some time, the focus has primarily been on the instruction of law enforcement. Benner said this class was the first which combined a large number of school employees and educators along with area law enforcement officers.

According to Dr. Jamison Grime, superintendent of the Montpelier, OH school district that made international news when they became the first Ohio school to publicly announce plans to arm some employees, every district in Williams County received an invitation to attend the training.

"While I don't have the entire roster, I can report that at least six school districts had representatives who took the training," Baus said. "At least two Williams Co. law enforcement agencies, Edgerton and Edon, sent officers to take the training. Montpelier's former police chief, who recently retired, was also in attendance."

Irvine added, "Four of the six schools who had employees in the training are fortunate to have Boards of Education which have, according to published reports, already authorized, or announced intent to authorize, some level of armed response inside the school, including Edgerton, Hilltop, Montpelier and Stryker."

Benner began the training early Saturday morning with a three hour seminar which included a history and statistical analysis of the growing active killer problem, as well as mindset training and options for both armed and unarmed response to such an event.

The seminar also addressed several options for response for people who are unarmed, and approximately 10 people identified themselves as people who were solely seeking unarmed response training

On Saturday afternoon, attendees transitioned to different parts of the building, and began training on the skills needed to round corners, navigate hallways filled with panicked students and/or victims, navigate stairwells (if applicable), and to perform room entry/clearance. Attendees also learned how to practice these techniques with a partner.

On the second day, scenario-based force-on-force training was conducted utilizing airsoft pistols, giving school employees and law enforcement the opportunity to put their new skills to use in various simulated active killer situations.

"Since this was Benner's first Active Killer class comprised of so many school employees, in many instances it was clear that the instructors were learning as much as the students," Baus observed. "Many ideas were discussed, including strategically positioning teachers' desks, what an armed teacher should do if s/he is in the classroom with students but hears shooting down the hall and more."

"Seeing how seamlessly armed school employees and law enforcement could work together was also very instructive," Irvine noted. "If your local law enforcement agencies are not working with your local school districts on this type of training, ask them why."

Edgerton Chief of Police Jeremy Jones said he believes the training was a "huge success."

"I have heard nothing but praises for the training and the TDI staff instructing," said Jones. "One very important point that was made this weekend and truly opened many eyes of the students was how important it is to have an armed response already in place within the school. During the scenario-based training, it became very obvious to all students how a killer can inflict death or serious injury to an entire classroom in a very short period of time. Waiting for law enforcement to respond to the scene and neutralize the threat is not a viable option."

The lessons learned from last weekend's training will be put to good use as the expert instructors at TDI work to prepare for Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Armed Teacher Training Program (ATTP) course that will be held over three days this spring.

# # #

For more information, please visit www.BuckeyeFirearms.org.

March 8, 2013
Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune - Teachers seek special firearms training

More than 1,400 teachers have applied for an Armed Teacher Training Program statewide, Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President[sic] Chad Baus said Thursday night at a North Central Ohio Conservatives meeting.

Baus said teachers in classrooms have a better chance of stopping an armed attacker than police because the average mass murder attack lasts six minutes, which is how long it takes for police to arrive.

"Shootings in gun-free zones have been happening with increased regularity over the past two decades," he said. "But the horrific events in Connecticut seem to have been a 9/11 type moment for Americans."

Baus said schools across the nation have spent millions of dollars on fire prevention, but he said more attention should be given to ways to protect students from school shootings.

"For the teachers who are willing, for the teachers who have that mindset that they want to protect their kids, we want to give them the tools available - just like the fire extinguisher - to be able to fight that fire or fight that threat in this case."

Through his firearms training company Northwest Self Defense, Baus is offering teachers and school employees free concealed carry classes.

He said the company will be providing free training to teachers from 18 schools in Northwest Ohio.

Baus also spoke about Ohio's concealed carry law, which has been in effect since April 2004.

He said 49 states now offer concealed carry licenses, and Ohio's license is recognized in 31 other states.

To get a concealed carry in Ohio, a person must take a 12-hour training course. Baus said Ohio's training is one of the toughest in the country, and he hopes the state will relax its requirements for the license in the future.

During his presentation, he also spoke about assault weapons, and said it is important how the term is defined.

He said politicians are trying to ban semi-automatic guns by using phrases like "high-capacity" and "military-style" to scare people who do not know much about guns.

"Banning these guns is like banning spoilers on cars to prevent street racing," Baus said. "Just because it looks fast doesn't mean it is. Removing a few cosmetic features changes nothing about its operation."

March 5, 2013
Canton Repository - More citizens obtaining concealed carry permits

Rick Kaleda, the Northeast Ohio chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said he's unsure what specifically is motivating people to get their concealed-carry permit. There are no proposals to roll back CCW laws. But Kaleda speculates that the broader political debate over gun control has "gotten many people on their feet."

"There are all sorts of factors," he said. "People are talking about gun sales being piqued. The way the political climate is and knowing the Obama administration knows that it's time to strike, it has everyone keeping a watchful eye."

March 4, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was interviewed by Joel Riley. Joe discussed the latest news coming out of Washington on the effort to ban guns.
 

March 2, 2013
WCLT 100.3 FM (Newark) "Focus on Ohio"

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on Focus on Ohio. Linda discussed the very latest on the move to arm teachers and school employees to protect school children.
 

February 28, 2013
Columbus Business First - Concealed carry permits hit all-time high in Ohio

"Fear of President Obama, that administration and the Democrats rhetoric about taking away firearms drives the demand," Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told the newspaper.

February 27, 2013
Associated Press - Ohio concealed weapons licenses hit record in 2012

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said that he expected to see an increase in the number of licenses issued. He talked with instructors who provide the firearms safety training required for licenses, and "they have all had their classes sold out."

"It's all about personal safety, and people wanting to protect themselves and their families," he said.
Irvine also said that he thinks gun-control efforts by President Barack Obama's administration have influenced more people to apply for licenses.

"People think they need to get them now because they might not have the opportunity later," Irvine said.

February 27, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Concealed carry permits increase statewide, record 76,810 issued in 2012

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, gave multiple reasons for the jump in permits.

"Fear of President Obama, that administration and the Democrats rhetoric about taking away firearms drives the demand," Irvine said Wednesday night. "Those that have thought about it for years are now motivated to get a license because they may not be able to in the future."

He also stressed that having a license is not seen as radical as it was 10 years ago and it is a good form of protection.

"It's not like we are trying to be police officers," said Irvine. "A little training and knowledge can save a lot of lives. It's the responsible thing to do."

February 27, 2013
Dayton Daily News - 78,000 concealed gun licenses issued in Ohio in 2012, a record

Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association said that on gun shop doors across the country there are signs that say "Salesman of the Year: President Obama."

"The firearms industry this is one industry that Obama has helped. They're selling record numbers of guns and seeing record profits," Irvine said.

..."More and more people are seeing this as a responsible thing to do. Kind of like CPR. Calling 9-1-1 and waiting around isn't enough any more," Irvine said.

...Neither side thinks the spike in CCW permits yet reflects gun owners' reaction to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14. Irvine predicts that record numbers are now seeking CCW permits in the wake of that shooting and the subsequent debate over gun control.

February 23, 2013
Mansfield News-Journal - Wildlife Weekend coming at end of month

A gun rights group, the Buckeye Firearms Association, says more than 650 Ohio educators have expressed interest in a firearms training program announced after 20 children and six teachers were killed at a Connecticut school.

The Association was accepting applications for 24 spots in a free, three-day class to train teachers to use firearms. It said costs for the Armed Teacher Training program would be covered by its educational foundation and outside donations.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he would support allowing trained school officials access to a gun during classes if he were a school board member, but also said such decisions should be up to each district.

February 20, 2013
Media Trackers Ohio - Ohio Democrats Introduce Sweeping "Assault Weapons" Ban

"I feel very strongly about the Second Amendment and I support the Second Amendment," Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney told Cincinnati Enquirer reporters in January. Weeks later, Kearney signed on as a cosponsor to Senator Smith's gun control bill.

Senator Kearney's supposedly pro-Second Amendment views contrast not only with his co-sponsorship of SB 18, but also with his voting history. Kearney received a "D-" rating from the Buckeye Firearms Association, a group that lobbies in defense of Ohioans' Second Amendment rights.

Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus slammed Smith's anti-gun bill as political gamesmanship, noting that similar bans on "assault weapons" have a history of being ineffective. In fact, a recently leaked U.S. Department of Justice memorandum concluded that the expansion of "assault weapon" bans and firearms registration databases are "unlikely to have an impact on gun violence."

"People are tired of these political games," Baus told Media Trackers before predicting SB 18 will go largely ignored by state legislators. The Republican Party controls both houses of the Ohio General Assembly.

"Some politicians just want to be able to say they voted for "something'," Baus wrote, citing the failure of similar firearm registries and gun ownership restrictions to curb violence in other states. "Shouldn't the goal be to vote for something that will work, rather than something we know won't?"

Baus opined that Senate Democrats were jumping on a gun control bandwagon currently progressing through other state legislatures, and adhering to "the notion that you should never let a good crisis to go to waste." He added that Senator Smith and others appear "willing to use the deaths of these kids in an attempt to further their anti-Second Amendment agenda."

February 18, 2013
Gannett News Service - Ohio's criminal gun law is largely reactive

Even if criminals try to purchase firearms through approved sellers, failed background checks rarely lead to prosecutions, said Ken Hanson, legal chair of Buckeye Firearms Association. Out of more than 76,000 firearms purchases denied by the federal instant check system, only 62 were referred for prosecution and only 44 were actually prosecuted, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre said following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and Vice President Joe Biden's recommendations for federal gun control reform.

"The laws aren't being enforced. You have so many denials of people who have tried to have a gun, and none are prosecuted," Hanson said.

Hanson said the solution to dangerous criminals with guns isn't more gun regulation, it's more criminal regulation. Law enforcement should investigate people they know have prior convictions and likely have firearms, he added.

"It just comes down to: we know who these people are, we just need the resources and the political will to put them away," Hanson said.

But a charge of carrying a concealed weapon or weapons under disability does not always result in a conviction, and convictions rarely lead to long prison terms. Ohio's weapons laws don't carry heavy punishments and frequently don't penalize offenders for repeated violations, Weinman said.

"You're going to get three years for CCW (carrying a concealed weapon). These guys can do three years standing on their head," he said.

February 13, 2013
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Growing number of northeast Ohio gun owners seek concealed carry permits

According to the Buckeye Firearms Association , here is what you'll need when you apply:

- Present your completed application, Certificate of Competency, and passport-sized color photo.
- Present a valid photo I.D., such as your driver's license.
- Pass a criminal background check and mental competency check.
- Submit to having your fingerprints electronically scanned or inked and rolled onto a card.
- Attest that you have read the Attorney General's pamphlet on Ohio's concealed carry laws.
- Pay a non-refundable fee by cash, money order, or certified check made payable to your sheriff's office.

The fee is $67 if you have been an Ohio resident for more than five years and $91.00 if less than five years.

February 12, 2013
TV20 (Cleveland) "On Point"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on On Point. Jim discussed Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Armed Teacher Training Program. On Point is aired by Cleveland's TV20 and is co-hosted by Cleveland City Councilmen Eugene Miller and TJ Dow.
 

February 10, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "The Great Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Association Region Leader Larry Moore was a guest on "The Great Outdoors" with host Calvin Pyle. The show is syndicated on AM 1500 Xenia, AM 1130 North Dayton, and AM 1090 Wilmington.
 

February 8, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL REPORT: Teacher Gun Training Program

With the heated debate about whether teachers should be armed following the Newtown school massacre, we wanted to get a first hand look at the special training a dozen educators will go through this spring.

During the ABC6 Town Hall on gun violence, the Buckeye Firearms Association offered to train teachers.

Some twelve hundred teachers and school staff have signed up for the three day course at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County. But only 24 will be able to take part in the first class this spring.

ABC6/FOX28 reporter Tara Morgan went through some of what those teachers will experience including target practice and live scenarios.

Tactical Defense Institute Owner, John Benner, said the more experience the better when faced with real dangers like at Sandy Hook.

"Would you want your child to be in a firing squad do you want them to be a victim or do you want to give somebody a chance to save their life," said Benner.

The training includes classroom instruction on handling a gun, target practice and what to do during a role-play scenario where a gunman bursts into a school library.

"It actually puts them in live situations and and allows them to perform under stress," said Benner.

Benner said it's not something you can do just once. He believes that type of training needs to be repeated for it to be beneficial.

Specific dates for the three day teacher training program have not been announced.

February 7, 2013
Yellow Springs News - Guns abundant in Ohio

Joe Eaton, a Southwest Ohio representative for the statewide advocacy group Buckeye Firearms, contends that firearms are already one of the most regulated goods the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is heavily involved from manufacture to retail sales and that Ohio's concealed carry laws are some of the most restrictive in the nation. In Ohio, a full 12 hours of training, including two hours of shooting training, are required to get a concealed carry permit. No other state mandates more than eight hours, while some states, like Indiana, have no training requirement.

...Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms, defended the fact that semiautomatic weapons have a place in a gun owner's arsenal. Of the AR platform (a type often used in mass shootings), he said their accuracy makes them great for competitions, they can be used for self-defense and the adjustable components allows for multiple users.

"I have one because it's fun to shoot," Irvine said. "You don't have to be a big, strong guy to have this weapon. You can be a petite female."

...Larry Moore, legislative chariman of the 1,100-member Greene County Fish and Game Association, started teaching his children and grandchildren about guns as toddlers. They learn early on that if they see a gun lying around they should get an adult immediately, he said. And they glean other valuable life skills from the practice, which is why shooting is a common activity in 4-H Clubs and Boy Scouts and why the Greene County Fish and Game Club boasts a variety of competitive youth events, including .22-caliber rifle matches.

"With the guns you have to teach respect and responsibility," Moore said. "With competitive shooting you learn hand-eye coordination, but I think they also learn an extra amount of concentration and discipline."

February 6, 2013
WCTV (Wadsworth) "The Roger Polk Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine and Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Roger Polk Show. Joe and Jim discussed Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Armed Teacher Training Program. Click here to view the television broadcast.
 

February 4, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on The Bill Cunningham Show. Jim discussed the Senate's first hearings of 2013 on gun control. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

February 3, 2013
Harper's Magazine

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Soraya King. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

February 2, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Large-capacity magazines, not assault weapons, more of a problem on Dayton streets

Gun-rights advocates say it's misguided to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens in order to punish a handful of criminals who likely will not be deterred from obtaining illegal weapons.

"The focus should not be on the tools or the objects, but on the violence or the criminals that are perpetrating this violence," said Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio chairmain of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"At that point that (criminal) has that handgun, that rifle, that frying pan and is looking to hurt someone you care about, is there any law or any restriction you can put into place you know would help your family member be safe?" he said. "Give the victims the choice of any tool they need to protect themselves or their families."

...[Gun control extremist Toby] Hoover agreed that limiting large-capacity magazines would have more of an impact than banning assault weapons.

"If you have to rate them in importance, first would come universal background checks, the second thing is the magazine and the third thing is the guns themselves," she said.

But Eaton said this will only lead shooters to carry more magazines: "Would we be able to reduce alcohol-related fatalities if we're able to sell only by the bottle instead of by the case?" he asked.

He said limiting magazine size would especially impact law-abiding people as well, because the standard-size magazine for most handguns is more than 10 rounds.

February 2, 2013
WVXU (NPR Cincinnati) - Are smart guns the next silver bullet?

Joe Eaton is the Southwest Ohio leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"Any type of technology or enhancements to the firearms and shooting sports is a good thing. Now should this be mandated or forced upon people, now that is something we'd have to oppose."

Some question how reliable a personalized gun would be. Colt made one but scrapped the project over reliability concerns. Eaton says there's never really been a successful commercial market for this type of gun.

"I really don't see it going very far at all because even if they get standard computerized technology of 99.99%, still that small percentage, if your life or your family's life is depending on it, you want to be as absolutely sure as 100% reliable as you can, adding in something that could fail you, is just not going to be a risk people are going to take if their own lives depend on it."

February 1, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Gun classes in the sanctuary? Some churches say 'Amen!'

Although it's still uncommon, more churches have begun offering concealed-carry courses over the past three or so years, said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. Churches in rural communities are more likely to offer the courses, Irvine said, but he thinks other might as more churches hear about it.

"You may have a group of people who are curious about this and want this and are interested in it, ... but they don't feel comfortable going to a gun store taking a class," Irvine said. "But if we can do it within our church, it's comfortable."

January 31, 2013
Yellow Springs News - Gun violence: where we are, what to do

"It is a freedom issue," said Larry Moore, the southwest Ohio region leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association, in an email. "Are we going to be a country that recognizes the Constitution and rule of law where citizens are entrusted and empowered to own property, including firearms? Or will we be a country where freedoms are constantly regulated by the government under some guise such as safety, public good or health issues?"

January 30, 2013
WDTN (NBC Dayton) - 1 dead, 4 jailed after failed robbery - Buckeye Firearms Association weighs-in on invasion

"We have the right to protect our home," said Larry Moore, who is a Region Leader with the Buckeye Firearm's Association.

Moore said this incident is a prime example as to why gun ownership should remain legal.

"It's for self defense and its needed when we have people in society who will break laws and who would come into your home," said Moore.

Moore also referenced the Castle Law/Doctrine.

"You have a right to protect your home, your castle," said Moore. "I believe most people would agree with that right even those people who don't have guns in their home."

January 29, 2013
de Volkskrant (The Netherlands)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Arie Elshout. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1300 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 29, 2013
Detroit Free Press

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by the Detroit Free Press. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1300 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 29, 2013
New York Times

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by The New York Times. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1300 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 29, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Joel Riley. Jim discussed the news that Senatore Feinstein is calling for banning more than 150 types of firearms. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 28, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Scott Sloan Show. Joe discussed the news that an indoor gun range proposed in the City of Loveland, Ohio is sparking controversy, as well as other current news related to gun rights. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 28, 2013
Dayton Daily News - With CCW permits in sight, some say they want safety, rights

In the third quarter of 2012, the most recent numbers available, 13,949 Ohio concealed handgun licenses were issued, and 3,447 such licenses were renewed, according to the Ohio Attorney General's office. That surpasses a previous record of 12,127 licenses issued in the third quarter of 2004, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association, a statewide political action committee that says it seeks to defend firearm rights.

...Joe Eaton, a firearms instructor who lives near Springboro and serves as spokesman for the Buckeye Firearms Association in Southwestern Ohio, is encouraged by the rising number of concealed weapon applicants.

"The fact is that (concealed weapon licenses) work for people who want to protect themselves and their families," Eaton said.

Eaton and other firearms instructors argue that, almost by definition, those who follow the process Ohio has outlined for obtaining a concealed weapon license are on the right side of the law.

...The firearms association says that less than six-tenths of one percent of all concealed weapons licenses have ever been revoked for any reason, including a license holder moving from Ohio or dying.

"Historically, the people who are going out and getting the licenses are not the ones causing the problems," Eaton said.

January 26, 2013
Toledo Blade - This gun owner looks for an end to the armed chaos

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told me his organization was willing to pay $1,000 per teacher/administrator for a pilot program to train a couple dozen Ohio teachers to carry firearms. "Volunteers who take on that role require skills to do that well," he said.

"The vast majority of teachers don't want to carry guns in school," Mr. Irvine conceded, "but others are willing to take a look at the issue." He said schools must be proactive about protecting students and "arming teachers is a piece of the puzzle."

"It's not about guns," he said. "It's about saving lives in the fastest response time."

..."We need to focus on warning signs, things to look for, intervention if we can do that," Mr. Irvine said.

January 26, 2013
Cincinnati Enquirer - IN-DEPTH: More women gunning for concealed carry

Jim Irvine, chairman of Buckeyes Firearms Association, says in recent years "women have gone from being one or two in most classes, to several to many in most classes, to being 30-40 percent of most classes, and are sometimes over 50 percent in classes. Many instructors also do women only classes, which tend to be very popular."

"Shooting is no longer seen as a "macho guy" or "hunting" thing. It's a safety & security thing," explains Irvine. "Women think more about personal safety than men do, so they are really driving (concealed carry) and new gun owner numbers."

January 26, 2013
Mansfield News-Journal - Schools bearing arms? - District administrators discuss arming teachers, staff

"We've been living in denial Sandy Hook stripped all that denial away," Buckeye Firearm Association Chairman Jim Irvine said. "No longer will we allow a school to adopt a policy, put a sticker on the door and call it safe. We've got to do a whole lot better for our kids."

"Events like this continue until the killer meets significant resistance. You have to ask, 'When do you want the killing to stop?' I want it to stop as soon as possible."

The Sandy Hook shooting inspired Buckeye Firearms Association to offer free firearm training to educators throughout Ohio. The three-day pilot class caught the attention of more than 1,000 teachers 60 percent of them men, 70 percent teachers and 50 percent working in high schools.

Several teachers from Galion have signed up for the course, though none have received official confirmation, Jenney said.

Jeff Meyers, president of the Madison Board of Education, also registered for the free training course, although Madison, along with Mansfield, Ontario, Lexington, Clear Fork and Bucyrus schools, have no plans to discuss allowing personnel to carry firearms on school grounds.

...According to the 2011 Richland County Health Assessment (the latest data), 11 percent of county youth admitted to carrying a weapon, most of them were 14 to 16 years old. The assessment also found 41 percent of adults had a firearm in the home.

That's why Irvine says administrators need to do more to protect students.

Irvine cites the story of Chardon High School assistant football coach Frank Hall, who chased a shooter out of school in May 2012, saving lives after three students were killed and three others wounded. Hall did not have a gun, however. He is a burly, former football player and standout heavyweight wrestler who simply used his physical presence in that particular situation.

"It worked for him; it works a bunch of times. There are times when what Frank Hall did will stop a shooter, but Sandy Hook was not one of them," Irvine said. "In Sandy Hook, what they needed was someone with a gun and they didn't have it."

Many local parents agree.

January 25, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Tough talk in D.C., but guns still easy to buy in Ohio

Gun-rights advocates say legislating how private individuals can sell one or two pieces of private property is an over-reach that would affect not just gun shows but someone selling a hunting rifle to a friend or someone trying to sell an inherited firearm.

"The selling of your firearm between two law-abiding people should be the same as if you're selling a couch or TV or something along those lines," said Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

He pointed to federal studies that found less than 2 percent of criminals who used a firearm said they bought the gun from a gun show or flea market; 80 percent said they got their guns from a friend, family member or the street.

"If you're looking just to reduce crime, if you specifically look at the gun shows, criminals do not use gun shows to get their firearms," Eaton said. "Restricting that type of sale is not going to have an impact."

January 23, 2013
WCPN 90.3 FM (Cleveland) "The Sound of Ideas"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a studio guest on WCPN's The Sound of Ideas. Jim discussed gun rights, the Newtown, CT spree killing and defending the Second Amendment. In addition being aired on WCPN 90.3 FM in Cleveland, the show is also webcast, transmitted over the Ohio Channel, and made available on some cable systems. Click here to listen to the podcast or watch the video.
 

January 23, 2013
Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum - Dick Martin's Outdoor Column

Following the killing of 20 children and six teachers in Newtown, Conn, an Ohio-based gun group says it's launching a test program to train teachers how to use firearms. The Columbus Dispatch reports the Buckeye Firearms Association says it will initially accept applications from 24 teachers for its Armed Teacher Pilot Program.

The three-day firearm training class will be held at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union. The Association will pay for the training, including lodging and ammunition. Association legal chairman Ken Hanson said in a statement tat teacher and school board members have been "asking us for years" for this kind of training.

January 22, 2013
Dayton City Paper - Arm the Teachers?

Fifteen states already have armed teacher training, and Ohio is one of them. Here in Ohio an "Armed Teacher Training Program" is being developed by three groups: The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, The Buckeye Firearms Association and the Tactical Defense Institute. Their goal is to supply firearm training for teachers and other school employees " free of charge. So far at least, two local school districts " Springboro and Tipp City " have opened dialogue about allowing armed teachers and administrators in schools.

January 20, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus) "The Spectrum"

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson was a panel show guest on NBC4's "The Spectrum." Ken discussed news that President Obama had signed 23 executive actions and demanded $4.5 billion in new spending on gun control. Click here to view the video.
 

January 20, 2013
WBZI 1500 AM's "Class Country Outdoors" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Region Leader Sean Maloney was a guest host on "Classic Country Outdoors". The show is syndicated on AM 1500 Xenia, AM 1130 North Dayton, and AM 1090 Wilmington.
 

January 17, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Reactions to Obama's gun-violence plan push toward extremes

Many gun owners would have supported universal background checks before now, but the bills that seemed to call for them always were drafted with ulterior motives, said Ken Hanson, legal chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"It has very little to do with background checks, and it has everything to do with shutting down gun shows," he said.

He said the assault-style-weapons ban that expired in 2004 did not reduce crime. And having to reload more often won't stop a deranged killer, he said.

January 16, 2013
WRGT (FOX Dayton) - Locals React To Pres. Obama's Gun Proposals

"Okay fine, it doesn't work. What's next? Five rounds, two rounds, single shots? I don't know, but I don't trust where the federal government is going with this" said Larry Moore, Buckeye Firearms Association.

January 16, 2013
WDTN (NBC Dayton) - Locals divided on gun control debate

Larry Moore is a volunteer regional leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association. "I think american people need to sit down and ask some serious questions," said Moore. "What would these proposals do to our freedoms? And which of these proposals would have stopped any of the mass public murders that we've had in this country? Largely, they wouldn't".

Moore believes despite tougher background checks criminals will continue to obtain guns illegally. He said the last assault weapons ban didn't do anything to reduce crime rates and limiting the ammunition in magazines isn't the answer. "If someone is breaking into my house and I haven't stopped them in the first 29. I need 30. It's that simple," he said.

January 16, 2013
ABC News Radio

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Darren Reynolds. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 16, 2013
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati)

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was interviewed on WCPO. Joe discussed news that President Obama had signed 23 executive actions and demanded $4.5 billion in new spending on gun control.
 

January 16, 2013
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Columbus Police Chief: Nation Ready For 'Common Sense' Solutions To Gun Violence

Ken Hanson with the Buckeye Firearms Association said that he is skeptical about Obama's plan. He called the President's actions more symbolic than substantive.

"We have tried this same thing over and over for 25 years," Hanson said. "It has not impacted safety. I don't see how we should expect anything different this time.".

January 16, 2013
WCMH (NBC Columbus)

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson was interviewed on NBC4. Ken discussed news that President Obama had signed 23 executive actions and demanded $4.5 billion in new spending on gun control.
 

January 16, 2013
WNYC 820 AM/ 93.9 FM (New York City)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on WNYC. Jim discussed discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 15, 2013
KKOH 780 AM (Reno) "The Dan Mason Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on The Dan Mason Show. Jim discussed discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 15, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio Senate Democrats lay out their legislative priorities

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus contacted him Tuesday morning about the legislation, and he's optimistic about the discussion.

"If we focus on the crime instead of focusing on the gun, then I think there exists an ability to find a compromise," Irvine said. "Nobody likes what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, and everybody's looking for ways to deal with things in a better way."

January 15, 2013
The News Journal - Firearm training for teachers?

Additionally, the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) is sponsoring an Armed Teacher Training Program to train school officials on how to handle a firearm. As of Jan. 9, 1,048 educators applied for training. Most are from Ohio, but many requests are from other states.

According to BFA's website, approximately 60 percent of the applicants are men and 40 percent are women. More than 70 percent are teachers, 14 percent are administrators, and the balance is made up of office staff and other employees. About 85 percent work in public schools and more than 50 percent work in high schools. There's a fairly even distribution among urban, suburban, and rural schools.

About 55 percent have moderate to extensive firearm experience, 70 percent have experience with handguns, and more than 40 percent already have a license to carry a concealed firearm. A number of these applicants are ex-military and former law enforcement.

Currently, those who enter the first training set for spring 2013 must already have their Concealed Handgun License (CHL).

The class will cost about $1,000 per student. BFA is raising money so that those who attend do not have to pay.

...According to the BFA, schools are gun-free zones by law, but Ohio Revised Code, specifically, 2923.122, permits a board of education to authorize employees who are otherwise allowed to own and carry firearms to carry them in schools.

January 14, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Marc Amazon Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Marc Amazon Show. Joe discussed discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 13, 2013
Columbus Dispatch - Teachers and guns: Local school personnel comment on arming staff

Defenders of gun ownership insist that prohibitions of or restrictions on certain guns, such as a ban on 19 semiautomatic assault weapons that expired in 2004, have been failures. Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Fire Arms Association, said: "We tried that for 10 years," and it did not prevent mass shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 or at a middle school in Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.

"It's a terrible idea," Irvine said. "It doesn't solve the problem. If the problem is our children are being killed in our schools, then let's address the problem and see what we can do about it. Are we going to put aside the politics of 'feel good' and do something that works?"

...To the Buckeye Fire Arms Association's Irvine and other gun-rights activists, protecting schools makes more sense than what he regards as a quixotic effort to ban some guns. He advocates throwing a web of "layers of protection" around schools that includes early identification of people with signs of mental illness, improved medical and trauma care at schools, training teachers in self-defense and allowing schools to have "some armed defense."

January 13, 2013
The Crescent News - Teachers and guns: Local school personnel comment on arming staff

Locally, Northwest Self Defense, Archbold, is reaching out to teachers and administrators in the region, offering them a free concealed handgun license (CHL) class.

"Each time one of these tragedies occurs, the politicians just want to talk," said Chad Baus, president of Northwest Self Defense [and Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman], in a prepared press release.

"Whether it's talk about gun control policies that have failed in the past, or talk about increased secutiry funding that we just can't afford to add to our deficit budgets, the talk always comes to nothing. Here at Northwest Self Defense, we're done talking."

"Ohio law currently allows school boards to give permission to persons they with to being a firearm to the school building," Baus noted. "Letting the community know that willing teachers and support staff who have received training are now allowed to carry at school will provide a significant deterrent to other potential attackers, and won't add a penny to the budget."

The CHL class is slated for March 23-34 and preregistration is required. To register, call Northwest Self Defense at 419-572-1526 or by email at [email protected].

Co-sponsoring the training are Buckeye Firearms Foundation, ACE Hardware in Wauseon and an anonymous corporate donor.

Similar training programs throughout the country have enlisted an abundance of applicants from a 15-state region, including Ohio. The Buckeye Firearm[sic] Association reported last week that more than 1000 educators have requested the free firearm/first responder training throughout the state.

The association reports that 61 percent of the applicants are men. Overall, approximately 73 percent are teachers, 14 percent are administrators, with other school staff making up the remaining percentage.

January 13, 2013
Corus Radio Network (Canada) "The Roy Green Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on The Roy Green Show. Jim discussed discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 12, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Gun changes sought after Newtown shooting

Gun advocates say there are better ways to respond to the violence in places like Aurora and Newtown than to enact further gun restrictions, such as a ban that expired in 2004 on 19 semi-automatic assault weapons.

"We tried that for 10 years," Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said of the ban, noting that it did not prevent the mass shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 or at a middle school in Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.

"It's a terrible idea. It doesn't solve the problem," Irvine said. "If the problem is our children are being killed in our schools, then let's address the problem and see what we can do about it. Are we going to put aside the politics of 'feel good' and do something that works?"

The firearms association revealed last week that more than 1,000 teachers and other school staff most of them from Ohio applied for 24 slots in a free training program being offered through the association's foundation. A questionnaire from the group says the training is of an advanced nature "dealing with active killer scenarios and requires a dynamic range that allows shooting on the move, force-on-force, live-fire houses, and outdoor training."

...Irvine advocates throwing "layers of protection" around schools, including identifying people with signs of mental illness, improving medical and trauma care at schools, training teachers for self-defense, and allowing schools to have "some armed defense."

January 11, 2013
NBC Nightly News

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed for NBC Nightly News. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 11, 2013
Education Week

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed for Education Week. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 11, 2013
TIME Magazine

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Amanda Ripley. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 11, 2013
The Canton Repository - Superintendents: No guns in our schools

Jim Irvine, president of the Delaware, Ohio-based, Buckeye Firearms Association says arming teachers is not only a good idea, he believes it's the only "responsible" approach Ohio school districts have left.

This discussion, Irvine said, "is not about guns, it's about saving kids lives. If you leave anything on the table that would have saved kids lives and something does happen, that is, in my opinion, unacceptable."

Irvine runs through a list of now infamous school shootings: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Chardon, Sandy Hook. Violence in schools is becoming far too common, he said, and the only way to curb it is to stand up to it with firepower.

"An unarmed person is always going to lose against an armed person," Irvine said, "so let's give someone the skills and tools to stop that armed person."

Irvine believes in innovative approaches as well. He applauds efforts like those of Perry. Schools should always be looking for ways to step-up safety measures and he encourages districts to provide teachers with trauma treatment training as well.

But that is just the start to changing the mental approach to security, he said.

According to Irvine, schools view security as a passive thing. It's about waiting and reacting. Security, he contends, should be about more.

Security is about "fighting back."

"The Virginia Tech students sat in their seats, waiting for their turn to be executed because that is what we told them to do," Irvine said. "...We tell (our kids) that violence is wrong, that fighting back is always wrong and that it will not be tolerated and there will be no exceptions. It's that mentality (for which) they (Virginia Tech students) sat there and died....

"The mindset is that we are going to call 911 and wait for police and be passive about this," he later added. "That notion should have died with those 20 students in Connecticut."

Irvine believes that when teachers and administrators, as well as professors and college students, are trained to use firearms, they have the power to fight back when they need it most. Preventing them from doing so, Irvine said, stifles their rights to protect themselves.

That's why Irvine's group is working to help individuals and school officials obtain training for firearms use.

"We have been working with lots of school districts in various capacities, helping them understand the law," Irvine said. "No. 1, they need to know they have the authority to do this."

January 11, 2013
The (London) Times

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors member Gerard Valentino was interviewed by Alexandra Frean. Gerard discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 11, 2013
WXIX (FOX Cincinnati) - Springboro board member pushing for armed teachers

Will teachers soon be carrying guns at Springboro schools? They will if Jim Rigano gets his way.

..."Yes, I think they should have more training than required for a concealed carry permit. The Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio alone has had over 1,000 teachers, administrators, and staff apply to carry a weapon on their school grounds".

January 11, 2013
The Post Newspapers (Wadsworth) - Group wants to arm schools with increased security

Just weeks after the mass shooting in a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, the Buckeye Firearms Association has decided to offer firearms training to teachers, but local school and safety officials say they don't know that arming teachers is the answer to making schools safer.

...Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine said that an armed response is the best way to lower the body count when faced with an active shooter situation. Arming teachers and administrators is another layer of protection in case entrance security or other measures fail.

Irving[sic] describes the Armed Teacher Program as "an intensive three-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by first responders. Instructors will include professional law enforcement personnel with knowledge of active shooter situations."

Participants are required to pass a background check and will not be allowed to attend if they are prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Irvine said that, in addition to learning how to use a gun, program participants would learn how to treat causalities and how to best protect their classrooms. There will also be an emphasis on how to recognize potential issues and deal with that person before the situation escalates to violence.

...Irvine said that the inaugural class of the Armed Teacher Program has only 24 openings, but added that 759 school-related personnel had applied to take the class as of Jan. 3.

Irvine said there were a number of teachers, staff and administrators who applied from the 14 school districts covered by The Post Newspapers. He declined to name which ones had applicants because such information could cause shooters to target the districts without a trained staff member or to target that person first. However, Irvine did say that none of the schools currently allow staff to carry guns.

The total number of applicants comes from all over Ohio and some from nearby states. Irvine said 29 percent of interested people come from urban areas, 31 percent from rural areas and 40 percent from suburban areas. It's also fairly evenly divided by school size. As for gender, 61 percent of applicants are male and 39 percent female, a breakdown similar to that of concealed carry weapons courses according to Irvine.

"The respondents run the gamut, from people who carry a gun every day to those with no experience at all," he said. "Some people said they just don't feel safe in our schools."

While guns or other weapons are not allowed in schools per the Ohio Revised Code, they are legally permitted if given prior written approval by the local school board.

Since the application response has been overwhelming, Buckeye Firearms plans to develop a curriculum that can be used in other states, as well.

"We need to do this as quickly as we can do it excellently," Irvine said.

January 10, 2013
WDTN (NBC Dayton) - Schools, city leaders talk CCW

The Buckeye Firearm's Association is backing Rigano. Southwest Regional Leader Joe Eaton believes Rigano's take on allowing school employees who are Ohio Concealed Handgun License holders to bring their weapon in schools is a step in the right direction

"We are making progress because we are discussing all of the options, we tried a lot of things in the past. We need to look at what has not worked, put it out, move on to something else, keeping trying different things until we get to a closer solution to keep our teachers and our kids safe," said Joe Eaton.

January 10, 2013
WYFX (FOX Youngstown) - Armed Teacher Proposal Nets Applications, Questions

There apparently is a lot of interest in teaching school employees how to better protect themselves and their classrooms with guns.

Leaders with the Ohio-based gun rights advocacy group Buckeye Firearms Association decided late last month to offer an instruction course for teachers, thinking they would limit it to just a couple dozen people. So far, the group already has received more than 1,000 applications and hundreds of questions from parents, school board members and others.

"That doesn't surprise me at all. I know a lot of teachers personally, all of them are very dedicated, and they want to be able to protect their children. And who can better protect the children than the people who are with them from the opening bell of school until the end of the day," said Rick Kaleda, a local spokesman for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Kaleda believes if a potential shooter does not know whether teachers can and will fight back, he may think twice before committing the crime.

"When you have a uniformed officer, that easily becomes the first target, whereas if you don't know that the classroom that you might be going to may be the classroom that's the best protected one in the school, that acts as a deterrent in and of itself," he said.

For security and confidentiality purposes, organizers will only say the class will be held sometime this spring at a training center in southern Ohio near Portsmouth. After the first course is completed, the group said additional programs may be offered in other parts of the state.

January 10, 2013
Gongwer News Service - Education Notes: 1,000 Educators Seek Firearm Training

The Buckeye Firearms Association said this week that since its announcement of an Armed Teacher Training Program, more than 1,000 educators have requested participation.

The association announced the program Dec. 20 with the intent to offer free firearm training to 24 teachers "in order to show that teachers could be an effective deterrent to mass murder in schools," the group said.

The training was announced following the shooting in Newtown, Conn. Dec. 14 when 20 children and six educators were shot and killed.

"After three weeks, we have received well over 1,000 requests for this training. So while the goal is still the same, the scope of this program has changed significantly," BFA said in an email.

The program sponsored by Buckeye Firearms Foundation will provide free first responder training to education employees, focused primarily on armed response to an "active killer" scenario. Instruction on medical trauma care, mindset and general school security might also be offered.

Of the 1,048 educators who have completed a questionnaire to apply for training, about 60% are men, more than 70% are teachers and 14% are administrators. About 85% work in public schools and more than half are employed in high schools.

About 55% have moderate to extensive firearm experience, 70% have experience with handguns, and more than 40% already have a license to carry a concealed firearm, according to BFA. A number of applicants are ex-military and former law enforcement.

Allowing school employees to carry guns is a policy that can be implemented by school boards, and the Ohio School Boards Association said it thinks that should remain a local decision.

"If there are going to be armed individuals in schools, they need to be police officers with appropriate training," spokeswoman Michelle Francis said. "We think school boards should look at what they think they need in their particular situation."

January 10, 2013
The Fulton County Expositor - Teachers sign up for gun class

About two dozen school teachers and staff members from the four-county area will participate in March in a local concealed carry class tailored specifically to their positions.

All but two of the 25 spaces available in the free class offered by Northwest Self Defense were filled as of Tuesday, said company president Chad Baus. The spaces filled within two days of being advertised and of information being sent directly to the school districts.

The concealed carry class is being held the weekend of March 23 in direct response to the massacre Dec. 14 of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. by 20-year-old Adam Lanza. The class location has not been determined.

Sponsors include Ace Hardware in Wauseon and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation based in Delaware, Ohio.

Participants will be instructed on pistol and ammunitions[sic] mechanics, safety issues and conceal carry law in Ohio. A 12-hour class is state-mandated for any citizen who considers obtaining a conceal carry license.

Those who successfully complete the class are eligible to apply for a five-year conceal carry license through their local sheriff's office, a process requiring a background check. The initial license carries a $70 fee; a license can be renewed for a reduced amount every five years.

"This is to get more people educated and trained," Baus said. "We protect our movie stars and rock stars and politicians with guns, but we're not willing to protect our kids with guns."

In the past, the feeling was that placing a warning sign on the door of a school or business protected it from guns, Baus said. "It's a fantasy. It's the same thing with these discussions over assault weapons."

Over half of those who have signed up for the concealed carry class are women. Baus opened it to all school employees in Fulton, Henry, Williams and Defiance counties to encourage them to think differently about how to protect students.

"I was fully confident that we'd be able to fill this class because these teachers and staff love their kids, and they're as tired of seeing these incidents happen as we are. We need to be protecting our kids in a different way, and giving teachers alternatives other than throwing themselves in front of the bullets," he said.

The class he and his partner will conduct will specifically address the positions of teachers and other school staff members.

Baus conceded that training school personnel to use guns is controversial, but added: "It's time to stop talking. Every time one of these instances happens we talk, but it never goes anywhere. Well, it's time to discuss something else."

He said school shootings in Newtown, Conn., Paducah, Ky., and Littleton, Colo., among others, over the past decade or more have reinforced his and others' belief "that a good guy with a gun is the ultimate means to stop an act of violence."

He said the shooters in these type of incidents always seem to attack at places where guns are purposely banned.

"Who do you call when problems start? You call someone with a gun," Baus said. "My argument for people who don"t want to see kids witness a gun fight is, better a gun fight than a firing squad."

Citing arguments against arming school personnel who never handled a weapon before training, Baus said generally not many accidents occur under those circumstances, "and I don't think they would in school."

The Archbold native and owner of Car 1 became familiar with concealed-carry law while working in Nashville, Tenn. He was among Second Amendment proponents who successfully advocated for an Ohio concealed-carry law in 2004. He began teaching gun self-defense classes in 2004, and founded Northwest Self Defense two years later.

The business conducts general firearm safety classes and conceal-carry classes in various locations, including the Fulton County Sportsmen Club in Wauseon and at the Archbold and Fayette police department firing ranges.

Baus dismisses attempts to regulate guns, saying, "We've already tried it. We had an assault weapon ban in place from 1994 to 2004 nationally. It doesn't work.

"How in the world can we prohibit guns " which are protected by the Second Amendment " in the public domain, when we can't prevent drugs from getting inside our prisons? Show me a place where cocaine and heroin don't exist, and then you can talk to me about making something illegal [makes it] unavailable."

Interim Archbold school superintendent Joe Long said the question of whether school personnel need the school district's permission to take a gun class is moot. "That's their option. That's their choice. That's their business. The only question would (arise) if someone actually wanted to do that " conceal carry at the school," he said.
The Archbold school board has had no discussions about permitting conceal-carry in the district's buildings.

Wauseon Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Larry Brown said at present taking the class is a district employee's individual decision. He said the school board has had no concealed carry discussions, and would probably first seek a recommendation from NEOLA, a national organization that provides school districts with policy guidance.

Baus plans to keep the names of the concealed carry class participants and their school districts confidential. But he is encouraging school boards to announce publicly whether district personnel members are participating.

"That's going to be a deterrent," he said.

January 9, 2013
WKRC 550 AM (Cincinnati) "The Brian Thomas Show

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Brian Thomas Show. Joe discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 9, 2013
Youth Radio (Oakland, CA)

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson was interviewed by Youth Radio's Denise Tejada. Ken discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 9, 2013
The Post Newspapers (Medina) - Buckeye Firearms offers gun training to teachers

"Layers of protection" is what spurred the Buckeye Firearms Association to offer firearms training to teachers, according to Chairman Jim Irvine.
After the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. the organization began offering the Armed Teacher Training Program. The inaugural class only has 24 openings, but 759 school-related personnel had applied as of Jan. 3 after about 10 days worth of advertising.

Locally, Irvine said, there were a number of teachers, staff and administrators who applied from the 14 school districts covered by The Post Newspapers. He declined to name which ones had applicants because such information could cause shooters to target the districts without a trained staff member or to target that person first. However, Irvine did say that none of those schools currently allow staff to carry guns.

The total number of applicants come from all over Ohio and some from nearby states. Irvine said 29 percent of interested people come from urban areas, 31 percent from rural areas and 40 percent from suburban areas. It's also fairly evenly divided by school size. As for gender, 61 percent of applicants are male and 39 percent female, a breakdown similar to that of concealed carry weapons courses according to Irvine.

"The respondents run the gamut, from people who carry a gun every day to those with no experience at all," he said. "Some people said they just don't feel safe in our schools."

...Irvine claimed an armed response is the best way to lower the body count when faced with an active shooter situation. Arming teachers and administrators is another layer of protection in case entrance security or other measures fail.

The Armed Teacher Training Program is "an intensive three-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by first responders. Your instructors will include professional law enforcement personnel with knowledge of active shooter situations." Participants are required to pass a background check and will not be allowed to attend if they are prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Irvine said that, in addition to learning how to use a gun, program participants would learn how to treat causalities and how to best protect their classrooms. There will also be an emphasis on how to recognize potential issues and deal with that person before the situation escalates to violence.

Buckeye Firearms plans to develop a curriculum that can be used in other states, as well, in response to the overwhelming number of applications.

"We need to do this as quickly as we can do it excellently," Irvine said.

While guns or other weapons are not allowed in schools per the Ohio Revised Code, they are legally permitted if given prior written approval by the local school board. If that permission were to be granted, it would need to be in a meeting open to the public and become part of publicly-available information.

Using the same logic with which he refused to disclose the participants and their school districts, Irvine said that Buckeye Firearms is lobbying the state legislature to change the laws to allow school boards to give permission for teachers to be armed without it becoming public record.

January 9, 2013
Al Jazerra

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Hanson was interviewed by Al Jazerra. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 9, 2013
WTAM 1100AM (Cleveland)

Buckeye Firearms Foundation President Jim Irvine was interviewed for a news report on WTAM addressing the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program.
 

January 9, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Big Show with Bill Cunningham"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on The Big Show with Bill Cunningham. Jim discussed discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has received over 1000 applications to its Armed Teachers Training Program. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 8, 2013
WOIO (CBS Cleveland) - 
State program to arm teachers flooded with applicants

In the case of Sandy Hook 20 kids were shot and killed and teachers were killed trying to dive in front of those children.

"We think we owe it to those teachers to give them the tools and skills to do something besides die when they step in front of our children to defend their life," Jim Irvine, President of the Buckeye Firearm Foundation told reporter Dan DeRoos.

Irvine explained a couple weeks ago they launched the Armed Teachers Training Program. It will be free of charge, approximately $1000 value, to train them to carry weapons in school.

"When we call 911 in a school. What are we calling? We're calling police, we're calling people with guns to come solve our problem. The killing continues until they meet some resistance," according to Irvine.

In just a couple weeks time since announcing the class they've received some 900 applications. Buckeye Firearms will only be accepting 24, for this first time around.

The first class will only be for teachers and staff who already have their concealed weapons permits. With this new training there will then be extra background checks, training on marksmanship, safety and first aid.

Of course the other side of this argument is trying to keep guns out of schools all together.

Lisa Cicia is one of the local voices for the Million Mom March which is trying to curb gun violence.  

"Do you really want your schools to look like prisons.  Do you want your schools to have boarded up windows and armed guards at every door?  Do you want your teacher wielding guns," questions Cicia.

The obvious question is, is it even legal in the State of Ohio for a teacher or staff to have a gun in school.

The answer, it's up to each individual school district as long as the one carrying the gun has their concealed weapons permit and has been approved by the school board.

January 8, 2013
The Bucyrus Telegram - Sheriffs see little CCW change here since Newtown

Jim Irvine, chairman of Buckeye Firearms Association, said it's difficult to track since CCW permits are granted on a quarterly basis.

"There are no statistics available since the Newtown shooting," Irvine said.

Irvine said 13,949 licenses were issued in the third quarter of 2012, a 39 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. Of those, 3,447 were renewed. That's not unusual, as many people opt to take the classes in the summer.

Statewide, 547 were revoked for various reasons, Irvine said. One reason was a large group of residents received inadequate training by a Columbus-area instructor.

Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition and recreation.

...Sheriffs in all 88 counties carry the burden of granting the permits, and Irvine said they do a good job.

"They know if it's a bad guy who is requesting one," Irvine said. "In some states people are denied based on political affiliation or the color of their skin. That doesn't happen in Ohio."

Residents must find a qualified instructor and complete the 12-hour class before a certificate of competency is issued.

Irvine said classes are full and "the demand for training is really high." He said political fallout from the shooting, more so than the actual incident, has helped drive the numbers.

"Some people read things and think, 'What if they shut down the program?' I'd better get my permit now," Irvine said.

January 8, 2013
Reuters - Teachers in Ohio, Texas flock to free gun training classes

School teachers in Texas and Ohio are flocking to free firearms classes in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, some vowing to protect their students with guns even at the risk of losing their jobs.

In Ohio, more than 900 teachers, administrators and school employees asked to take part in the Buckeye Firearms Association's newly created, three-day gun training program, the association said.

..."Any teacher who is licensed and chooses to be armed should be able to be armed," said Gerald[sic] Valentino, co-founder of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "It should be every teacher's choice."

..."What we know is that these spree killers are looking for the highest death toll possible. They look for no-gun zones like schools," Valentino said. "It doesn't make sense that we guard our gold with guns and we guard our kids with hope."

The Buckeye Firearms Association, which successfully lobbied for 2004 legislation in Texas[sic] allowing people to carry concealed handguns, is offering all eligible state educators free admission to what it calls "an intensive three-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by first responders."

Of the more than 900 applicants so far, 73 percent were teachers and 10 percent were kindergarten teachers, Valentino said. Sixty percent were male and 51 percent worked in high schools, he said.

...Valentino was adamant that Ohio's armed teachers remain anonymous, citing concerns that local media might reveal who was taking the course.

"The idea is for no one to know what teachers might be carrying. It would be very dangerous to identify these teachers. We don't want to put a target on them," Valentino said.

January 7, 2013
WXIX (FOX Cincinnati) - Teachers apply to carry guns to school

Teachers, principals, assistant principals and deans are speaking out after the Connecticut school shootings. Over 900 have applied since the mass murder in the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown on Dec. 14.

"We had filled the first 24 spots within a few hours after making the announcement at the town hall meeting in Columbus a few weeks ago so we've slowly been increasing the number of applications," says Joe Eaton, of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "A lot more people are talking about this."

Eaton says the training, which will be held this spring at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County, will be geared specifically towards a school environment.

"We're wanting to take this to the next level. The firearm is actually going to be the last part of this." Eaton adds. "That's a tool of last resort. So, we want to give the teachers any tools that they're comfortable with using."

Federal law says a person has to have a Concealed Carry permit to have a gun in a school. Ohio law says, not only does someone have to have the permit, but each individual school board has to approve someone having a gun on campus. Kentucky law has no provision for anyone having a gun on campus, except a cop.

So, in Ohio, why not just have teachers get a concealed carry permit?

"Our classrooms are a different situations that what a person will experience in a 'Concealed Carry' or a lot of other courses," says Eaton. "There are a lot of precious people in there that somebody should be aware of should someone try to commit violence against them."

He also said if no one on campus has a gun, the bad guys know it. Thinking like them, he says, "Do we see a sign that says 'I'm the only armed one there' or can we start taking down those signs and make the person think, I may meet some resistance here and may not meet my end goal."

Only 24 teachers and administrators will be able to enroll in the first class. After that, Eaton's not sure what will happen.

"We don't want dollars to stand between a teacher getting this type of training and keeping our kids safe. Our foundation estimated about a thousand dollars per teacher per curriculum for room and board, for the ammunition," Eaton adds. "Our foundation's going to pay for all that for the first 24. Of course, we're going to reach out to corporations and to the public for additional funding so that we can increase the number of teachers that go through this."

January 6, 2013
WIZF 101.1 FM (Cincinnati) "The Nathan Ivey Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Nathan Ivey Show. Joe discussed the news that over 800 teachers have applied for Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Armed Teacher Training Program.
 

January 5, 2013
WDBZ 1230 AM (Cincinnati) "The Nathan Ivey Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Nathan Ive Show. Joe discussed the news that over 800 teachers have applied for Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Armed Teacher Training Program.
 

January 5, 2013
Press TV (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) - Arming school teachers popular for fascist elements: Analyst

Over 600 teachers from 15 states have applied for a free firearms training program that a gun advocacy group, the Buckeye Firearms Association, announced it would sponsor in the wake of the Newtown school shooting, Mother Jones reported.

The three-day training will train teachers how to wield firearms in the case of a school shooting.

January 5, 2013
The Lima News - After shooting, experts wrestle with arming teachers

Arming teachers isn't a new idea. It's an idea that's been discussed for years. When an Ohio gun advocacy group announced it would provide free, advanced firearms training to teachers in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month, the response was overwhelming.

More than 600 teachers, administrators, office staff and guidance counselors have have applied for one of the 24 slots in the initial class offered by the Buckeye Firearms Association, according to Chairman Jim Irvine.

"This isn't a panacea. It isn't going to solve all our problems but it's a layer of protection that is critical to our children's safety. This isn't about guns," Irvine said. "This is about safety and security of our children and our schools. We need to realize that happy thoughts and a sticker on a door doesn't make our kids safe. They deserve a whole lot better than what we've been doing. It's time to reassess everything from beginning to end, throw out the policies that don't work and replace them with ones that do."

The Dec. 14 mass murder in Connecticut has plunged the issue of arming teachers or administrators back into the national discourse. Advocates, such as Irvine, say the current gun-free zones around schools make students and teachers alike easy targets. Educators, meanwhile, are left grappling with the issue of whether carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds is a good idea.

...Advocates such as Irvine said Ohio law already permits school districts, specifically school boards, to give written approval to a designee. Irvine cites Ohio Revised Code section 2923.122 as giving school boards the authority to employ either a security officer or "any other person who has written authorization from the board of education" who may carry firearms on school grounds.

"It's not the school is hiring armed security, this is a teacher who is already in the school hired as a teacher but who voluntarily provide a level of safety and security for his or her classroom and the school in general," Irvine said. "No one should be forced to carry a gun. Certainly teachers didn't set out to be teachers to carry a gun around. But we have teachers who have extensive firearm training who carry a gun all the time except when they're taking care of our children. That doesn't make any sense. We shouldn't disarm them when they are taking care of our most precious resource."

January 5, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Better security may not make schools safer

As of last week, more than 450 teachers and other school employees from around Ohio had applied for 24 spots in a free firearms training program being funded by the Buckeye Firearms Association foundation.

Ken Hanson, the legal chairman for the association, said the Sandy Hook shooting was the "breaking point," and the group decided "it's time to quit talking about it and move forward."

At the end of the three-day course, participants will be given the same firearms tests administered to law enforcement officers.

"If they can't qualify, they shouldn't be carrying a gun," said John Benner, a former member of the Hamilton County regional SWAT team who owns the Tactical Defense Institute, which is doing the training.

January 5, 2013
The Capital Times - Gun owner? In Wisconsin your name won't be published

I didn't find much information about which states allow access to gun license records. But in 2009, after Ohio lawmakers passed a law to keep concealed carry records confidential, the Buckeye Firearms Association posted a report detailing similar efforts in several states.

January 5, 2013
Sidney Daily News - Weapons in classrooms?

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a Delaware-based volunteer organization, reported this week hundreds of Ohio school officials and teachers have registered for its free Armed Teacher training program in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., Sandy Nook School mass shooting tragedy.

The foundation says it will choose 24 applicants for its first class, to be held at Tactical Defense Institute in West Union. Expenses, which are expected to total $1,000 per teacher, will be paid by the foundation and outside donations.

Foundation president Jim Irvine said Ohio law allows school staff members to carry firearms as long as their school boards approve it. More information on the program is available at: www.BuckeyeFirearms.org.

...

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation reports more than 600 Ohio teachers and administrators have applied for its training program and that roughly 70 percent of current applicants are classroom teachers.

January 4, 2013
MotherJones.com - 600 Teachers Apply to Learn How to Shoot a Gun at School

As of this Wednesday, over 600 teachers from 15 states have applied for a free firearms training program that a gun advocacy group, the Buckeye Firearms Association, announced it would sponsor in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. The three-day training will train teachers how to wield firearms in the case of a school shooting.

According to a press release, the association hopes to use the training as a starting point for a more refined, ongoing "Armed Teacher" curriculum. The first training will take place this spring at an Ohio training facility. Buckeye Firearms' chairman Jim Irvine explained program details to StateImpact:

It has to be conducted in an outside range, a dynamic range as they're called, because it's just something you can't do shooting down lanes at a firing range, so weather is a factor in Ohio and the class is not completely designed yet.

In a traditional shooting range you're in a shooting lane, but classrooms aren't conducted in lanes. The threat can come from anywhere; the threat can come from multiple directions. You have to analyze the threat in a 3D environment. We want to train for the real event.

[...]

We have to change the mindset in schools and get some good people in schools that are the first line of defense. This isn't a new idea it's just that the events in Connecticut make what we've been talking about for years all of a sudden politically acceptable. Now everything is on the table, this is something that can and will be done.

Irvine acknowledged that there is a "potential risk" that students could take and use guns if teachers in the US start to conceal-and-carry more often, but noted that in the case of one school in Texas that arms teachers, "frankly, it hasn't been a problem." (An Arkansas student did successfully steal a handgun from a teacher's purse last January.)

A 2011 Mother Jones investigation found that Irvine and the Buckeye Firearms Association have a robust history of gun rights lobbying in Ohio, including a successful push for a concealed carry law in 2004. The organization is also known for its aggression: When the manager of the Sandusky Register, a small daily in Ohio, published the names and birth dates of gun permit holders in the state, he began receiving angry phone calls from gun rights advocates nationwide, and Buckeye published as much publicly available information as they could (including which school bus his daughter rode) on their website.

January 4, 2013
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Local teachers apply for free gun training from a gun advocacy group

More than 70 local teachers and school officials have joined a flood of educators across the state " and from neighboring ones " applying for free gun training aimed at stopping assailants in schools.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is offering a three-day course to a limited number of educators that includes handling armed attackers in busy areas, along with basic gun safety and handling.

Since announcing the offer last month in the wake of the Connecticut school killings, 765 teachers and administrators have applied for the training, Gerard Valentino, the group's secretary, said Thursday.

The group won't release names of any of the applicants, but Valentino said there are applicants who work in the Cleveland and Akron school districts, as well as Northeast Ohio suburbs. He estimated that a little more than 10 percent of the applicants are from the Cleveland area, with the vast majority coming from further south.

"We've seen teachers from every part of the spectrum " not only from the state of Ohio, but we've gotten requests from outside the state," Valentino said. "Men, women, teachers, principals."

The group believes that an armed response is the best way to stop a shooter in a school and keep casualties low, he said.

How many teachers will receive training and whether they'll ever be able to carry guns in their schools is still to be determined.

Guns are generally not allowed in Ohio schools, Valentino said, though state law seems to give individual districts the right to allow them. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said last month that districts should consider having an armed person in each school.

...It's also unclear how many educators would receive the training, and when. The association has committed to training one class of 24 at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union. Between the program costs, ammunition and lodging, the group estimates it will cost about $1,000 per person.

Valentino said the group has the money to pay for a few classes, but needs donations to expand the program further.

"It's driven by the donations we get," he said.

The first class could be in the summer, he said, though if the group sponsors more classes it might schedule some sooner.

Valentino said keeping private the names of gun carriers in schools prevents assailants from targeting them first in any attacks and makes attackers wary of whether there is anyone armed in a particular school.

"Nobody would know who is armed, when they're armed, anything," he said. "Part of what makes a program like this successful is nobody knowing."

An application for the training is available on the homepage of buckeyefirearms.org.

January 4, 2013
NRAnews.com

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on NRANews.com. Jim discussed the news that over 800 teachers have applied for Buckeye Firearms Foundation's Armed Teacher Training Program with Cam Edwards on Cam & Company.
 

January 4, 2013
Seattle Weekly - Armed Training For Teachers Program Draws 'Multiple Applicants' From Washington State

Less than three weeks after the slaughter at Sandy Hook, an Ohio gun owners' group has launched an "Armed Teacher Training" program. As of yesterday, more than 750 educators in 15 states -- including "multiple applicants" from Washington -- have informed the Buckeye Firearms Foundation that they are fired up and ready to go.

To paraphrase the National Rifle Associations' chief lunatic Wayne LaPierre, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good teacher with a gun." Now, there's a motto the Buckeye gun group might want to run up a flap pole and see if anyone salutes.

Sean Maloney, a criminal defense attorney in the Cincinnati area -- and member of the Foundation -- told The Daily Weekly yesterday that the first class in the pilot program will accept 24 teachers for a comprehensive 3-day training class at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio. All major expenses will be covered, including tuition, ammunition, and lodging (which are expected to total approximately $1,000 per teacher).
To date, three states -- Utah, Texas and Alabama -- allow teachers to carry concealed weapons to school, though it is legal in Ohio to bring a concealed weapon on school grounds if a school district has granted permission.

Foundation chairman Jim Irvine expects more school districts will sign-off on gun-toting teachers in light of the Dec. 14 mayhem, where 20 young children and 6 adults were executed by Adam Lanza with a Bushmaster assault rifle ("Consider Your Man Card Reissued") capable of firing 180 rounds a minute.

"School boards were just in denial. That denial got ripped away in Newtown, Conn. The idea is to make it hard to kill a kid," he said.

Maloney -- who by the way thinks LaPierre's insane suggestion to put armed guards in "every single one" of America's 135,000 public and private schools is not a bad idea -- would not disclose the exact number of applications the Buckeye Firearms Foundation has received from Washington state.

"I can only say there were multiple applicants," he said.

Whatever the case, Maloney is bullish about the quality of training school teachers will get at the Tactical Defense Institute, a 15-year-old program featuring classrooms and seven shooting ranges, all of which sit on 186 rural acres in southern Ohio. It's a lovely place to hear the birdsong after a grueling day of gun fire.
The school personnel chosen for the class must already have basic firearms training and a concealed carry permit, and come with their own handgun, holster, extra magazines and speed loaders.

"Not only do they learn safe gun handling, storage, and transport," noted Maloney, "but they'll learn how to draw from a concealed-carry position and how to barricade themselves properly."

The Foundation will decide by the end of the month on the 24 lucky teachers who will be chosen to go, all expenses paid, for three days of glorious gun play in the undulating hills that make West Union, Ohio, such a special place.

One can only imagine the anticipation!

January 4, 2013
WNWO (NBC Toledo) - Teachers may carry guns

The Buckeye Firearm Association is taking on the task of educating teachers in the use of guns.

"Teachers who are voluntarily interested in serving to carry a firearm in school for the protection of the children," says Buckeye Firearm volunteer Michael Temple.

This comes after the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementar in Newtown, Connecticut. And often gun laws are brought to the forefront, instead of addressing other key problems.

"This particular issue that we're facing with the tragedy in the schools isn't about guns at all. It's about protecting the children and being safe," says Temple

Buckeye Firearms has seen over 800 applications come in for these classes. And their idea could possibly be used as a model that could potentially set the standard for training of this nature across the country.

...According to Ohio law, a teacher with a conceal carry license can carry a gun on school grounds if the district allows it. Which currently TPS does not.

"They can allow teachers to carry if they make an exemption within the school system themselves. State law does allow that," says Temple.

...These teachers are being asked to be in area where they cannot defend the children that they are in charge of. That they cannot protect them. And this is a program that would allow them to do that," says Temple.

They say they expect more people to sign up in the near future, and are currently talking with schools and dostricts that they cannot disclose at this time.

January 4, 2013
WCPO (NBC Cincinnati) - Pro-gun lobby group to send 24 Ohio teachers, administrators to tactical training course

A new program created by the Buckeye Firearms Association, a member of the pro-gun lobby, will send 24 Ohio teachers and administrators to a tactical training course this spring.

The course would instruct a teacher, licensed to carry a concealed handgun, how to confront and potentially neutralize a would-be mass shooter.

"You look at the situation in Sandy Hook, the principal, she walked up and confronted this guy with nothing except for hope," said Joe Eaton, a spokesperson for the BFA.

"She still went ahead and did that. We need to give our teachers and administrators any tools they need to keep our children alive out there. They should be able to do something besides walking up and dying," continued Eaton.

The BFA says more than 700 teachers and administrators have volunteered to be one of the first 24 students to attend the training course.

According to the BFA, more than 40 percent of those teachers already have licenses to carry concealed firearms.
"We are not asking these teachers to do any more than they already do to protect themselves and their family," Eaton said. "We think they should be able to do the same thing while on the job."

Eaton argues that the reason mass shooters target malls, schools and movie theaters is that they are generally "gun free" zones and that the shooters are confident they won't face armed resistance.

The foundation has agreed to completely cover the cost of training the first class of 24 participants. That will include tuition, ammunition and lodging, totaling about $1,000 per participant.

...The BFA says roughly two dozen of these 700 or more volunteers have the blessing and support of their local school boards.

Eaton declined to disclose the names of those districts.

January 8, 2013
Russian Nightly News

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine quoted on Russian Nightly News discussing the Buckeye Firearms Foundation announcement of the Armed Teacher Pilot Program designed to provide free training to educators.
 

January 3, 2013
WKRC (CBS Cincinnati) - Ohio teachers to receive firearms training

Soon, two dozen Ohio teachers won't just be taking aim at test scores. They'll be taking aim at stopping violence in schools.

"It's something that needs to happen not only in Ohio, but in other states. We defend our gold with guns, and leave our kids defenseless," said Gerard Valentino, with the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Valentino says selecting 24 teachers out of the more than 600 who have applied will be difficult. "It's really been all socio-economic backgrounds, all school backgrounds, all age ranges - you name it," Valentino said.

The majority of them have been women.

Financial support is also pouring in from people in countries with strict gun laws, such as Great Britain, Canada and Australia, but Valentino says not everyone's on board. "We've had an email where somebody, who pretended to be from the anti-gun movement said, 'if they had their way, it would've been the Buckeye Firearms Foundation leaders' children in school at Sandy Hook, instead of 20 innocent children.'"

Valentino says that email drives home even more why protecting children in schools is so important.

January 3, 2013
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Scott Sloan Show. Joe discussed the Buckeye Firearms Foundation announcement of the Armed Teacher Pilot Program designed to provide free training to educators. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 3, 2013
Education Week - Is Arming Teachers the Right Course?

Some 600 educators have reportedly applied to take part in a free firearms-training course being offered this spring by Ohio's Buckeye Firearms Association in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.

In an interview with StateImpact Ohio, BFA Chairman Jim Irvine says that, to provide an authentic learning experience, the training will likely take place in a customized environment:

"In a traditional shooting range you're in a shooting lane, but classrooms aren't conducted in lanes. The threat can come from anywhere; the threat can come from multiple directions. You have to analyze the threat in a 3D environment. We want to train for the real event."

He's a bit less clear when questioned about the argument that placing guns in the classroom could be particularly hazardous because teachers have been known to lose their cool from time to time:

"If the teacher's going to snap, the teacher's going to snap. There's nothing that prevents that from happening. It's not a bigger threat now than it will be then. It could happen, but it hasn't happened yet."

January 3, 2013
StateImpact Ohio - Q&A: Buckeye Firearms Association to Arm and Train Teachers

After the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, both the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association stated the best way to prevent future school shootings is by arming and training teachers and other school personnel.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is offering a pilot training course for 24 teachers in the spring, but just two weeks after announcing the program it's already overflowing - 600 people have applied.

StateImpact Ohio caught up with Buckeye Firearms Association's Jim Irvine to talk about training and arming teachers, and the concerns some folks have about putting a gun in every classroom.

Q: What will the training be like?

A: It won't be until March or April. It has to be conducted in an outside range, a dynamic range as they're called, because it's just something you can't do shooting down lanes at a firing range, so weather is a factor in Ohio and the class is not completely designed yet.

In a traditional shooting range you're in a shooting lane, but classrooms aren't conducted in lanes. The threat can come from anywhere; the threat can come from multiple directions. You have to analyze the threat in a 3D environment. We want to train for the real event.

We're not teaching the class, we're paying for the class. We're just facilitating.

We have to change the mindset in schools and get some good people in schools that are the first line of defense. This isn't a new idea it's just that the events in Connecticut make what we've been talking about for years all of a sudden politically acceptable. Now everything is on the table, this is something that can and will be done.

Q: How do you choose which teachers get to participate?

A: We've got hundreds of teachers who will apply for the 24 spots to do this. (Ed. Note: at last count 600 teachers from Ohio and other states have applied.)

We're going to go through the applicants and pick out 24 to be a good representation of different groups. That includes different teachers of different grade levels; males and females, public and private, rural, urban and suburban teachers, and people in schools who aren't teachers. We want to touch all the bases. We'll learn from this program. Make sure this works for all the intended people that need to take a class for this and then roll it out. This is not designed to be an ending.

We intend to lead the nation and let's rethink our school security.

Q: Some people argue arming teachers isn't a good idea. What do you say to them?

A: We're not proposing just arm all the teachers, but that's a step. Our society needs to predict, is there risk factors that says does this person need some intervention? If you can't, we need to look at hardening our schools. We've done a lot since 9/11. Look at the things that have worked well and duplicate them. Look at those things that haven't and replace them.

And we need to build layers of defense. This maybe is the most important thing, and it goes against what we've been saying for 30 years, and that is you've got to fight. These events continue until the killer meets resistance. This is a situation that not only allows fighting but demands it.

Q: Columbine had an armed officer in the school when the shooting happened there. If it didn't work there, why would arming folks in schools work elsewhere?

A: That's true. There was. We're not saying to get rid of school resource officers. We would love to have one in every school.

I find it funny that the same people that say that about Columbine are the same ones who want to ban high capacity assault weapons. The school resource officer is one guy that's armed and everybody knows who that is. That's the one guy you want to kill first.

Cops get shot at more often than the average citizen. That's the guy that you take out first.

With concealed carry, we don't see that because you don't know who the person (carrying a gun) is. We need to hide the identity of whatever teachers or administrators are carrying a gun so [a shooter] can't go kill that person first and then slaughter everyone else in the building.

Q: Others have pointed out that placing guns in the classrooms might be dangerous if a teacher snaps, or if a student gets a hold of the weapon. What happens if a teacher uses their gun to attack their own school?

A: If the teacher's going to snap, the teacher's going to snap. There's nothing that prevents that from happening. It's not a bigger threat now than it will be then. It could happen, but it hasn't happened yet.

Q: What if a student gets a hold of the teacher's weapon?

A: As far as the accidental stuff, that is something that does need to get looked at.

Maybe we should look at doing some training in schools, like the Eddy Eagle program from the NRA. My kids watch it, it's just as annoying as Barney. But I'm never going to say no to that.

Yes that is a potential risk, and we should look at it.

But, frankly, it hasn't been a problem. A couple other states have been arming teachers for years. Texas, there's a well known school in Texas that has done it. Alabama and Utah. Connecticut used to allow guns in schools, but changed their law in 1998.

I'm willing to listen to anybody and even if you're afraid of guns, maybe they can come up with something that we didn't think of.

January 3, 2013
WTVG (ABC Toledo)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Joel Riley. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has launched a pilot program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge.
 

January 3, 2013
WTVN 610 AM (Columbus) "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Joel Riley. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has launched a pilot program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge. Click here to listen to the podcast.
 

January 2, 2013
WFMJ (NBC Youngstown) - Some Ohio teachers and administrators sign up for firearms training

The idea of arming teachers to deal with school shooters has some willing volunteers according to Ohio's Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, says the response by teachers and others in the school system has been positive with more than 600 across the state of Ohio applying for free training to carry a firearm into the school and classroom.

"It's not just teachers. Its administrators, principals, superintendents, office staff, guidance counselors, maintenance folks, food service people, transportation people," Irvine said.

The pilot training program would include a cross section of those who already have a concealed carry permit to those who have little to no experience with guns so the program can be analyzed and any needed changes made.

Irvine said the training will most likely be scheduled in March or April. He said it will be extensive and tailored to help school officials to prepare for school violence like what took place in Newtown, Connecticut.

The idea has been endorsed by Attorney General Mike DeWine, but it has triggered opposing views with some administrators and teachers adamantly against the idea.

Patricia Frost-Brooks, president of the Ohio Education Association, says teachers and other school employees should not be asked to serve a dual role and be armed with concealed weapons to face school intruders.

However the Buckeye Firearms Foundation president emphasizes the program would only include those who volunteer. "We've got multiple teachers who are former law enforcement officers. They've already been trained and deputized to carry firearms they just can't do it as a teacher and it doesn't make any sense," Irvine said.

Those who obtained their concealed carry permit would have to get permission from their administration.

January 2, 2013
WTAM 1100 AM (Cleveland)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by Clear Channel's Matt Bruning. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has launched a pilot program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge.
 

January 2, 2013
Associated Press - Ohio teachers learning to fire guns

A gun rights group says more than 650 Ohio educators have expressed interest in a firearms training program announced after 20 children and six educators were killed at a Connecticut school.

The Buckeye Firearms Association was accepting applications for 24 spots in a free, three-day class to train teachers to use firearms. It said costs for the Armed Teacher Training Program would be covered by its educational foundation and outside donations.

The foundation's president says the response from hundreds of educators has been overwhelming.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he would support allowing trained school officials access to a gun during classes if he were a school board member, but also said such decisions should be up to each district.

January 2, 2013
WKYC (NBC Cleveland) - Hundreds of Ohio teachers sign up for free firearms training

Should teachers be armed inside the classroom? It's a debate that's been going on for years, but now ignited by the tragic school shootings in Connecticut.

The idea of arming teachers is hitting closer to home, as hundreds of Ohio teachers sign up for free firearm training courses. The Buckeye Firearms Association near Columbus announced last week, they'd offer free firearms training to teachers and administrators.

Within 10 days, they say more than 600 people applied and the number of applicants is growing. The courses are being offered for free, here in Ohio and in several other states.

In a statement to Channel 3, the Buckeye Firearms Association lawyer said the training is essential "because it gives them an option other than staying in place and hoping the gunman doesn't come into their classroom"

In Ohio, the law prohibits teachers and staff to carry guns in school. The only way around it is if the school board approves it.

January 2, 2013
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - 600 Teachers Apply For Gun Training

It was less than two weeks ago that the Buckeye Firearms Foundation said it would offer 24 Ohio teachers free firearms training.

The group told ABC 6 today, response has been through the roof, with 600 plus applicants.

That list will be whittled down and soon two dozen teachers won't just be taking aim at test scores, they'll be taking aim at stopping violence in schools.

"It's something that needs to happen not only in Ohio, but in other states," said Gerard Valentino, from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "We defend our gold with guns, and leave our kids defenseless."

Valentino says the applicants are from all socio economic backgrounds, all school backgrounds, and all age ranges.

The majority of them have been women.

He also says financial support is pouring in from people in countries with strict gun laws, like Britain, Canada and Australia.

But Valentino says not everyone's on board: the group has gotten disturbing phone calls and emails. "We've had an email where somebody, who pretended to be from the antigun movement, said if they had their way, it would've been the Buckeye Firearms Foundation leaders' children in school at Sandy Hook, instead of 20 innocent children," he said.

But Valentino says that email drives home even more why protecting children in schools is so important.

The training will take place at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County.

ABC 6 reached out to the Ohio Education Association for comment, but they haven't returned our calls.

January 2, 2013
Dayton Daily News - 600 apply for gun training

Hundreds of Ohio school officials have signed up for the free Armed Teacher Training Program offered in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in December.

"There have been over 600 applicants overall, and by now it might be over 600 from Ohio," Jim Irvine, one of the founders of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said Wednesday. "We threw it up on a map and (applicants) cover the whole state. I wouldn't be surprised if we had somebody from each of our 88 counties."

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization that predominantly serves Ohio, reportedly received requests from more than a dozen states regarding its free training offer. Separate gun and defense-related groups in Utah and North Carolina offered similar free training for teachers recently, and also received hundreds of responses.

The idea of whether arming school staff members as a possible solution to school violence is still hotly debated.

"Policy-makers should re-examine the expanded availability of weapons in public places, not add schools to the list," said Ohio Education Association President Patricia Frost-Brooks. "Instead of arming educators, they can enhance school safety with more counselors, better mental health services and partnering with local police to deter violence in schools."

Roughly 70 percent of the applicants were teachers, and there also were administrators, office staff members and guidance counselors.

"There are men and women, from public and private schools, big schools, small schools, the lunch lady, bus driver " the common thread is that they all care about safety," Irvine said. "These people really care about our kids more than the average person realizes. I guess we always knew about that, but it really comes through in their comments."

The foundation agreed to fund the first class of 24, including tuition, ammunition and lodging, at a cost of about $1,000 per participant, via private and corporate donations. Irvine said, after that, there will be a need for sponsors.

"We need to put together some serious funding," he said. "We want to focus on getting one class done excellent first, then review and get feedback from students in class."

...Irvine responded to concerns about teachers being armed or the dangers of increasing the amount of guns in schools, saying the aim is to increase training to people who are already in place to keep kids safe.

"Some people say guns aren't the solution, but when you call 911 you're calling people with guns to make you safe," he said. "The idea here is not guns; the idea is safety and security. Anything we can do to lower that body count. That's what we're after."

Irvine said the curriculum and guidelines of the firearms training program offered to teachers, which is slated to be conducted by the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union starting this spring, is still being developed and will be specific to the school environment.

He said the class would include how to deal with active shooters, barricade techniques, as well as medical training to treat those injured.

"People die from gunshots; from bleeding to death," he said. "In these situations, people can't get into the building until its cleared. The time line just doesn't work. They'll be taught to bandage and about tourniquets if you went to school more than 10 years ago, the world of tourniquets has changed."

He said those who have concealed carry permits and teachers already must pass background checks, but there will be additional background checks for participants in this class. They also may need to pass the same test given to law enforcement personnel some of whom have applied for this class, as well.

Irvine said the bottom line is giving teachers more tools and training.

"Guns are not a solution to every problem, but they can be a tool," he said.

January 2, 2013
Dayton Daily News - Response 'overwhelming' to armed teacher program

A free program to train teachers and school administrators on how to use firearms has gotten an overwhelming response.

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, reports that more than 650 educators in Ohio have expressed interest in the Armed Teacher Training Program.

Irvine's organization decided to offer the program following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Ct., where 20 children and six educators were killed.

Irvine said he knew the training would be popular.

"We're up over 650 people just from Ohio. It's really been an overwhelming response," he said.

Ohio law allows school staff members to carry firearms as long as the school board approves it.

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation is a non-profit educational organization based in Ohio and staffed by volunteers.

Irvine said the idea is to provide educators more advanced training than is required for a concealed carry permit.
The program is still being developed and the first class has not been scheduled.

For more information, visit www.BuckeyeFirearms.org.

January 2, 2013
WJR 700 AM (Detroit)

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was interviewed by WJR's Warren Pierce. Jim discussed the announcement that Buckeye Firearms Foundation (BFF) has launched a pilot program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge.
 

January 2, 2013
WXIX (FOX Cincinnati) - Ohio firearms group provides training to teachers, staff

DELAWARE, OH (FOX19) - The Buckeye Firearms Foundation will be providing free firearms training to teachers and school administrative staff. This announcement following the devastating shooting that left 27 dead at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT in December.

As of Wednesday, the Armed Teacher Training Program has attracted more than 600 applicants from several states including Ohio, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

"We knew this would be popular, but the response has exceeded out expectations," said Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. "People doubted if we would fill the first class. That happened in hours. This is something many in our schools have been asking about for a long time."

While the state of Ohio generally prohibits firearms at school, the law includes a provision that allows teachers and staff to carry firearms if approved by the school board.

The Armed Teacher Training Program is completely voluntary.

"No one will be forced to be armed if they choose not to. The strategy is the same as ordinary concealed carry. No one will ever know who is or is not armed. Those who seek to do harm in schools should be met with armed resistance, even before law enforcement shows up. Over time, schools will no longer be considered easy, risk-free targets."

More than a third of the program's applicants are women.

While 70% of the applicants are teachers, applicants also include administrators, office staff and guidance councilors. More than half of the applicants work in high schools.

Graduates of the Armed Teacher Training Program will have to pass the same test as law enforcement.

The Buckeye Firearm Foundation is a non-profit organization and is funded entirely by private and corporate donations.

The Foundation along with Tactical Defense Institute are currently developing the curriculum and guidelines for the program.

The first class is expected to be in the Spring of 2013.

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