2016 - BFA in the News

Note: some websites change or deactivate stories after we link them here.

December 27, 2016
Xenia GazetteGovernor signs concealed carry legislation

“The bill represents a major step forward for Ohio concealed handgun license holders,” Dean Reick, executive administrator of the Buckeye Firearms Association said.

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“None of this is surprising — Ohio concealed carry instructors remain swamped with demand for their classes,” Buckeye Firearms President Jim Irvine said in the statement. “We were widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours. The reason was simple; we wanted more people to get training. The numbers indicate that the change in required training is having the effect we intended.”

December 26, 2016
WFMJ (NBC Youngstown) - Variety of factors trigger increase in carry concealed permits across Valley

"It's about safety," Jim Irvine said, board member for Buckeye Firearms Association. "Life is fragile and if we do a few things ahead of time to take care of it, like working smoke detectors, wearing seat belts and carrying a firearm, we're safer."

Irvine says mass shootings showcased in news headlines across the country contribute to the rise. He also believes the intense campaign season leading up to the presidential election was a factor.

December 23, 2016
NathanIvey.com - "The Nathan Ivey Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary Joe Eaton was a guest on "The Nathan Ivey Show."

December 22, 2016
Wallethub.com - Should Teachers Be Armed? Experts Pick Sides

“Many lament that ‘guns don’t belong in schools.’ Maybe not. But reality is a harsh mistress. Children should not get cancer either. But they do. Failure to address the problem only results in more loss of life. Some kids need chemo. Some need armed protection. The fact that both are ‘rare’ events is of little comfort when yours is the child in need. We can wait for a cancer diagnosis to begin treatment, but waiting till you need armed protection is like putting a seatbelt on a traffic fatality.”

Jim Irvine // Director, FASTER Saves Lives

December 22, 2016
Sandusky RegisterGovernor signs bill to extend use of concealed carry handguns

The measure, backed by the Buckeye Firearms Association, also allows concealed carry gun owners to leave their guns inside their vehicles on school grounds and in the parking lots of their employer. 

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On its website, the Buckeye Firearms Association says of the new law, "It removes several victim zones — places that are easy for bad people to kill many innocents — such as day care facilities, private aircraft, and public areas of airport terminals." 

The group acknowledges that its many opponents disagreed with expanded access for concealed weapons holders, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Manufacturers' Association, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Prosecuting Attorney's Association and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.

December 21, 2016
Ohio.com - Kasich approves guns on Ohio campuses, in day care centers; UA and KSU hold firm

“The reality is that concealed carry is now mainstream in Ohio,” [Joe] Eaton, treasurer of a gun-advocacy group called Buckeye Firearms Association, said on the group’s website.

“We’re very pleased the governor signed the bill,” Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck, said, also on the group’s website. “There was a lot of controversy over the specifics of the bill, but in the end I think this is a real Christmas gift for Ohio gun owners.”

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December 21, 2016
TheBlaze.com - Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs law allowing concealed carry on college campuses

Anti-Second Amendment groups like Moms Demand Action opposed the new law, while the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association praised the new law as a win for all Ohio citizens who want to exercise their Second Amendment right to own and bear arms.

December 20, 2016
Breitbart News - Record: Ohio Issues Nearly 26,000 Concealed Permits in 3rd Quarter

Buckeye Firearms Association president Jim Irvine observed that gun ownership is “becoming mainstream” in Ohio. And as it does, carrying a gun for self-defense is a natural next step. Irvine said, “Concealed carry used to be mostly hard-core shooters, but it has become increasingly popular with soccer moms and others who just want to be safe in their everyday life.”

December 20, 2016
WLWT (NBC Cincinnati) - With stroke of a pen, Ohio's governor opens door for more guns in more places

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's decision to loosen restrictions on residents who have a license to carry a concealed weapon in the Buckeye State is a big step forward for gun-rights advocates like Joe Eaton.

"The reality is is that concealed carry is now mainstream in Ohio," said Eaton, treasurer of a gun-advocacy group called Buckeye Firearms Association.

Late on Monday, Kasich signed Senate Bill 199 into law.

Eaton explained to WLWT investigator Todd Dykes what the new law means for licensed gun owners in Ohio.

"Private business owners or public entities can no longer restrict individuals with a concealed handgun license from storing their lawfully owned firearm in the car while they're at work or at the business."

The law, which takes effect in 90 days, also means licensed gun owners may be able to carry a concealed handgun into local government buildings and into day cares.

"You can now legally carry into some of the restricted areas, such as in the non-secure areas of airports, in day care centers, unless the day care center decides to post a sign just like any other business," Eaton said, pointing out private businesses will still be able to post signs prohibiting guns.

"Also, now colleges will have the ability to allow concealed carry by their students or staff should they choose to," Eaton added.

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Eaton thinks it's only a matter of time before students and professors with CCWs roam the halls of Ohio's institutions of higher education.

"We're going to see a lot of universities that are allowing the students and staff to make their own choices," Eaton said.

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In a statement, the Buckeye Firearms Association credited Ohio lawmakers Ron Maag of Lebanon and Joe Uecker of Miami Township for sponsoring the bills that formed the basis of the law Gov. Kasich signed.

December 20, 2016
Toledo BladeKasich signs weapons, puppy bills

“The bottom line is we will have a state law that prohibits employers from adopting discriminatory policies,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “That will protect employees who work for businesses that now have those policies.

“They can protect themselves and their lives as they go to and from work …,” he said. “A lot of people don’t carry at all because they’re afraid of making a mistake at work. Now they can make it a part of their daily lives.”

December 19, 2016
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's Cam Edwards on Cam & Company. Click here to view the segment.

December 19, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Governor Signs 17 Bills Including Expanded Concealed Carry Law Impacting Colleges, Daycares, Employers

Pro-gun groups, meanwhile, applauded the signing.

"We're very pleased the governor signed the bill," Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck said. "There was a lot of controversy over the specifics of the bill, but in the end I think this is a real Christmas gift for Ohio gun owners."

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[L]awmakers were able to successfully insert a provision that restricts employers from prohibiting employees from keeping guns in vehicles on employer property and language specifying an employer is not liable for incidents arising from a stored firearm.

Ohio Chamber of Commerce Director of Labor and Legal Affairs Don Boyd said the group still harbors concerns and will continue reviewing the measure in order to provide more guidance to its members going forward.

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But Mr. Rieck said that without such a provision, gun owners are essentially deprived of their Second Amendment right and unable to carry their firearms the entire day.

Regarding the removal of the protected class language, he said the association is still reviewing the final language. "We think that overall we've taken a few steps forward," he said.

December 19, 2016
Cleveland.com - Gov. John Kasich signs bill to allow concealed carry at colleges, daycares

The Buckeye Firearms Association and National Rifle Association supported the measure.

December 16, 2016
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Ohio sets new record for new concealed carry permits in the third quarter

In a statement, the Buckeye Firearms Association pointed to similar concerns.  

"It is always difficult to assign specific reasons for behavior. Certainly multiple high profile terrorist attacks internationally, and at home have contributed to people taking an interest in their own safety. Many people thought the terror would end following Ramadan, then the election, but it is clear that terror is something we will have to deal with in our country going forward."

December 15, 2016
Dayton Daily NewsOhio’s concealed handgun licenses up 59 percent in third quarter

“None of this is surprising,” Jim Irvine, board president of Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a press release. “Ohio concealed carry instructors remain swamped with demand for their classes.”

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“We were widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours,” Irvine added. “The reason was simple; we wanted more people to get training. The numbers indicate that the change in required training is having the effect we intended.”

December 15, 2016
Columbus DispatchRecord 25,474 concealed-carry permits issued in Ohio during 3rd quarter

The Buckeye Firearms Association, which has tracked permit numbers since concealed carry was authorized in 2004, said there are now 574,000 active permits in Ohio and the state recognizes 12.3 million permits from other states.

The new Ohio total for the first nine months this year is 93,851.

Jim Irvine, president of the association, said that gun ownership is "becoming mainstream" and that concealed-carry instructors are "swamped with demand for their classes."

"Concealed carry used to be mostly hard-core shooters, but it has become increasingly popular with soccer moms and others who just want to be safe in their everyday life," he said.

Irvine suggested that "multiple high-profile terrorist attacks internationally, and at home" might have triggered great interest in gun purchases and permits.

December 14, 2016
LockandLoadRadio.com - "Lock N Load with Bill Frady"

Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary Jim Irvine was a guest on "Lock N Load with Bill Frady."

December 14, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Number Of Concealed Handgun License Holders Continues To Rise

More than 574,000 Ohioans now hold CHLs, a figure the Buckeye Firearms Association touted in a news release Wednesday.

"None of this is surprising," Jim Irvine, board president of the group, said in a statement. "Ohio concealed carry instructors remain swamped with demand for their classes."

"We were widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours. The reason was simple; we wanted more people to get training. The numbers indicate that the change in required training is having the effect we intended."

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Jennifer Thorne, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence...credited the continued rise in the number of license holders to groups like the BFA.

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"Certainly multiple high profile terrorist attacks internationally, and at home have contributed to people taking an interest in their own safety. Many people thought the terror would end following Ramadan, then the election, but it is clear that terror is something we will have to deal with in our country going forward," the group said.

It also said that CHLs are becoming mainstream. At one time, the group said, most CHL holders were "hard core gun owners." But CHLs are now becoming more prevalent with "soccer moms and others."

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According to the Buckeye Firearms Association, the odds are now one in 16 that any adult has a CHL.

December 11, 2016
GunTalk.com - "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Sean Maloney was a guest on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk."

December 11, 2016
WBZI 1500 AM's "Classic Country Outdoor" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on "Classic Country Outdoor" with co-hosts David Linkhart and Larry Moore. 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 9, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Neither side happy with concealed-carry law's expansion

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was frustrated, particularly by the veto power given to local governments to forbid guns on their properties.

"It's a problem we really wanted to address, but it's a train wreck. It creates a lot of gray areas," he said. "I hate half solving a problem."

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Are concealed guns likely to be approved on Ohio's public and private college campuses? Irvine doubts Ohio State University will permit concealed carry, but said "multiple universities are anxiously awaiting a chance to do this." He declined to identify them.

December 8, 2016
TheTrace.com
(An anti-gun, Michael Bloomberg-funded website) - Ohio Is About to Give Gun Owners More Civil Rights Protections Than Gay Workers

The National Rifle Association testified in favor of the bill, as did the Buckeye Firearms Association, a local Ohio gun advocacy organization.

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Sean Maloney, legislative director for the Buckeye Firearms Association, says he knew this amendment would be added to SB 199 “for weeks” ahead of time. Maloney tells The Trace he worked with the sponsor of the original Senate bill for more than two years, and was prepared enough to send one of his staffers to testify in favor of this employment discrimination amendment this week. “There was nothing sneaky or secretive about this,” he says.

The amendment is needed so “I can at least carry to and from my place of employment, and secure my firearm in my car,” Maloney explains.

He dismisses concerns that once the law is passed, criminals could more easily steal the weapons from legal gun owners who feel encouraged to leave them in cars. “If someone is going to commit the criminal act of breaking into a car, and the additional criminal act of stealing a firearm, how is that the owner’s fault?” he asks. “I don’t feel like my rights and ability to defend my life should be restricted because of the actions of a criminal.”

He adds that, “If there’s more gun theft, that’s probably just because there are more guns” in America than ever before.

December 8, 2016
Dayton Daily NewsOhio Senate OKs concealed guns in government buildings, colleges

“Clearly employers have no right to restrict what employees possess when the employee is not on company property, not on company time and not in a company vehicle,” said Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association in written testimony.

December 7, 2016
Cleveland.com - Concealed carry expansion bill clears Ohio Senate, House to consider discrimination protections for permit holders

The National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association supported the measure, saying active shooters often target gun-free zones because victims won't be armed.

December 7, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Making gun carriers a protected class draws fire from business groups

The National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association argue that employers have no right to restrict what employees keep in their personal cars while working.

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the more than 20 states that have passed similar laws have not seen the type of problems that business groups are raising. The chamber said those states have not gone the route of making concealed-carry permit holders a protected class.

Irvine called it “ludicrous” to block someone from keeping a gun in a car just because the car is parked on company property.

“I think their concerns are really overblown. What gives the employer the right to get inside private automobiles?” he said. “The chamber’s position is that their rights are more important than the personal individual’s.”

By prohibiting an employee from keeping a gun in a vehicle in a company’s parking lot, Irvine said, the employer also is essentially preventing the worker from carrying the gun to and from home.

“You are dictating that I cannot defend myself to and from work,” he said. “What about the 25-year-old mother? Are they willing to take financial responsibility and liability for her protection since they are ordering her not to have a gun? You cannot disarm your employees.”

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Buckeye Firearms Association has sent an action alert for members to call lawmakers and push them to pass the bill.

December 6, 2016
Gongwer News Service - House Panel Approves Amendment Making Concealed Handgun Licensees Protected Class

A House committee on Tuesday approved an amendment that would make those with Concealed Handgun Licenses a protected class when it comes to employment discrimination.

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Buckeye Firearms and the National Rifle Association supported the amendment in testimony, likening firearm owners to other protected classes against which employers may not currently discriminate.

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Buckeye Firearms Board President Jim Irvine argued that vehicles are the personal property of employees. Just like Bibles left in a vehicle are not an employer's business, he said, the same is true of firearms.

"This amendment is narrowly tailored to only apply to those people with a Concealed Handgun License, and only in private vehicles," Mr. Irvine said. "It does not extend to the building of an employer or to employer owned vehicles."

Rep. Michael Curtin (D-Marble Cliff) questioned whether there are any cases in which an employer has terminated an employee for possessing a weapon on their personal property.

"Yes, we're aware of several," Mr. Irvine replied. He said between 20 and 30 states have enacted similar legislation; although Mr. Boyd said no state have taken the tract to make CHL holders a protected class.

December 6, 2016
AnEconomyofOne.com - "An Economy of One"

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on "An Economy of One" with host Gary Rathbun. "An Economy of One" is syndicated regionally on 1370 WSPD, 640 WHLO and 1280 WONW, and nationally on the Radio America Network and via iHeartMedia.

December 6, 2016
Columbus DispatchExpanded concealed-carry gun bill nearing Senate vote

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told committee members that passage of the bill would help remove "victim zones" — areas where guns are forbidden, "creating safe locations for those intending to commit mass murder."

Qualified Ohioans have the constitutional and fundamental right to own and carry guns, Irvine said, noting the bill allows college trustees, local officials and day-care centers to decide whether to permit guns on their properties.

November 30, 2016
WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Concealed carry law could allow handguns on campus property

The Buckeye Firearms Association is backing the gun bill.

“This is something that license holders want, it is good law it’s copying what has worked in other states. At the end of the day it is not as controversial as today’s testimony makes it out to be,” said Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association.

November 30, 2016
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's Cam Edwards on Cam & CompanyClick here to view the segment.

November 28, 2016
LockandLoadRadio.com - "Lock N Load with Bill Frady"

Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary Joe Eaton was a guest on "Lock N Load with Bill Frady." Click here to view the segment.

November 6, 2016
Bucyrus Telegraph-ForumMore Ohio schools arm teachers to shoot attackers

Districts have long been allowed by state law to authorize specific staff members such as teachers, custodians or administrators to carry concealed weapons. Few, if any, districts were known to have done so — until the December 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, when 20 children and six adults were fatally shot by a gunman in Connecticut.

Following that incident, the Columbus-based Buckeye Firearms Association, which advocates for gun ownership and fewer gun control laws, began more actively promoting the arming of school staff, along with spearheading a training program for school employees who want to carry concealed firearms in schools. The West Union-based Tactical Defense Institute, funded by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said that it has trained staff members from 175 districts around the state to carry concealed firearms.

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Training is crucial for armed staff members to be effective, said Joe Eaton, who runs the institute.

“All you have to have is a concealed handgun license and permission from the school board,” he said. “But most schools realize that getting additional specialized training on these kind of events is necessary.”

November 4, 2016
MediaMatters.org - Donald Trump’s “Second Amendment Coalition" Includes NRA Board Member Who Compared Gun Safety Push To The Holocaust

Other NRA board members joining Trump’s coalition include Jim Gilmore, Dave Butz, Richard Childress, Alan Cors, Carolyn Meadows, Craig Morgan, and Linda Walker. [Walker is also Vice President of Buckeye Firearms Association.]

November 3, 2016
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's Cam Edwards on Cam & Company.

October 27, 2016
BGIndependentMedia.org - Middle ground hard to find in discussion over gun violence & gun rights

Tom Klein opened the panel on gun violence Thursday night with a caveat. The panel, organized by a group of local residents concerned about gun violence, wasn’t as balanced as they had hoped.

They planned to have two representatives from those advocating the broadest gun rights, instead the panel had one, Michael Temple, a part-time NRA instructor [and Buckeye Firearms Assoc. volunteer].  The NRA put the kibosh on the appearance of another representative, and the organizers’ attempts to find someone else proved futile.

So Temple was joined by Toby Hoover, founder of the Ohio Coalition against Gun Violence, and three academics who study aspects of gun violence.

Before the panel really got underway, though, it became evident that the beliefs in the audience of more than 120 would provide a counter to those of the majority of the panel.

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...Temple asserted the value of the good guy with the gun, saying that those intent on mayhem pick soft targets that prohibit guns.

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Temple said that “driving is a privilege” while owning a gun is an enumerated right protected by the Second Amendment.

The NRA was not opposed to gun safety measures. The NRA does not oppsed[sic] research into and marketing of smart guns. The NRA does oppose making smart guns mandatory so that would be the only gun people were allowed to own or use.

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Temple said the pro-gun group was concerned the money [funding the CDC] would go to researchers who were biased. He said there are studies on the effect of guns out there, citing a researcher on a pro-gun site.

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But the vulnerability several speakers were concerned about was of criminals bursting into their homes in the middle of the night intent on doing violence to them and their families.

Temple said in that case someone without a gun is going to have to call 9-1-1 and summon a police officer who is armed.

 

October 16, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Bills stymied that aim to reduce Ohio kids’ accidental shootings

Jim Irvine, the board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said education works better than laws.

“The problem with all this legislation is it won’t solve the problem,” said Irvine, of suburban Cleveland. “I can’t write the law that makes us perfect. Parents are responsible for their kids. You can’t pass a law that makes an irresponsible parent responsible.”

Dean Rieck, the association’s executive director, wondered how safe-storage laws would be enforced in Ohio. “Are we going to be going into people’s homes inspecting firearms?” he said.

“What we need is more education than intrusive legislation.”

October 9, 2016
WBZI 1500 AM's "Classic Country Outdoor" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Treasurer Joe Eaton was a guest on "Classic Country Outdoor" with co-hosts David Linkhart and Larry Moore. 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.

September 23, 2016
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - 
Coshocton schools move closer to arming staff with guns

Following the conceal and carry training, the staff members participated in the FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response) training. Each staff member was required to pass a qualification test and sheriff's officials say ongoing training through the sheriff's office will be mandatory in order for them to be permitted to carry a gun in school. 

September 22, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Fake guns look real; real guns look fake

Firearms manufacturers began producing many of today’s stylish guns to cater to women, who are the fastest growing sector in shooting sports, said Linda Walker, a firearms instructor and member of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

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“If someone points a gun at me, I am immediately forced to make a decision,” Walker said. “It’s not something I get to ponder on for the next two minutes.”

September 20, 2016
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's John Popp on Cam & Company. Click here to view the segment.

September 16, 2016
Cincinnati News - When friends become foes: Ted Strickland's fundraising woes

The NRA was among Strickland's top donors in 2000, giving $9,900 to the Congressman's re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Its Ohio affiliate, Buckeye Firearms Association, donated $2,500 to Strickland's campaigns for governor.

September 12, 2016
Canton RepositoryNRA opens campaign field office in Plain Township

"It is an office that is here to coordinate volunteer efforts for endorsed candidates," said James Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association, who will volunteer to support the NRA's political outreach efforts here.

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During the days leading up to the Nov. 8 General Election, volunteers at the NRA field office will make "phone calls and probably organize some literature drops; door-to-door (campaigning)," Irvine said. "The NRA is a huge grass-roots organization."

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"The NRA is not a Republican or Democratic (advocate)," Irvine said. "Party affiliation does not matter. It is the issues."

But Fairfax, Va.,-based organization prefers Trump in this presidential election largely because he is "pro-Second Amendment," explained Irvine. "The Second Amendment is a misunderstood thing. It is lot bigger than a gun. It involves sport, hunting, self-defense, exercise of civil rights. She (Clinton) is very hostile to the Second Amendment."

September 8, 2016
AmmoLand.com - Waiting Your Turn, Seconds Count, Police are Still Minutes Away

The lessons have not been lost on law enforcement and education agencies, which have adopted remedies ranging from the ground-up Argyle School District armed staff program in rural north Texas to Ohio’s FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) course.

FASTER training of school staff is a collaboration between the private shooting school Tactical Defense Institute and Ohio gun rights group the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. As in the Argyle School District, school boards and administrators provide the local impetus to improve school security.  FASTER training covers the well-known intense physical and mental stresses of life-threatening encounters. Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Young, DRGO’s chief editor, provides expert commentary for Bird on the effects of stress on recall of the crucial details of a shooting.

Bird actually participated in the FASTER course and ALICE training, another on-site response framework run by a former Texas SWAT officer and a businessman collaborator in Cleveland. ALICE is the acronym for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.”

A central theme of Bird’s is the organic origins of both the FASTER and ALICE programs.  They were conceived by former law enforcement officers as a response to mass shootings (or killings, as Bird generically couches the term), and not by government bureaucrats.  Columbine and Sandy Hook did reorder bureaucratic thinking about response strategies, but real-world change was brought about by local experts—the likes of the FASTER and ALICE creators, local school boards, and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

September 8, 2016
Cleveland.com - PTSD and Guns: Exploring the Limits of the Law

Jim Irvine, board president for the Buckeye Firearms Association, {said} "the vast majority of people who have PTSD are nit unsafe with guns. They're not unsafe around your kids."

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Irvine dismissed the notion that officials could effectively identify someone who could become violent, comparing it to "Minority Report," the Philip K. Dick short story that served as the inspiration for the movie of the same name.

"It's like [trying to identify] someone who has never committed a crime but is planning to commit a robbery or a murder," said Irvine.

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Several gun control and gun legislation advocates say they support laws that allow law enforcement agencies or family members to petition a court for a gun violence protection order.

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Irvine does not believe such laws are necessary. Officers in many states can temporarily seize guns from people who are suicidal or charged in domestic violence incidents, he argued.

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Gun control organizations said requiring universal background checks for gun sales would help prevent people with court-recognized mental illnesses from getting guns.

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But Irvine cautioned that anyone prohibited from possessing a gun could get one illegally. He also argued that officials at the federal and state level should focus on ensuring that existing records are accurate before expaning background checks.

"If you pass a law, irresponsible people aren't going to follow it, because they're irresponsible," he said.

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Irvine cautioned that any attempts to force a person to get treatment could be counterproductive.

"You want the people around that [mentally-ill] person to get a court order. The problem is, once they're adjudicated, they lose their rights," Irvine said. "Parents don't want their kids to permanently lose their rights, so there's a disincentive to do what is right."

Legislation that temporarily removes guns from a mentally-ill person or forces them to get treatment should allow the person to get those rights back after meeting certain criteria, Irvine suggested.

August 31, 2016
Norwalk ReflectorPoll: 85% of Ohio gun owners support Trump

In a recent poll, Ohio gun owners overwhelmingly named Donald Trump as their choice for President.

Buckeye Firearms Association conducted the poll Aug. 22 to 24, with 2,416 gun owners responding to the question "Which of the following presidential candidates do you plan to vote for?"

The result? More than 85 percent indicated Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, as their choice for President. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received nearly 9%, with Democrat Hillary Clinton receiving nearly 2 percent. Green Party candidate Jill Stein barely registered. There were also write-in candidates accounting for 1.5 percent.

"This is an eye-opening poll," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association. "We expected Trump to have more support than other candidates, but we were surprised at how one-sided the results were.

"Perhaps even more surprising, it's not just Republican gun owners who support Trump. Only 64 percent of respondents identified as Republican. So Trump is definitely getting strong crossover support from those in other parties,” Rieck added.

Two other interesting results:

Undecided voters totaled just 1.5 percent. Combining undecided voters with those planning to not vote account for only 2 percent of those polled.

The poll also asked "How sure are you about your decision?" Two percent said they could easily change their mind, 14 percent said they probably won't change their mind, and 82 percent said they will not change their mind.

Rieck said these numbers may show there is more enthusiasm in this election than some pundits believe. "Political analysts have been saying that a lot of voters might stay home, especially voters who lean right. But our numbers indicate that gun owners have overwhelmingly made up their mind and will show up at the polls. And with an estimated 4 million gun owners in Ohio, this could hand Trump a win in the Buckeye state."

Are these results revealing for overall general election results? There is no disagreement among political analysts. Gun owners are perhaps the most active and engaged voters in the country. Having fought for their Constitutional rights for decades against overwhelming odds, they are battle-hardened, politically educated, and vote with religious fervor. Many political pundits believe gun owners have made the difference in past elections.

Rieck points out that guns are not just a niche issue. "Gun rights represent a powerful bellwether issue. When a candidate strongly supports the Second Amendment, it's likely that candidate also supports concepts such as smaller government and greater personal liberty. So a significant portion of the voting population look to this issue to make political decisions."

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

August 28, 2016
Breitbart News - Ohio’s ‘Tea Party for Trump’ Builds Grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote Machine

Local representatives of the National Rifle Association’s political arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, provided details about the get-out-the vote program, and Linda Walker, a board member of the NRA in Ohio, explained the importance of the presidential election this year.

“If Hillary is elected, our God-given rights will be on her target,” Walker told the audience.

August 23, 2016
WLWT (NBC Cincinnati) - Confronting deadly school violence: Teaching teachers how to shoot back

ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio —The start of a new school year is always an exciting time for students, but that excitement has been tarnished in recent years by extreme acts of violence.

School shootings, including one in February in Butler County which left four students injured, have led to a new trend.

WLWT News 5 investigative reporter Todd Dykes discovered a growing number of educators are now carrying guns in the classroom.

But in most cases, parents have no idea.

"Really, the schools all have the local control," Joe Eaton said. "They know who is going to the sound of that gunfire anyway. All this does is give them the tools and the training when they show up to have other options so they can go home at the end of the day."

Eaton is the director of a program called Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, or FASTER.

The purpose of the program is to teach teachers how to neutralize a potentially deadly threat inside a school as quickly as possible and then treat anyone who gets hurt.

In a promotional publication, Eaton writes: "The FASTER program was developed after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School by concerned parents, school administrators, law enforcement and nationally-recognized safety and medical experts. FASTER is a groundbreaking nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training at no cost to the school district. What started in 2013 as a pilot program with 24 educators from Ohio has now grown into a national multi-year curriculum involving the entire community in making schools safer from active killer events."

Dykes traveled to the Technical Defense Institute in Adams County to observe the kind of training available for educators interested in the FASTER program.

The training exercises paint terrifying scenes.

In one role-playing scenario, a teacher portrayed a gunman who started firing a fake weapon during an after-school pep rally.

The teacher playing the role of the gunman shouted, "I'm going to kill every one of you."

Then, another school worker, whose mission was to stop the threat, rushed to the scene.

In a flash, the shooter was on the ground, taken out by a man who could have been anyone from a math teacher to a cafeteria worker.

Eaton knows the scenario might seem alarming, but he said every second counts.

"When you understand the problem and when you talk to the experts, they tell you that time is simply the only thing that matters," Eaton said. "You'll never stop these 100 percent of the time, but you have to eliminate as much damage as possible. And you do that by having somebody that can effectively stop the killing inside of the building."

In the exercise Dykes witnessed, that "somebody" was an educator who has a license to carry a handgun, just like one of the school officials he talked to.

"You always ask yourself, 'What if?' We don't want to be the district that says, ‘What if we would have done this? What if we would have done that?’" Easton said.

The school administrator Dykes spoke with asked to remain anonymous because he doesn't want the public to know he's packing heat when he's at his Ohio school.

State law lets Ohio school boards decide if staff members with concealed carry licenses can have weapons on school grounds.

Since it's an issue involving school safety, officials don't have to tell anyone if a teacher has a gun.

"We don't publicize the fact that we're carrying," the school administrator said. "But we are very confident in the fact that, in the people that do carry. We have a safety team. We screen every applicant that wants to carry."

The administrator said teachers who have weapons in his district undergo intensive training which is made possible by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

"They fund the whole thing. It doesn't cost our school district anything other than our ammunition and our sidearms. So, why not do it?" he said.

Eaton said interest in the FASTER program is growing, with educators from other states, not just Ohio, making the trek to Adams County and other training facilities to learn more.

"When we first announced this, we were ridiculed in the media on whether we could even find 24 teachers who would want to sign up for this," Eaton said. "By the time we put on the first training class in the spring of 2013, we had a waiting list of over a thousand school staff. That list now is over 2,000, and it just keeps growing, and we simply cannot process them through fast enough."

A non-profit arm of a pro-gun group called Buckeye Firearms Association foots the bill for the cost of the FASTER training program, making Eaton worried about its sustainability.

"All of our funding to date has come from individuals who understand that this is the most viable solution that we know of to date," Eaton said.

One man who believes deeply in the concept of the FASTER program is Jack Benner.

"We've believed in this for a very long time, but never thought we would have an opportunity to do it," Benner said. "After Sandy Hook, everything changed."

Benner helped create the FASTER training program for teachers after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, a tragedy which claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 staff members.

Benner says it took workers at Sandy Hook approximately five minutes to call 911 during the massacre there.

"And then it took three minutes to get the first officer on the scene," Benner said. "Three minutes is a long time before somebody gets there for somebody to do a tremendous amount of damage."

So instead of relying on officers from outside agencies, teachers with CCWs are trained as the first line of defense and as first responders.

"There have been more than one person that have bled out inside a school because the paramedics aren't coming until law enforcement secures the scene," Benner said.

While some may recoil at the thought of arming educators, people close to the FASTER program said they've yet to find a better solution.

"Waiting on outside help to get there and solve the problem only costs lives," Eaton said.

That sentiment was echoed by the superintendent of a school district near Dayton, Ohio.

He, too, asked to remain anonymous.

"I don't think it should be pushed upon anybody who's not comfortable with guns," the superintendent said. "But we're here to protect your children. You know, those are your children. Those are my children in that school. We will do whatever it takes to keep our children safe."

Eaton said educators from schools in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren Counties, for example, have all been through the program.

"At the end of 2015, we had already worked with over 450 school staff from 152 districts, and that was in 63 of Ohio's 88 counties," Eaton said.

Dykes discussed the FASTER program with Jon Akers, the executive director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety.

While Kentucky law also lets school boards decide if teachers with concealed carry licenses can have a gun in the classroom, Akers believes no district in the Bluegrass State has allowed that to happen.

He believes it's a similar story in neighboring Indiana.

Akers said he's "adamantly opposed" to arming educators and said "teachers and principals did not sign up to be cops."

He also said he's under the impression that allowing armed educators in classrooms can cause a spike in insurance rates school districts have to pay.

Akers cited a list of organizations which he says are also against the concept of having teachers with CCWs in schools, including the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Education Association, the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Kentucky Association of Secondary School Principals, the Kentucky Association of Elementary School Principals, the Kentucky School Boards Association, the Kentucky Educators Association and the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.

Rather than train teachers to face the possibility of ending a violent threat in a school building, Akers would like to see districts utilize retired law enforcement officers and military veterans.

That's in addition to school resource officers.

Akers shared a study done by Sheldon Greenberg, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, which concludes, ".. the concept of arming teachers and other school officials as a means to prevent and mitigate multiple casualty shootings and other violent encounters presents greater concerns than it seeks to resolve. The success of a teacher or other school official using a gun to end an active shooter situation is unlikely."

A case against arming teachers // Arming teachers to mitigate school shootings

Back at Tactical Defense Institute Dykes spoke to one school resource officer who knows the FASTER program has critics.

As was the case with the other school workers, Dykes talked to the SRO also asked that WLWT not reveal his name, though he acknowledged he works in the Edgerton School District in northwest Ohio.

Parents in his district have been told that selected teachers with CCWs carry guns at school after taking part in the FASTER program, though he knows school leaders could have kept the news quiet.

"Under Ohio law school safety plans are confidential," the SRO said. "That's confidential information. We don't tell everyone exactly what we do if there's a bomb threat. We don't release that information. And so this fits within that same realm."

The SRO continued, "Each district's dynamics are a little different. And so those districts need to respond to the needs of their district and their community."

The concept of arming teachers is controversial, to say the least.

But the SRO says it makes sense, especially in smaller districts that don't have a lot of money to spend on security.

"If you have staff in the school, properly trained, properly equipped, they're there, all the time, ready to go in a voluntary capacity. And that's a huge game-changer."

The training is the key component, he said.

"When this concept came up in our district the thought process was, that some people had was, 'OK, we're just going to have a rack of shotguns in the office. As people come in we'll toss them a shotgun, here you go,'" the SRO said. "And the problem with that is it's completely unreasonable and unsafe. I couldn't tolerate that from a safety standpoint. But instead, this extensive, involved, in-depth training really makes a difference. And it's not just the firearms side of it. It's the medical side of it. It's the thought-process side. When something happens, there's a critical incident, people freeze up. This training helps overcome that, so they can think, 'OK, call 911. Let's get some backup here. Where's the medical kit? Who's going to make sure they meet the police officers when they arrive to get them where they need to go? Who's going to make sure that the ambulance can get the stretcher up the stairs?' It's thinking about all those different things. And it just makes people safer, fundamentally across the board."

One woman Dykes talked to agreed.

Not only is she an elementary school teacher in Ohio, she's also a mom with a license to carry a gun.

"I have my CCW and I'm carrying in the school," the woman said. "But I don't want anyone to know that because if a killer comes in and they know who I am they're going to come after me first."

That perspective underscores why most districts don't want the general public to know if they support having teachers with weapons on a school's campus.

But the woman feels empowered, knowing if there were an incident involving deadly violence at her school she would be ready to take action.

"It's nice knowing that if something does happen I can protect my kids. And my own children are in my school district, and it's so nice to know I can protect my own children in my building, and I know they'll be protected by other teachers as well."

Eaton wishes more districts would publicize the fact educators are going through the FASTER training program.

"We think they should be public to let them know that they are doing everything to keep their kids safe, and they have armed staff there for the protection of their children and for their staff," Eaton said. "But also they should not know specifically who it is, and that is for the safety of the staff that is in this program."

Dykes reached out to a random sampling of schools in Greater Cincinnati to see if they have policies which allow teachers to carry weapons or if school board members have discussed the idea, even behind closed doors.

The schools that responded all indicated they do not allow educators with concealed carry licenses to have a gun at school.

August 23, 2016
Breitbart News - Ohio: Teachers Carry Guns, Receive Training to Take Out ‘Active Killers’

Teachers are increasingly armed in Ohio, and those who carry are being taught to take out “active killers” via “practical violence response training.”

The training takes place at the Technical Defense Institute in Adams County, Ohio, where teachers from throughout the state take part in Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) courses if their local districts allow armed teachers.

According to WLWT, Technical Defense Institute’s Joe Easton explained the FASTER course:

"The FASTER program was developed after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School by concerned parents, school administrators, law enforcement and nationally-recognized safety and medical experts. FASTER is a groundbreaking nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training at no cost to the school district. What started in 2013 as a pilot program with 24 educators from Ohio has now grown into a national multi-year curriculum involving the entire community in making schools safer from active killer events."

The course is full of role-playing scenarios where teachers and students come under fire in various situations by suspects with fake weapons. The goal is to teach preparedness of mind and enough tactical understanding that teachers/administrators/staff can respond quickly instead of freezing in shock. The scenarios are violent and intense.

Eaton said, “Really, the schools all have the local control. They know who is going to the sound of that gunfire anyway. All this does is give them the tools and the training when they show up to have other options so they can go home at the end of the day.”

An unidentified school administrator spoke to WLWT about carrying guns after receiving training, saying, “We don’t publicize the fact that we’re carrying. But we are very confident… in the people that do carry. We have a safety team. We screen every applicant that wants to carry.”

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation is funding training for teachers who wish to attend FASTER in order to carry in their home district, if allowable.

July 21, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Gun Group Responds To Thomas Bill Plans

Guns: Legislation one lawmaker plans to introduce that would allow municipalities to restrict open or concealed carry of firearms during events of regional or national significance is unnecessary and will not make anyone safer, according to Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Mr. Rieck said the proposal harkens back a decade to the days of the battle over the state's preemption law, which created uniformity in gun law across Ohio.

"Maybe he's forgetting about this. But what he wants to do is take Ohio back 10 years," he said.

Despite various protests during the week at the RNC in Cleveland, Mr. Rieck said there have been very few problems.

"They're not having any problems up there," he said. "I think this is much ado about nothing."

July 20, 2016
Associated Press - Ohio proposal aims to give cities some control over guns

Dean Rieck, executive director of the pro-gun rights group Buckeye Firearms Association, said Thomas' proposal goes against settled law.

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the state's pre-emption law in a 2010 ruling.

"This is not going to happen," Rieck said of the legislation. "I think it's much ado about nothing."

July 19, 2016
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's Cam Edwards on Cam & Company. Click here to view the segment.

July 18, 2016
Sandusky RegisterOpen carry gun law stands

A gun rights group denounced a request for a temporary ban on weapons inside the perimeter at the Republican National Convention, calling it “outrageous.” 

"We applaud the response of Gov. Kasich," said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association based in Delaware County. "In response to this shocking request, he correctly stated that he does not have the power to arbitrarily suspend laws and constitutional rights."

July 18, 2016
CNN - Cleveland Braces for Protests; Police Union Calls for Law Suspension

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We are the law and order candidates. And we're the law and order party. We're going to change things around. There's going to be respect again for law and order. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: But when it comes to the Republican Convention, one of my next guests wants action right now. His name is Stephen Loomis. He's the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association, the city's largest police union. He's the man calling on Governor John Kasich to temporarily suspend the state's open carry laws during the -- during the convention. I'm also joined by Jim Irvine, board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which has called Loomis' idea, quote, "shocking and outrageous." 

Welcome to both of you. 

Stephen, I will start with you. 

STEPHEN LOOMIS, PRES., CLEVELAND POLICE PATROLMEN'S ASSOCIATION: Yes, ma'am. 

COSTELLO: Why do you think it's important that the open carry law be suspended, at least during the convention? 

LOOMIS: It only -- is very important only during the convention. We're calling on Governor Kasich to issue a declared emergency, given the events, the tragic events and the murders of police officers across the country right now. We have three --

COSTELLO: Why would having -- why would seeing a protester with a gun slung over his shoulder, why would that be dangerous for police? 

LOOMIS: Because we don't know who that person is or what their intention is at this point. And at this unfortunate stage in our history, it's going to divert attention away from police officers. My grandmother could come in here with an AR-15 on her back and there's going to be six police officers that are going to be watching her, when they should be watching for other things, how to protect us and protect the people here. 

We're not trying to be unreasonable here. We're asking for a three-day ban on the state law for the open carry. And that makes sense. It's irresponsible for anybody to come down here with an open carry. It's not outrageous. It's not any of the other things. 

COSTELLO: So, Jim, why is that so outrageous, a three-day temporary ban to Ohio's open carry law, just around the convention here? 

JIM IRVINE, PRES., BUCKEYE FIREARMS ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Because if you can do it for the convention, we can do it for the Cavs parade, we can do it when the Indians win the World Series, we can do it for the Fourth of July. It's on a whim. Who sets the standards on this? We have a rule of law. What's outrageous is a law enforcement officer --

COSTELLO: Wait a minute, you're saying it's on a whim? It's not a whim. It comes after three police officers were gunned down in Baton Rouge. 

LOOMIS: Eight police officers. 

COSTELLO: Well, if you count Dallas, right? 

IRVINE: But -- well, yes, but look at those. We need to be focusing not on the people who are just open carrying a firearm who are visible who we can watch and see and police can monitor. We need to focus on the guy who's hiding in the parking garage trying to pick off our cops. Their lives are in danger this week. I'm in absolute agreement on that. And they need -- they've got a tough job. But we need to focus on where the real threat is. Having our law enforcement officers calling for suspension of the law isn't going to help the law-abiding. 

COSTELLO: So, Stephen, when Jim says we should focus on the guys hiding in parking garages --

LOOMIS: Yes.

COSTELLO: Like targeting police --

LOOMIS: How do we know the difference? Again, reality, this is not an attack on the Second Amendment. We're constitutionalists, police officers are. We love and we support and we defend with our lives, as was proven in Dallas, the Constitution of the United States. Jim knows very well that I went down and testified -- I was one of the only police unions that testified on behalf of the CCW laws that we currently have in place here in Ohio. So it has nothing to do with anything other than being common sense. Giving us a break. Make our jobs a little bit easier for this three-day period of time. And if that's unreasonable to anybody, then I don't really care. You know, I'm sorry. We don't want anybody getting hurt. 

[09:40:00] COSTELLO: Jim -- Jim, your thoughts? I mean Stephen says, you know, it's just common sense. Help us out. Give us a break. We just lost, you know, we just lost three of our brothers. 

IRVINE: And our hearts go out to them and their families. I mean it -- it is tragic what's going on in our country right now. And Steve and I have known each other for probably 15 years. We do agree the vast majority of the time. I strongly disagree with him on this. I agree that it will make their jobs easier, but the purpose of law is not to make law enforcement's jobs easier. It's to uphold our rule of law. This isn't unusual for Ohio. Forty-five --

LOOMIS: It's not easier, it's safer, Jim. I'm not -- I'm not -- I'm not asking for safer, I'm asking for --

IRVINE: Forty-five states have open --

LOOMIS: I'm not asking for easier, I'm asking for safer.

IRVINE: Forty-five states have open carry. It's been the case. And all of the stuff that's going to be in Philadelphia too. Suspending our constitution is not what this country's about, especially in an inauguration for our presidential candidates of either party. We're a nation of laws, not of men, and we need to remember that and uphold our laws. 

COSTELLO: Well, Jim -- Jim, let me ask you -- let me ask you this question. Would -- do you -- would ask people who have weapons not to bring them around the convention today? Is that a good idea? 

IRVINE: I -- look, the convention, the center, is controlled by the Secret Service. So there's no open carry, there's no firearms in there at all. And we've been strong supporters of the Secret Service in that ban on all weapons inside the arena. That's -- that's their prerogative. The Secret Service is excellent with --

COSTELLO: But would you bring -- would you bring your weapon to the -- to near the convention today? 

IRVINE: I, absolutely, if I was coming, I would have it to get in and out because the Secret Service aren't protecting me there. But I've got to get from my car to inside the lot, and that's the -- the dangerous area for the citizens because we have to be unprotected in that. That's where law enforcement can protect us and the (INAUDIBLE) there.

COSTELLO: OK, so -- so you heard that. So -- so Jim says he wouldn't feel safe without his firearm. 

LOOMIS: That's just -- it's just a -- that's just a ridiculous notion. If you don't feel safe walking around down in Cleveland with 3,000 uniformed police officers down here, then I feel sorry for you. 

IRVINE: Steve -- Steve, no, (INAUDIBLE) officers there's firearm --

LOOMIS: The fact of the matter is, is that I'm a police officer in the city of Cleveland --

IRVINE: Look, I'm not recommending people don't open carry. I don't want to do things that make (INAUDIBLE) --

LOOMIS: Listen, I don't have my gun on right -- Jim, I don't have my gun on right now because three blocks away from where we sit right now, the Secret Service stopped me and put it in a lock box. The fact of the matter is, is that it's not just inside the convention. It's a seven block radius of in and around the convention, the hard zone, where guns are not -- put an AR-15 on your back, my friend, and try to come through the hard zone down here and see what happens when the Secret Service come out. 

We're asking for common sense to prevail in this, and not the politics and not your political agenda and anything else that's going on here. I want everybody to be as safe as possible. I want them to go home. And I want my officers to be as safe as possible. And this is a very, very trying time in the history of our country for law enforcement right now. So give us a break and give us a hand and somebody come to some common sense and get rid of these open carries, just for a three-day period of time. Come back August 1st with 1,000 people with open carries and we'll welcome you with open arms. And we have here in the city of Cleveland before. That's not what we're talking about here. 

COSTELLO: I have to leave it there. Stephen Loomis, Jim Irvine, thanks to you both. I appreciate it. 

IRVINE: Thank you.

LOOMIS: Thank you very much.

July 18, 2016
WLWT (NBC Cincinnati) - Republican National Convention draws attention to Ohio's open carry law

"’Open carry means that if you're legally able to carry a firearm, you're not under a disability for a past crime or something like that, then you can open carry a firearm, meaning that everybody in the world can see it. It's open. It's right here. It's not being hidden by a shirt," Sean Maloney said. "The right of open carry in the state of Ohio is an Ohio constitutional right that's been in place basically since the constitution's been there."

When he's not carrying a firearm, Maloney defends the rights of gun owners in court. He's an attorney and legislative director for Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun advocacy group.

"When you're open carrying you have to use your firearm safely and safely means you're not muzzling anybody or you're not pointing it at anybody," he said.

For the last few days, Maloney has been following news out of Cleveland.

The head of that city's police union asked Ohio's governor to suspend the state's open carry law in Cuyahoga County during the Republican National Convention.

The request, which was denied, followed cases of police-involved shootings and subsequent attacks on officers.

"Whenever we're talking about a constitutional right or a civil right like this the government has to balance their need to control or their perceived need to control, doing it in the least intrusive manner they possibly can," Maloney said. "When the Secret Service is in town they already have a roving no-guns, cordoned-off area. So, you know, there's no need really to restrict the constitutional rights further."

Maloney applauded Gov. John Kasich for saying he doesn't have the authority to ban a gun law.

"The only reason why now it's that different is because we're going to have the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and so someone decided, 'You know what? Nobody should have firearms,'" Maloney said. "But firearms have always been there. Firearms have been there when the Super Bowl was being played. Firearms were in the city when the Cavaliers won the basketball championship, so firearms have always been there. It's just what's changed is the rest of the country is going to be here now and someone made the comment that we should probably take the firearms away from everybody, and we should suspend the constitution. And that's when the constitution should shine its brightest."

He added, "The main worry is that you're actually taking somebody's human right of self-defense away. If someone is open carrying, which is a legal activity, in my mind that's not the person to be worried about anyhow. .. I can understand that a police chief may want to restrict open carry. It doesn't stop any criminal out there from open carrying or concealed carrying. The criminal? There's not a statute or a law in the books that is going to change the evil intent of a person's heart or soul."

June 16, 2016
GunFreedomRadio.com - "Gun Freedom Radio" podcast

Buckeye Firearms Foundation volunteer Rob Morse was a guest on "Gun Freedom Radio." Rob's segment starts in the 29th minute of hour one. Click here to view the segment.

July 15, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - About 50 gun permits invalid after two instructors accused of forgery

Sean Maloney, legislative director at the Buckeye Firearms Association, agreed with the prosecutor that this kind of falsification is rare. As a lawyer and NRA instructor, he said he supports prosecution in instances of certificate falsification. 

“When somebody is out there, making fake and selling certificates for just money and not providing training, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Maloney said. 

July 11, 2016
Time Magazine - Why Guns Won’t Be Allowed at the Republican Convention

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told TIME that in this situation “it may not be wise” to bring firearms along. He added that no serious gun rights group is advocating for that.

June 28, 2016
Columbus DispatchGun ranges offer classes to survive shootings

The Buckeye Firearms Association also will host a special self-defense course, though the date and place haven’t yet been determined. The class is open to all residents of central Ohio, though on the association’s website it is marketed as a self-defense course for the LGBT community.

“When we were reaching out, in response to the Orlando shooting, we wanted members of the LGBT community to understand they are welcome,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of the association. “ (The class) is not about money or politics or anything else.”

The sign-ups have been open since June 17; so far 60 people have registered. Rieck said the event will not be held at a shooting range, a decision he hopes will help make everyone more comfortable, and will explain introductory safety and self-defense with a firearm.

Like the Vance Outdoors seminar, Rieck said the course will focus on safety and awareness in a threatening situation.

June 25, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Where Ted Strickland, Rob Portman stand on gun control 

The gun rights community — which once considered Strickland one of their own — considers him a traitor.

“He’s not the man he used to be on our issue,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “And he seems proud of that.”

...

Gun rights groups have jumped on Strickland’s shift. “He’s got the knowledge to know this stuff,” Irvine said. “What Strickland is doing is changing his mind because he thinks that’s where the votes are.”

June 21, 2016
AnEconomyofOne.com - "An Economy of One"

Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck was a guest on "An Economy of One" with host Gary Rathbun. "An Economy of One" is syndicated regionally on 1370 WSPD, 640 WHLO and 1280 WONW, and nationally on the Radio America Network and via iHeartMedia.

June 20, 2016
WKBN (CBS Youngstown) - US Senate votes against gun reform following Orlando shooting

Before the Senate voted to stop legislation on gun reform by a 44-56 vote on Monday evening, there were already predictions that the effort would end in failure.

“Nothing will be accomplished, you know, it’s just a lot of noise about nothing,” said Rick Kaleda from the Buckeye Firearms Association.

There were four measures up for a vote, including one to expand background checks for people buying guns at gun shows or online.

Kaleda says there are already rules in place covering such purchases.

“It’s not like you could go online and you could purchase these firearms background check-free. When you purchase these firearms online, you have them shipped to a licensed dealer and you still have to go through the same background checks.”

...

“To use these lists as a means of taking away someone’s rights, you know, would be unjust because they’ve been charged with no crime, they are simply that they are just being watched,” Kaleda said. “If there were some kind of court in place, something where evidence had to be presented that someone was, in fact, truly a threat, there wouldn’t be any problem at all.”

...

Kaleda agrees that background checks can only do so much.

“By definition, a criminal is going to commit a crime whether it’s against the law or not.”

June 18, 2016
"Shattered Lives" Podcast

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "Shattered Lives."

June 18, 2016
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "WLW Weekends"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "WLW Weekends."

June 17, 2016
The Outdoor WireReacting to The Threat of/from Orlando

Around the rest of the country, pro-gun groups are reaching out to LBGT communities. In Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Association is offering free self-defense class for residents of central Ohio, although the event is actually called "introduction to Self Defense with a Firearm". 

"We're saddened by the tragic murders in Orlando," said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of BFA. "But we're also angry. While we still don't know all the details, our understanding is that apart from one off-duty police officer, it was illegal for anyone in the Pulse nightclub to carry a firearm for self-defense.

"News reports indicate that many people were trapped with no clear exit and no means of defending themselves. The advice in these situations is to run, hide, or fight. Unfortunately, in this given situation, many people had nowhere to run or hide. And they had no practical way to fight."

Rieck says this has nothing to do with politics, but everything to do with having options for personal safety. "I know this is a hot button issue and people have widely different opinions about guns. But it is our view that no matter who you are, you should have the freedom to choose how to respond in a life-or-death situation.

June 15, 2016
WOSU 89.7 FM (NPR Columbus)  - "All Sides with Ann Fisher" - The History and Use of Assault Weapons

Buckeye Firearms Association Leader Clint Lake was a guest on "All Sides with Ann Fisher." 

June 15, 2016
Columbus DispatchPortman, Kasich talk of limiting gun access after Orlando shooting 

Still, gun-rights groups are adamant — they do not want the current database used to keep people from buying guns.

“It’s a horrible idea,” said Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association. He said the database is already flawed and allows the government to bar people from owning weapons who were put on the list under faulty premises.

June 15, 2016
Dayton Daily NewsPortman changes stance allowing those on terror watch list to buy guns

Still, gun rights groups are adamant – they do not want the current database used to keep people from buying guns.

“It’s a horrible idea,” said Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association. He said the database is already flawed, and would allow the government to bar people from owning weapons who were put on the list under faulty premises.

June 15, 2016
Associated Press - Record number of Ohioans have concealed carry gun permits

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association board of directors, says the increase is the result of a change in the law reducing the required training time from 12 hours to eight hours.

June 15, 2016
Bryan TimesConcealed carry on the rise in Ohio

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association board of directors, says the increase is the result of a change in the law reducing the required training time from 12 hours to eight hours.

...Walk down Main Street any day of the week and there’s a good chance you’ll pass somebody carrying a concealed weapon.

...“It’s rapidly becoming mainstream,” said Irvine. “It has become increasingly popular with soccer moms and others who just want to be safe in their everyday lives.”

June 15, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Concealed Carry Holders In Ohio Surpass A Half-Million; Gun Control Group Says More Regulations Are Needed

The Buckeye Firearms Association said the figure is a 132% increase over the first quarter of 2016, and attributed the rise to the decrease in the number of hours required to obtain a license.

"Buckeye Firearms Association was widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours," Jim Irvine, president of BFA's Board of Directors, said in a statement.

"The reason we supported the change was simple; we actually wanted more people to get training. Most people can't concentrate for 12 hours. A slightly shorter class is easier to get through and can mean better training and longer retention. The numbers we're seeing from the attorney general's office indicate that the new training requirements are less intimidating and the law is working as intended."

According to the AG's office, 11,242 licenses were renewed in the first three months of 2016. According to BFA, those figures represent a renewal rate of 70%, which is slightly below average.

A total of 355 licenses were suspended in the first quarter of 2016, along with 124 that were revoked and 432 that were denied.

The revocation rate is just 0.4%, according to BFA.

The BFA said that one in 17 adults in Ohio could be carrying a firearm; a figure they said would be higher if it weren't for "burdensome laws on victim zones," in which firearms are forbidden, and the "threat of termination from their employer."

The group said separate legislation in the House (HB 48) and Senate (SB 180) would remove some of those restrictions.

June 14, 2016
Dayton Daily NewsOhio gun sales set to spike in wake of Orlando shootings

“Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) was widely criticized for supporting a reduction in required training from 12 to 8 hours,” said Jim Irvine, president of BFA’s board of directors. “The reason we supported the change was simple; we actually wanted more people to get training. The numbers we’re seeing from the Attorney General’s office indicate that the new training requirements are less intimidating, and the law is working as intended.”

June 14, 2016
WKEF (ABC Dayton) - Over Half-Million Ohio Residents with Concealed Carry License

The news page republished BFA's press release. 

June 14, 2016
WTVN (610 AM Columbus) - "The Joel Riley Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on "The Joel Riley Show" discussing the terrorist attack on an Orlando nightclub.

June 13, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Rob Portman, Ted Strickland seek edge in Appalachian Ohio in Senate race

“What I see in Strickland is someone who was great his entire life who has run off the rails in recent years,” said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun-rights group.

Not that he’s thrilled with Portman, either. “I wish Portman had been more of a leader and done more for gun owners in his six years in office,” Irvine said.

June 13, 2016
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "The Scott Sloan Show." Click here to listen to the podcast at about 67 minutes.

June 13, 2016
WRGT (Fox Dayton) - Right or restriction: Orlando shooting reignites gun-law debate

"Background checks will not make a bit of a difference. This murderer that was in this one here had security clearances, he worked for a security company, he had security clearances at the national level," said Joe Eaton, treasurer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

Eaton says stricter gun laws are not needed.

"Writing laws is not a solution, having people empower themselves and to take care of themselves as the first resort is what we've got to do," said Eaton. "The only thing that you can do to prepare for this is to make sure that yourself and your family are aware, are trained and are ready to find yourself in one of these situations."

...Buckeye Firearms Association says no regulation will stop a criminal from getting his or her hands on a weapon.

June 10, 2016
WSPD 1370AM - "The Scott Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on WSPD with host Scott Sands. Click here to listen to the podcast.

June 8, 2016
Journal-News CCW holders can use permit as instant background check to buy guns

The Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA), a pro-gun lobby in Ohio, was pleased that DeWine was able to get the issue resolved.

Jim Irvine, BFA board president, said, “This is the result of more than six years of work by BFA to improve and simplify background checks for Ohio gun owners”

June 5, 2016
Guns.com - Ohio carry permit now substitute for NICS check

The change stems from a bill that state lawmakers passed in 2014 to improve the state’s background check process so they align with federal law, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association.

But there is a caveat to the new rule regarding the date the license was issued. The rule applies to licenses issued on or after March 23, 2015, so those with a license issued before that date still need to undergo a NICS check before a transfer.

Also, if a license holder commits a disqualifying offense, local authorities are notified and can revoke the license and, therefore, revoke the ability of the CHL holder to use the license to purchase a firearm, BFA said.

May 31, 2016
Shooting IllustratedOhio AG Announces NICS Exemption for CHL Holders

While it is typically referred to as an “instant background check,” the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) said this week that for many people it is anything but instant. 

“Sometimes the system is down, or high demand overwhelms the system. Or maybe bad weather prevents government employees from showing up for work,” Jim Irvine, Board President of BFA, said. “For some unlucky people, they share a name with someone else who is not permitted to purchase firearms or errors in the database cause delays. Historically, this has not always been a user-friendly system. Now, Ohio gun owners finally have a solution.”

May 26, 2016
Columbus DispatchCCW permit holders don't need federal check to buy guns

The Buckeye Firearms Association had complained that permit holders still were met with “holds” while awaiting federal background checks when buying guns.

May 25, 2016
Morrow County Sentinel Ohio Concealed Handgun License approved as background check

“Sometimes the system is down,” says Jim Irvine, Board President of BFA. “Or high demand overwhelms the system. Or maybe bad weather prevents government employees from showing up for work.

“For some unlucky people, they share a name with someone else who is not permitted to purchase firearms or errors in the database cause delays. Historically, this has not always been a user-friendly system. Now, Ohio gun owners finally have a solution.”

...

“This is a big improvement,” continued Irvine. “It’s good for everyone. Legal gun buyers will benefit because they can just show their license when making a firearm purchase. And even those who favor stricter gun regulation will like it because it will help the system do what it’s supposed to do, which is help cut down on illegal purchases.”

...

“Several other states have been doing this for years and it works well for BATFE, gun dealers, and individuals. It is a proven system in which Ohio is now participating for the benefit of everyone.”

May 25, 2016
Portsmouth Daily TimesHandgun purchases made easier by new Ohio law

While this is typically called an “instant background check,” the Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) says for many people it is anything but instant.

“Sometimes the system is down, or high demand overwhelms the system. Or maybe bad weather prevents government employees from showing up for work,” Jim Irvine, Board President of BFA, said. “For some unlucky people, they share a name with someone else who is not permitted to purchase firearms or errors in the database cause delays. Historically, this has not always been a user-friendly system. Now, Ohio gun owners finally have a solution.”

May 18, 2016
Cincinnati.com - Whatever happened to ... PG's gun control effort?

Gun advocates railed against the proposal when Sittenfeld first introduced the idea in January. They argued that Ohio lawmakers already removed cities' abilities to pass their own gun laws in 2006, and the Ohio Supreme Court approved the move in 2010. Having different rules for different cities is confusing for gun owners, said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

May 13, 2016
AmmoLand.com - Real Facts About School & Other Mass Shooting Defense Tactics

We’ve got an armed pilot program, how hard can it be to create a similar program for teachers motivated to take and maintain training? ( A good example is Buckeye Firearms Association Armed Teacher Training Program)

May 13, 2016
Dayton Daily News - Gun restrictions ease in Ohio

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said efforts to expand gun laws are always met with dire predictions from gun control advocates — predictions that he said haven’t come to pass.

“Once we had Ohio citizens carrying concealed weapons, everybody discovered that the sky was not going to fall,” said Rieck. “It made a lot of other legislation significantly easier… Nothing disastrous happened. We found out that people who were carrying concealed were doing so responsibly.”

...

More than a century after Ohio banned concealed weapons in 1859, the legislature approved an “affirmative defense,” which stated that citizens couldn’t be punished if they could prove they were justified going into a dangerous situation armed with a concealed gun.

At least four other concealed carry bills were introduced between 1995 and 2002 and killed — often because of Republican opposition, said James Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

“The big important people in the Republican Party — George Voinovich, Bob Taft and Jo Ann Davidson — those three individuals were all very against the right of people to defend their lives,” Irvine said. “They were just flat out opposed to it their whole careers.”

...

Ohio has a long history of conflict over gun laws, and Democrats haven’t always been the ones fighting for more restrictions.

More than a century after Ohio banned concealed weapons in 1859, the legislature approved an “affirmative defense,” which stated that citizens couldn’t be punished if they could prove they were justified going into a dangerous situation armed with a concealed gun.

At least four other concealed carry bills were introduced between 1995 and 2002 and killed — often because of Republican opposition, said James Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

“The big important people in the Republican Party — George Voinovich, Bob Taft and Jo Ann Davidson — those three individuals were all very against the right of people to defend their lives,” Irvine said. “They were just flat out opposed to it their whole careers.”

Voinovich served as governor from 1991-1998; Taft was the state’s chief executive from 1999-2006; Davidson was a member of the House from 1981-2000 and served as speaker from 1995-2000.

After many compromises and veto-proof majorities in both chambers, Ohio became the 46th state to approve concealed carry when Taft signed House Bill 12 in January 2004.

That April, Ohio’s county sheriffs began accepting applications and issuing licenses, but even those in favor of concealed carry were not happy with the result.

“As big of a game changer as it was, the bill was horrible. It was arguably the worst concealed carry bill any state’s ever passed,” Irvine said.

Among objections Irvine had with the original bill is that it didn’t prohibit local governments from enacting their own gun laws.

Irvine said many of the bills introduced over the last decade have been aimed at removing what he said were “poison pills” included in the 2004 legislation.

“We’ve been working on it for 12 years and we’ve got many more years to go at the rate we’re going,” he said.

May 6, 2016
Dayton Daily NewsMillion Mom March to combat firearm deaths

Gun rights activists say what’s being ignored is the ability of law-abiding gun owners to protect themselves and their families from harm wherever they travel, said James Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. Ohio is 10-20 years behind a number of states in removing restrictions on where guns can be carried concealed, he said.

“I think we should realize as many other states have and eliminate these places where we collect a bunch of victims that can’t defend themselves,” Irvine said.

Signs on buildings designating areas “gun free zones” advertise easy prey to would-be killers who want “to become famous by setting a new high score by the number of dead people, especially children they kill,” he said.

March 30, 2016
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) - Sidney City Schools, district near Dayton, has a different take on armed teachers

Joe Eaton, director of FASTER Saves Lives, a nonprofit program that provides firearm and medical triage training free of charge to school faculty in Ohio, said few school districts he’s worked with keep guns in safes, like the Sidney School District, because response time isn’t as fast as having a gun with you in an emergency.

March 29, 2016
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on "The Bill Cunningham Show."

March 22, 2016
Columbus Dispatch - Democrats want to strengthen domestic violence gun laws

Dean Rieck, the executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the "judicial discretion" portion bill would give judges too broad of an ability to take away guns from nonviolent citizens.

"The Buckeye Firearm Association would never want any violent person who's a proven threat to have a firearm," he said. "But this bill is overly broad. These kind of bills are based on a fallacy."

He said there are already proper laws in place to prevent firearms from falling in violent hands. If those laws aren't being enforced, adding another law to the books won't do much good.

March 22, 2016
BlogTalkAmerica.com - "We Are One America's Second Amendment Stance"

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on BlogTalkAmerica.com with We Are One America hosts Raquel Okyay and Efrain Gonzalez on "Second Amendment Stance." Click here to listen to the segment.

March 11, 2016
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) - Ohio schools don't have to tell police, state about armed employees

“We leave it up to each individual school to decide how public or private they want to be about it,” said Joe Eaton, director of Faster Saves Lives, an Ohio nonprofit that provides firearms training to school employees.

...

“We’ll have other schools where two teachers are sitting at a lunch table. One of the teachers is armed, and the other teacher does not even know they have armed staff in the building,” Eaton said.

Most school safety experts and law enforcement officials agree that it’s important for schools to inform police and sheriffs' departments if teachers in school buildings have access to guns.

“It’s a good idea because law enforcement is coming into an already unknown situation so giving them as much information as possible just makes everybody’s job easier,” Eaton said.

...

Eaton, on the other hand, encourages school districts to notify and work with first responders, but doesn’t think it should be required.

“The decision should stay local with each school and each school board,” he said. "Some communities have attempted to work with their local law enforcement, and the local law enforcement has not been supportive of this concept. Those districts have went ahead and moved forward with authorization.”

Like Eaton, [Ohio School Boards Association safety and security consultant Dick] Caster doesn’t think that meeting should be required because some agencies don’t support teachers carrying guns.

“Sitting down with a police agency might be problematic if there’s a philosophical difference between the two,” he said.

March 10, 2016
The Clermont SunActive shooter training marks success

Buckeye Firearms Foundation is celebrating the success of their emergency response training program, which is available to teachers, administrators and other school staff in Ohio.

The Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program was started in 2013, in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Since then, more than 400 teachers and administrators from 152 school districts in 63 of Ohio’s 88 counties, including Clermont County, have participated in the program, according to a press release.

Due to confidentiality agreements, Joe Eaton, program director, was unable to disclose which school districts in Clermont County have participated in the program.

“It’s all part of their school safety plans, and so it is not available through public records or in the public forum,” he said.

The FASTER program is designed to help school staff and administrators deal with active shooters. One aspect of the program involves having one or more certified and trained staff members armed with a gun.

It’s the school districts’ decision as to whether or not they want to disclose this information to the public, according to Eaton.

“There are districts where they have staff sitting together in meetings, and one of the staff is armed, and the rest of the staff doesn’t even know they have armed people in the building,” Eaton explained. “There’s a couple of different reasons for that, one being the safety of the people who are armed; if somebody knows there is effective resistance, that can be their first target if they want to commit a crime in the schools. The other more important thing is, these staff and teachers need to still be a part of the community.”

He added, “Not all of the community may be in agreement with the schools’ vision to have this as part of their security plans, and so [keeping information secret] keeps the dynamic in the whole community working well.”

The program also provides staff with medical supplies and training to treat injuries.

“In any other type of medical emergency, if someone’s drowning in a school pool, we call 911, but we don’t just stand around; we jump in the pool, pull them out and start [cardiopulmonary resuscitation],” Eaton said. “And that’s another huge part of the FASTER program, it’s giving them the skills, tools and equipment they need to start saving lives immediately while they’re waiting on the [emergency medical technicians] to get there.”

The training, which is provided at no cost to school personnel or districts, spans 26 hours over three days, usually during summer break. The curriculum offers hands-on instruction, by national experts, that exceeds the requirement of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, according to a press release.

“This program only comes into play in the absolute worst scenario you can imagine,” Eaton said. “There are lots of other things that the school has to put in place ahead of time to circumvent these situations, but once somebody walks into that school with the desire to commit these types of crimes, at that time waiting on outside help cannot be your plan.”

He added, “You have to have people in the building that can stop the killing and start rendering the medical aide that the injured need.”

The program is funded by individual donations to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a nonprofit organization and the sister organization to Buckeye Firearms Association.

About 2,000 staff members have applied for the training, and priority is given to schools which have already approved and authorized staff to carry a gun, according to Eaton.

“The demand is getting so big now that we are probably going to outpace what we could do with private donations this year and we’ll have to start looking for outside help,” Eaton said. “That may come from churches and businesses participating in this as well; we just really don’t know yet how we can keep the funding to keep up with the demand.”

The FASTER program now offers a Level 2 class for advanced training in armed response, trauma medical aid and crisis and emergency management skills, and a Level 3 class, which takes place in the actual school district and includes local and county law enforcement officers, local emergency medical personnel and other school staff who will be at the school when an active shooter event occurs, according to a press release.

Eaton concedes that the program has been met with some opposition from parents and community members concerned about having teachers armed at school.

“But when you look at what the problem is, it’s not that the local law enforcement don’t want to help with this or don’t want to solve this problem, the truth of the matter is they can’t because they can’t always be there at the time that this occurs,” Eaton said.

He added, “These school districts are realizing that in these most extreme situations, they are on their own for the first few minutes of time. Waiting on outside help costs lives; it costs more casualties.”

Eaton expounded on the shooting that took place at Madison Jr./Sr. High School on Feb. 29. During the incident, which is still under investigation, two students were shot and one student was injured by suspect James Hancock, a student at the school.

“It sounds like, again, that what we see in just about all these situations. The school resource officer was there, the person committing the crime knew that there was effective resistance right then, and so the crime stopped as soon as the effective resistance showed up,” he said. “From the reports, that was just a few seconds after it started, and that’s the best that anyone can hope for.”

March 3, 2016
The Berkshire (CT) View Armed to Educate: National issue of arming teachers debated by local town officials

Should school teachers be armed in the classroom? An idea most people couldn’t even imagine, but that very loaded question was recently presented to the people in the small town of Kent, Conn. in early February.

A month earlier, Town Selectman Jeff Parkin “shared a proposal for ‘FASTER Saves Lives’ … described as “a two-part school safety program that is self-funded,” according to the minutes of a Jan. 5 meeting. First Selectman Bruce Adams agreed to add the item to February’s agenda.

“For all I knew, it could’ve been to make fire trucks faster,” Adams recalled during an interview with The View.

But that’s not the case. FASTER Saves Lives is an Ohio-based nonprofit sponsored by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. The program has offered firearms safety and emergency response training to educators since 2013.

The FASTER initiative was formed in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012,according to Program Director Joe Eaton, where the gunman, Adam Lanza, killed 20 children and six staff members within five minutes in Newtown, Conn. From the time of the initial call for help until police units arrived, the same five minutes had elapsed.

The close location to Newtown, only 25 miles up Rt. 7, seemed to make the discussion over arming teachers even more pertinent.

“Time in these events is the only thing that matters,” said Eaton. “The response time was as best as any school could do, and we lost 20 babies that day.”

So FASTER (long-form: Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response) resolved to action and drafted a plan. By spring, with the recruitment of an Ohio police lieutenant, John Benner — “one of the first and foremost experts” — and other instructors, Eaton and his team launched their first class: 26 hours, or about three-and-a-half days, of handgun training and emergency medical drills.

“Within the first month, 1,000 [school staff members volunteered] for training. We could only accommodate 24 at the time,” Eaton said, adding that applicants are rejected if they’re not concealed carry-licensed and take an additional six-hour “primer course” for basic firearm skills if they’re inexperienced.

The course ran four sessions that year and in 2014, it was expanded to include a second level for returning volunteers. Beyond that, as of 2015, the FASTER camp will go to participating schools for a weekend of integrated training in a district’s third year of enrollment. All program expenses — except for volunteer travel and meals — are paid for by donations, Eaton said, including $200,000 budgeted for 2016.

According to the director, “the medical part is huge” and each volunteer receives a “trauma kit” with $800 worth of emergency supplies and tools.
Nonetheless, Eaton said, critics target only the issue of teachers with guns. “This isn’t about firearms, this is about doing everything you can to keep the kids safe.”

Selectman Parkin offered a similar defense when describing the backlash that followed his proposal in Kent: the guns are overstated, the medical kits overlooked.

“The perception is that there’s going to be 30 or 40 teachers roaming the hallways with Uzis by their side,” he added. “If you walked into Kent Center School — if we adopted this program — or one of the schools in Ohio that adopted this program, you would have no idea.”

An anecdote Eaton shared suggests that anonymity is not program-wide: Ohio’s Sidney City School District posts notices that it has armed staff for the protection of its students. Eaton said 63 out of 88 Ohio counties have participating schools; more from five outside states tota almost 500 staff volunteers altogether. So far, not one single teacher has had to engage in a gun battle with an active shooter, although in one case a stand-off with a teacher prompted an armed student to surrender peacefully, the director said.)

...

Hundreds of volunteers, Eaton declares, have taken it upon themselves to redefine what it means to be educators.

March 3, 2016
WTAP (NBC Parkersburg, WV) - Emergency response training program launched for Ohio school staff

In response to the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the Buckeye Firearms Association has started an emergency response training program, in Ohio, for teachers, administrators, and other school staff.

The non profit program, called FASTER, has provided training to hundreds of teachers and administrators across the state, over the last three years, including some in Washington County.

The program gives individuals carefully structured curriculum that entails over twenty six hours of hands-on training over a course of 3 days.

March 3, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Advocacy Groups At Odds Over How To Address School Shootings

Since 2013 when Attorney General Mike DeWine explained that state law doesn't prohibit school boards from giving teachers authority to carry guns on school premises, Buckeye Firearms Foundation said it has provided free training to more than 400 teachers and administrators from 152 school districts.

The Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response program includes a course that takes place over three and a half days and teaches concealed-carry permit holders how to act quickly and appropriately during school shootings.

In addition to learning about how to handle a firearm in the midst of likely chaos, attendees are also taught about the history of mass shootings, crowd control, crisis management and emergency medical aid.

"Schools and communities in general are starting to understand this problem of this type of extreme violence in schools and they're understanding that, unfortunately, it's not a problem law enforcement can solve," FASTER program director Joe Eaton said.

"The police want to be there and want to make a difference but the truth of the matter is most of these events are over in a very few minutes and waiting on outside help to solve the problem simply costs more lives and more injuries."

School districts are required to collaborate with local first responders to create a disaster response plan that's kept on file at an attorney general's office.

Mr. Eaton, who lives near the Butler County school where a 14-year old shot two fellow students this week, said the plans are necessary and one was used to respond to Monday's incident.

However, it's difficult for teachers and other school staff to act quickly because every shooting is different and many people aren't aware of what gun fire sounds like, he said. For that reason, the foundation also offers onsite courses that educate district staff by putting them through simulations.

"It takes unfortunate tragic events like (the one at Madison) before people realize that every place this happens, if you went to that school that morning, everyone would've said, 'Yes, we have this in place. We have this plan that we follow,'" Mr. Eaton said.

"The sad fact is that none of that matters at the moment when somebody walks through that front door with the intent to cause death and injury to the people in that building .What matters is that there is somebody who can immediately and effectively stop the threat and start rendering medical aid or deter the shooters. That's the only way to reduce casualties."

Three schools have taken part in the simulations and more are scheduled for this year, Mr. Eaton said.

Participants in the CCW training have chosen to remain anonymous so that potential shooters aren't privy to who in the district carries a weapon, he said. That information could lead to those people being targeted first, he said.

...

Mr. Eaton said the FASTER program plans to add to the number of scheduled courses this year to accommodate the nearly 2,000 faculty members currently on its waiting list.

March 2, 2016
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) - Madison school shooting re-ignites debate on armed teachers, resource officers

"Having somebody in every building who can stop the killing and who can start rendering medical aid is the only way we can reduce the number of casualties,” said Joe Eaton, director of FASTER Saves Lives (http://fastersaveslives.org/), a nonprofit program that provides firearm and medical triage training free-of-charge to school faculty in Ohio. "Waiting on outside help is only accepting that you’re going to have a certain number of casualties."

...

More than 400 people from 152 school districts in 63 Ohio counties have gone through FASTER Saves Lives training program, Eaton said. School board officials at Edgewood Local Schools in Trenton have armed their faculty, he added. He declined to name the other local school districts that have armed their teachers.

“We leave it up to each individual school to decide how public or private they want to be about it,” he said, adding that a school district in Sidney, Ohio has signs on its front door to let potential intruders know teachers are armed.

"We’ll have other schools where two teachers are sitting at a lunch table. One of the teachers is armed, and the other teacher does not even know they have armed staff in the building.”

...

When an active shooter strikes, Eaton wants the school leaders inside the building to have the tools to stop the violence — even before first responders know about it.

"Just like we saw (Monday) at Madison (High School) and like we’ve seen in every one of these events, as soon as some type of effective resistance confronts the person doing the killing, they either stop — as we saw (Monday) — or they take their own lives,” he said.

"The unfortunate reality (in active shooter scenarios) is this goes on for minutes and minutes and minutes before anybody outside the building even knows what's going on."

...

Eaton, who has provided firearms training for cafeteria staff, teachers, bus drivers, janitors and school administration, said it’s not the right option for all communities.

"This is not a program for everyone, and that’s why having local control in schools is so important,” he said. "When you mention firearms in schools, human nature is to think of the one person you would never want to be a part of this program."

"But if you put that thought aside for a minute and you look at all the other good teachers, the ones at Sandy Hook and elsewhere who will go stand between a murderer and these kids....we owe it to them to say, 'If you’re going there, take any tool, take any training, take anything you want with you so you can go home at night.'"

March 2, 2016
WVXU (NPR Cincinnati) - More Teachers Receiving Firearms Training

If teacher firearm training at Faster Saves Lives is any indication of how many school districts are allowing guns in the classroom, the number appears to be increasing.

The non-profit organization supported by the Buckeye Firearms Association's Foundation reports, over the last three years, it has trained more than 400 teachers and administrators from 152 school districts in 63 of Ohio's 88 counties.

Faster (Faculty, Administrator, Safety Training and EmergencyResponse) Saves Lives trains school staff at the Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County and another location in Akron.

According to Faster Program Director Joe Eaton, "In Ohio, the local school board gets to decide who is going to participate in this program, and so, they know who is the competent staff they have, who are the staff that are willing to do this, and that they have the demeanor and the ability and the desire to make a difference."

Eaton says school districts send everyone from cafeteria workers to janitors to superintendents.

Eaton and Jim Irvine with the Buckeye Firearms Association say there isn't a database showing which school districts have allowed guns in the classroom. They say schools want to keep that information secret for security reasons.

There is no sign that this kind of training is slowing. Eaton says he has a waiting list of 2,000 for the three and a half day training. This is in addition to classes from other non-profits and local law enforcement.

March 1, 2016
WBZI 1500 AM - "Bucks Braun Morning Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association's Larry Moore was a guest WBZI 1500 AM's "Bucks Braun Morning Show." The show can be heard weekdays on AM1500, AM1090, AM1130 or FM 100.3. and on the Internet at www.myclassiccountry.com.

February 29, 2016
Cincinnati Enquirer - Will laws stop the next school shooter?

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Buckeye Firearms Association started training teachers and administrators on how to carry guns. Since then, Irvine said, the pro-gun group has trained more than 400 teachers in 63 counties, including Butler County. He wouldn't say whether teachers at Madison had received training.

What else might help? Practicing for school shooting scenarios, Irvine said, with every police department in the area and stocking up on trauma kits with tourniquets to treat more serious injuries.

Firearm training, more than new laws, helps teachers and administrators respond during school shootings, said Sean Maloney, of Liberty Township, who helped implement the firearm training program for school officials.

"Unfortunately," he said, "the one thing we can’t legislate is the evil from a person’s heart and soul."

February 29, 2016
Journal-NewsChurch pastors resist urge to arm themselves or congregations

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which describes itself as an organization that’s dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, said it’s time for congregants and pastors to arm themselves.

“People should have the right to defend themselves whether they’re at church, at home, at the grocery store, or anywhere. It’s a choice everyone should have, including pastors,” Rieck said. “There are about half a million people in Ohio licensed to carry a concealed handgun and the overwhelming majority of these carry safely and responsibly. So the default ban of carry in churches in Ohio is irresponsible. Churchgoers in neighboring states, including Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, don’t have this ban and there have not been any safety issues.”

He added, “Buckeye Firearms Association would like to see this ban lifted in Ohio so that people can carry if they choose, just as they do nearly everywhere else in Ohio.”

February 26, 2016
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - School districts training staff members to respond to active shooter situations

The Buckeye Firearms Association says 152 districts have now trained staff to counter attack in the case of an active shooter.

...

Buckeye Firearms Association has a training program for districts. The group says 400 educators from 63 of Ohio's counties are now trained.  Here is a link to the information.

February 26, 2016
WEWS (ABC Cleveland) - Deadly loopholes in Ohio law place abused women at risk

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said victims of domestic violence can also be more vigilant and vocal.

"Don't accept police saying there's nothing else we can do," said Irvine.

"I don't want to blame the victim, but for the victim what I would tell them is --if police aren't doing their job stay on top of them."

Irvine fears enacting new laws could also infringe on basic rights.

"We don't want to terminate anyone's rights, no matter who they are."

February 24, 2016
Portsmouth Daily TimesTeachers receive firearms training

A spot check of a couple of area schools shows administrators feel secure with resource officers on or near their premises. In response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adult staff members, Buckeye Firearms Foundation launched an emergency response training program in Ohio for teachers, administrators, and other school staff.

The nonprofit program has to date provide high-level training to more than 400 teachers and administrators from 152 school districts in 63 of Ohio’s 88 counties over the last three years. One of those counties was Scioto.

“We don’t do it as a district,” Washington-Nile Superintendent Jeff Stricklett said. “We have individual teachers that have taken the training, but that’s just for their own personal (use).”

Stricklett said the district made a move that has given the physical plant more security.

“Right now we have our resource officer (Scioto County Sheriff’s deputy),” Stricklett said. “We’ve got a very good situation. We partnered with our township and we actually house the township deputy over here at our elementary school for $1 a year. They didn’t have a home for him so to speak so we have a desk for him. He has his paperwork. Of course he’s on call but he’s here every morning and throughout the day. So right now we feel comfortable with having Mr. Drake here.”

Joe Eaton, program director for FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) said the response from Ohio educators has been more enthusiastic than he could have ever imagined.

“When we first announced that we planned to train teachers in armed response and emergency medical aid,” Eaton said, “some people said teachers would never sign up. But within days of announcing the program, we had 600 apply for training. In weeks, it soared to over 1,000. Today we have nearly 2,000 faculty members from all over Ohio waiting in line for a chance to get this training. And more are contacting us every day.”

The response for Scott Dutey, superintendent of the Portsmouth City School District said to his knowledge none of his teachers has taken the training, but when asked for his opinion, it was obvious it is something he has thought out.

“I can see the advantages to it,” Dutey said. “Particularly if you’re in a rural district where the response time for law enforcement would be lengthy.”

Dutey said he is aware that the Rock Hill School District has had some teachers trained and that they do carry.

“I can understand why because it would be 30 to 45 minutes before law enforcement personnel would ever get to theirfacility. In those kinds of situations, I get it,” Dutey said.

Dutey, like Stricklett, said his situation is different from the really rural districts.

“We already have a school resource officer (Portsmouth Police officer) and we meet regularly with the police department and have conversations and we know what kind of timeline we’re looking at if there ever was an emergency. I am not at that point for us yet. Not that we wouldn’t and haven’t had conversations,” he said.

The program is funded by thousands of small, individual donations to Buckeye Firearms Foundation; a 501(c) (3) charitable educational organization based in Ohio and the sister organization to Buckeye Firearms Association. Classes are provided at no cost to school personnel or school districts. To date, no tax dollars have been spent on that training.

February 24, 2016
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) - Program to train teachers, school officials for crisis situations reaches 63 of Ohio's 88 counties

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With school shootings and debates on gun control making headlines all too frequently, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation announces that its training program for teachers and school administrators has reached more than 63 of Ohio's 88 counties.

In its fourth year, the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response (FASTER) program is expanding to include a new Level Three class that takes place in the actual school district and includes not only armed school staff, but also local and county law enforcement officers, local emergency medical personnel and other school staff who would be at the school should an active killer event occur.

FASTER has trained more than 400 teachers and administrators from 152 school districts in Ohio since it was created shortly after the December 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Buckeye Firearms Association says FASTER presents "a carefully-structured curriculum with over 26 hours of hands-on training over a three-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy."

The organization adds that the program's purpose is not to replace police and emergency responders, but to allow teachers, administrators and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately.

In this fourth year, FASTER also includes a Level Two class for advanced training in armed response, trauma medical aid and crisis and emergency management skills. According to a press release, the $150,000 budget consists of small, individual donations to Buckeye Firearms Foundation. The foundation says classes are provided at no cost to school personnel or school districts and that no tax dollars have been spent on this training.

Joe Eaton, FASTER program director, says the response from Ohio educators has been more enthusiastic than they ever imagined.

"When we first announced that we planned to train teachers in armed response and emergency medical aid some people said teachers would never sign up," Eaton said. "But within days of announcing the program, we had 600 apply for training. In weeks, it soared to over 1,000. Today we have nearly 2,000 faculty members from all over Ohio waiting in line for a chance to get this training. And more are contacting us every day."

February 18, 2016
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Gun Law Gaps: The Cost Of Illegal Gun Possession

“As long as society agrees that it should be misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, than we wouldn’t fight. But what we do not want to have happen is we don’t want to have more laws on top of those to make it more confusing and more importantly, to give prosecutors more opportunity to plea bargain them away,” said Gerard Valentino, spokesperson for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

February 15, 2016
Canton RepositoryEditorial: Bill could take guns out of hands of abusers

Discretion might also allay fears by the Buckeye Firearms Association that people subject to a protection order issued during a divorce case, even though neither party has done anything wrong, could be denied their constitutional rights to own and bear arms.

The Buckeye Firearms Association doesn’t believe additional restrictions would stop someone intent on committing further violence. There’s some truth to that argument, sure, but it also seemingly suggests that all laws are ineffective and unnecessary.

February 10, 2016
AmericanRifleman.org - Lethal Force and the Law at the Great American Outdoor Show

Buckeye Firearms Association's Sean Maloney was the subject of this feature article on a semininar given at the 2016 Great American Outdoor Show.

February 8, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Politics Notebook: Dovilla Gets Gun Group Backing

24th Senate Race: The Buckeye Firearms Association has endorsed Rep. Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) for his run for the 24th Senate District.

Rep. Dovilla said in a statement he is "honored" to receive the endorsement and that he will continue to champion 2nd Amendment rights.

He's currently in a three-way primary race for the seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Tom Patton. Also running on the Republican side are Rep. Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and former state representative Matthew Dolan.

February 7, 2016
The Ohio Channel - "The State of Ohio" - Debating A Proposal That Could Bring Back Local Gun Bans

The underdog candidate for the Democratic nomination for US Senate has been trying to spark media coverage of his campaign. Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who's been focused on gun laws and regulations, has now put forward a unique idea - a constitutional amendment that would override a state law from 2006 banning local gun bans. The proposal has been embraced by gun control activists who flanked him at his press conference introducing it. But gun rights groups blasted it as unconstitutional because they say it would prevent the exercise of a constitutional right, and they say the issue of pre-emption is settled law. But Sittenfeld says he plans to push this amendment forward regardless of the outcome of the March 15 primary. Two experts talk about this amendment and other issues related to gun control and gun rights at the Statehouse. Gerard Valentino is a co-founder of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which says the amendment is unconstitutional. Jennifer Thorne is the executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, which supports the amendment.

Click here to view the streaming video on "The State of Ohio," a weekly news program spotlighting the latest happenings at the Statehouse, in the Governor’s office, at the Ohio Supreme Court and throughout the Buckeye State, hosted by the award-winning Karen Kasler.

February 6, 2016
Columbus DispatchAdvocates say little done to keep guns away from Ohio abusers

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine said that while there's "universal agreement" that no one wants a gun in the hands of a person who regularly and severely beats a partner, legislation aimed at those cases often punishes people who don't fall within those parameters.

"If you're going to deny somebody's constitutional rights, I think it should have due process,"Irvine said.

Irvine said guns are already routinely taken away through judge's orders, and that many in the court system are denied guns for reasons that may not be fair. He cited an example of someone who pleaded guilty decades ago to domestic violence when the situation never went beyond an argument, and of a case where a vindictive ex-wive routinely files restraining orders against her former husband during hunting season.

"We don't want to see that sort of stuff," Irvine said.

February 6, 2016
WCPO (ABC Cincinnati)- Could you get in more trouble for having an imitation firearm than a real one?

The ban on an object that looks like a real firearm is not going to solve the problem, said Joe Eaton, treasurer of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

“It’s the person’s actions and the way that they are using the objects, which can cause problems,” Eaton said. “That’s what we should look at, educating people on the proper way that they should handle these (guns) and the way they should present them.”

Eaton said a person must always be aware of his or her actions and how people would perceive those actions, whether the firearm is fake or real.

February 5, 2016
TheTrace.org
(An anti-gun, Michael Bloomberg-funded website-  How John Kasich Flipped a Mixed Gun Voting Record into an ‘A’ Grade from the NRA

“He’s not a gun guy,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “The gun issue just isn’t his issue. I don’t mean that as any slight on him.”

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Though pro-gun groups have not forgotten his House votes, they voiced no complaints with Kasich’s record as governor.

“He’s signed every bill at his desk,” Irvine said. “We want someone who’s always been perfect, but you know, it’s kind of like picking out a perfect spouse. Political candidates are the same. I don’t know that there is any perfect one.”

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Kasich’s evolution mirrors a shift by Republicans in Ohio and nationally. In the 1990s and aughts, the state’s top Republicans, including former Ohio Governor and Senator George Voinovich, former Senator Mike DeWine, former Governor Robert Taft III, and top GOP statehouse leaders supported some gun regulations, which angered gun rights groups. Perhaps as a result, their replacements toe the NRA line.

Kasich is “part of that,” Irvine said.

February 5, 2016
(UK) Daily MailConnecticut town 45 minutes away from Newton considers proposal that would ARM teachers at their only school

A Connecticut town located just 45 minutes by car from Newtown, the site of the third-deadliest school shooting in US history, is considering arming its school teachers.

Elected officials in Kent, Connecticut voted 2-1 Wednesday to present information about a program called 'FASTER Saves Lives' to the town's Board of Education. 

'FASTER' is an acronym that stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.

According to a website devoted to the program, it aims to provide 'training in armed response, crisis management, and emergency medical aid.'

'The FASTER program pays for tuition and lodging and local school boards authorize these trained staff members to carry firearms in school,' the website reads. 

The training consists of a three-day class with 26 hours of lessons. 

The program was launched by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation on December 20, 2012, only six days after a gunman killed 20 six-and-seven-year-olds and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

February 5, 2016
PJMedia.com - Connecticut Town Considers Arming Teachers

The town of Kent, Connecticut, is considering a program that would arm teachers at school.

Kent selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the "FASTER Saves Lives" program to the Kent Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.

The program, Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, provides firearms training to school employees in the event of an attack or an intrusion.

February 5, 2016
EducationWorld.com - Connecticut School Considers Proposal to Arm Teachers, Volunteers

"The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion,” said WTNH. "The program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio."

February 5, 2016
Associated Press - Conn. governor critical of town considering arming teachers

A Connecticut town is considering a program that trains teachers to use guns in the event of an active shooter.

But Gov. Dannel Malloy is coming down hard on the idea.

Kent selectmen voted 2-1 this week to present information about the “FASTER Saves Lives” program to the Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.

The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.

February 5, 2016
The (Danbury, CT) News-TimesKent officials propose arming teachers, school staff

Town selectmen have asked the Board of Education to consider adopting a school safety program that includes arming teachers and other school staffers with guns.

By a 2-1 vote earlier this week, the Board of Selectmen agreed to recommend the “FASTER Saves Lives” program, which was developed by Ohio’s Buckeye Firearms Association in the aftermath of Sandy Hook and other school shootings.

The program pays tuition, and room and board for teachers and other school personnel while they are being trained to carry firearms in schools, and offers help to school districts with legal and other issues involved in implimenting the program.

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The FASTER Saves Lives program — FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response — has been active in Ohio since 2013. The sponsoring Buckeye firearms group is an affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

According to the program website, training includes use of firearms, crisis management and emergency medical response.

Several Ohio school districts, many of them in rural areas, have adopted the FASTER program.

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“The FASTER Saves Lives organization has been a great resource to schools across Ohio in providing the highest level of training and resources needed to implement a program,” [one Ohio superintendent] said.

February 4, 2016
Harford Courant - Kent Considering Plan to Arm Teachers

Community leaders are considering a program that could lead to arming teachers and staff at the Kent Center School — an idea that Gov. Dannel P. Malloysaid is "outrageous and would put people at risk."

The board of selectmen voted 2-1 this week to bring "FASTER Saves Lives" — a free gun-training program offered by an Ohio-based nonprofit — to the local board of education, which has authority over whether to implement the program at this rural town's only school. The school board is expected to review the idea at its March meeting.

According to FASTER, which stands for "Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response," the program is designed to train school staff in the event of an active shooter.

"The purpose is not to replace police and EMTs, but to allow teachers, administrators and other personnel on site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately," the organization states. "Each school selects staff members who are willing, competent and capable. Experts on school violence provide training in armed response, crisis management and emergency medical aid."

The program would also allow volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.

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The FASTER program, founded four years ago by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, provides resources to school districts, including a sample school board resolution to authorize staff to be armed on school property as well as how to create an "armed staff checklist."

"What began simply as a pilot class of 24 teachers and administrators shortly after the horrific murders at Sandy Hook elementary school has grown and expanded into a multi-year safety program which is reaching schools across the country," FASTER says on its website.

"Nationwide, schools and parents are demanding a truly effective way to handle the threat of extreme violence in their schools and our FASTER program provides just that at no cost to the district. The days of a 'it won't happen here' violence prevention plan are long gone, schools that are not using every tool available to them are now being held liable by their communities."

The Foundation drew national attention in 2013 when it donated $12,000 to George Zimmerman, the Florida man found not guilty in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

February 4, 2016
WTNH (ABC New Haven, CT) - Kent town officials considering program to arm teachers

Town selectman Jeffrey Parkin is suggesting a program that would allow teachers to carry firearms in the classroom at Kent Center School. Its the towns only pre-K through eighth grade school.

Kent selectman voted two to one on presenting the Board of Education to look into the program “Faster Saves Lives.” It’s a non-profit program that gives educators 26 hours of violence response training. 

February 4, 2016
WKSU 89.7 FM (NPR Kent/Akron)  - Ohio considers clamping down on fake firearms

But that makes no sense to gun rights advocates such as Joe Eaton with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

“Most of these bills are really looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.” 

Instead Eaton says more people need to be educated on how to conduct themselves while holding a gun. 

“Whether the firearms involved are real firearms, look-alike firearms or toys. It’s the person’s actions and the way that they’re using the objects which can cause problems.”

That’s why concealed carry is so important, according to Eaton. 

“Firearms are carried concealed so that nobody other than the person carrying them realizes that they have the firearm for personal protection.” 

January 30, 2016
Cincinnati Enquirer Anatomy of a gun buyback program

“Allowing the guns to go back into the secondary markets is a much better solution than simply destroying the firearms,” said Joe Eaton, treasurer of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “It protects the historical and collectible guns and makes families safer by making less expensive firearms available to them.”

Eaton said many dealers would be interested because it would add to their regular business.

January 28, 2016
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Proposed Plan Would Give Ohio City Leaders Power To Restrict Guns

Gerard Valentino is a spokesperson for the Buckeye Firearms Foundation; a Pro-gun organization said it makes no sense because Home Rule is dead in Ohio.

“Because it was a direct infringement on the right to bear arms we wouldn't allow municipalities to say we're not going to allow freedom of speech in a park because it's an individual right,” Valentino said.

January 28, 2016
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's Cam Edwards on Cam & Company. Click here to view the segment.

January 28, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Sittenfeld Announces Campaign To Allow City Weapons Restrictions; Gun Rights Group Calls Proposal ‘Ridiculous'

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, called the proposal "ridiculous."

"Very literally he is proposing a constitutional amendment to prevent the exercise of a constitutional right," he said.

While Mr. Rieck said his organization is opposed to any proposal that its members believe would infringe on the constitutional right to bear arms, he downplayed the Sittenfeld plan.

"We don't believe that it's going to go anywhere, and our inside sources say that even those who are proposing this don't believe that it's going to go anywhere," he said. "It's election season. This is a way for Sittenfeld to get in the news and he's being very successful at it."

...

Mr. Sittenfeld has made gun control a centerpiece of his campaign, attacking Mr. Strickland, who once garnered the endorsement of the Buckeye Firearms Association, for this record on gun issues.

January 28, 2016
Dix Communications - US Senate candidate from Ohio pushes for home-rule rights on gun control

The head of one firearms group, however, called the proposal “ridiculous.

“Preemption was a solution to a serious problem in Ohio where we had a patchwork of gun laws throughout the state,” Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in a released statement. “[State law] now says clearly that gun laws must be consistent in Ohio and that cites cannot ban something that state law allows. Quite literally, Sittenfeld is proposing a constitutional amendment to prevent the exercise of a constitutional right.”

He added, “The problem is that Ohio is a very pro-gun state. It’s not a coincidence that we’ve passed so many gun-friendly laws here. Ohio voters elect legislators and so it is the voters who oppose most of the gun control proposals like Sittenfeld’s. Buckeye Firearms Association strongly opposes any ballot initiative that would infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Ohio.”

January 28, 2016
Columbus DispatchLet Ohio cities limit guns, Sittenfeld says

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the group opposes any petition effort to permit cities to enact gun regulations.

“It’s going back to a failed idea. It was a bad idea before, it’s a bad idea now,” Irvine said. Gun owners deserve uniform state laws addressing their rights to carry and transport their guns instead of encountering the “chaos” of a patchwork of local regulaltions, he said.

January 28, 2016
Associated Press - US Senate candidate in Ohio pushes local gun amendment

Jim Irvine, board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said the law addressed “a patchwork of laws that just made no sense.” He said the ballot effort is the last option for opponents of gun rights whose views are out of step with public opinion, the Legislature and the courts.

“That’s why they go to this route. Because they can’t win on the facts, they can’t win on their twisted logic, so they’ll try and win with Bloomberg’s money,” he said.

...

Irvine said pre-emption is settled law and his group’s not worried: “They’re still wrong, and we’ll still win.”

January 28, 2016
Cincinnati EnquirerPG: Let cities have say on gun control

Gun owners argue that the previous patchwork of different restrictions in different cities made traveling across the state confusing. They couldn't keep track of all the ordinances, so lawmakers scrapped them, said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. He sees Sittenfeld's initiative as a last-ditch, flawed effort.

"They can’t trick the legislature with their manipulated statistics, and they can’t convince the courts of their faulty logic, so I guess this is the only thing they have left," Irvine said.

January 26, 2016
AnEconomyofOne.com - "An Economy of One"

Buckeye Firearms Association Treasurer and Faster Saves Lives Program Director Joe Eaton was a guest on "An Economy of One" with host Gary Rathbun. "An Economy of One" is syndicated regionally on 1370 WSPD, 640 WHLO and 1280 WONW, and nationally on the Radio America Network and via iHeartMedia. Click here to view the segment.

January 22, 2016
WGTE (Toledo NPR) - Deadline Now: TOBY HOOVER & MICHAEL TEMPLE

Buckeye Firearms Association's Michael Temple was a guest on the WGTE panel show "Deadline Now" with host Jack Lessenberry.

January 20, 2016
Personal & Home Defense Magazine

Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms Foundation, was quoted in a feature article on the Foundation's FASTER Saves Lives program. FASTER stands for (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response).

January 19, 2016
Associated Press - Ohio will still recognize Va. weapons permits

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, says Virginia's new restrictions will also affect gun owners passing through on their way to North Carolina or other east coast states.

January 18, 2016
Associated Press - Ohio concealed-carry permit will be invalid in Virginia

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, says Virginia's new restrictions will also affect gun owners passing through on their way to North Carolina or other east coast states.

January 14, 2016
NanoNews.org - Obama: First lady said she might want a gun

But gun rights activists, like Joe Eaton, Buckeye Firearms Association Treasurer, see background checking for a transaction between friends or hunting buddies as nothing more than a scare tactic that serves to make accidental criminals out of otherwise honest gun owners.

January 11, 2016
Cleveland Plain DealerOhio concealed-carry licenses will soon be invalid in Virginia

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said Virginia's new restrictions will affect not just Ohio gun owners headed to Virginia, but also those passing through on their way to North Carolina or other East Coast states.

Now, Irvine said, Ohioans with concealed handguns will have to stop at the Virginia border to properly stow their firearms. The inconvenience, he said, will lead some to continue carrying their weapon illegally, hoping they don't get caught.

"You have just encouraged people to violate the law," Irvine said. "And once you encourage people to violate one law, why are you surprised that they violate some other law?"

January 11, 2016
WOSU 89.7 FM (NPR Columbus) - An Overview Of Ohio Guns Laws

But Dean Rieck with the Buckeye Firearms Association said while he opposes Obama’s executive actions, he’s not sure they’ll have any real impact at all.

“Changing that law or modifying it slightly or redefining who is a dealer and who isn’t – that really isn’t going to touch the people where you’re having the problem. It might make it slightly more difficult to sell a firearm,” Rieck said. “What will be defined as a dealer and what won’t? They’ve really left that open-ended.”

Most of the biggest changes in gun laws have come not from the federal government, but at the state level. In 2004, carrying a concealed weapon became legal in Ohio. Some cities responded with their own gun bans, which created a patchwork of gun laws across the state.

But in 2006, the state passed a pre-emption law stating state law trumped local laws, overturning about 80 local ordinances in more than 20 Ohio cities. Rieck said there was a simple reason – to help law-abiding gun owners stay that way.

“Every municipality, every area you would go to would have a slightly different set of laws. And honest people could find themselves in trouble,” Rieck said. “That’s why the whole pre-emption thing happened. And now, more or less, the rules are the same all over Ohio.”

...

Ohio’s gun laws will likely continue to change. The latest proposal is a plan to allow concealed-carry weapons permit holders to carry in day cares, parts of airports, police stations, and other areas considered “victim zones”. It’s passed the House but has yet to have a Senate committee hearing.  

Rieck said proposed gun legislation is more about what he calls “clean-up actions” on laws that were written poorly or impose restrictions that don’t do anything about violence and criminal activity. “I wish lawmakers would focus on crime rather than on guns or gun owners – because that’s not where the problem is coming from,” Rieck said.

January 10, 2016
WCMH (NBC Columbus) "The Spectrum" with Colleen Marshall

Buckeye Firearms Foundation board of directors member Gerard Valentino appeared as a guest on "The Spectrum" with host Colleen Marshall.

January 10, 2016
WBZI 1500 AM's "Classic Country Outdoor" radio program

Buckeye Firearms Association Treasurer Joe Eaton was a guest on "Classic Country Outdoor" with co-hosts David Linkhart and Larry Moore. 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.

January 9, 2016
Dayton Daily NewsOhio gun buying shows no sign of slowing down

“The joke on the industry side is Obama is the best president the firearms manufacturing industry has had,” said Jim Irvine, president of theBuckeye Firearms Association.

...

The Buckeye Firearms Association’s Irving[sic] thinks the president’s initiatives could spur the Ohio legislature to loosen restrictions even further.

“I hope a Republican-dominated legislature reacts to a Democratic president’s power-grab and comes out strong,” said Irving[sic], who lobbies on behalf of the industry. “These are state issues, and we will push back.”

January 7, 2016
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Seeking support for gun actions, Obama tears into the NRA

A telephone interview with Buckeye Firearms Association Treasurer Joe Eaton reacting to a presidential town hall were broadcast here.

January 7, 2016
WCBE 90.5 FM (NPR Columbus) - Ohio Groups Differ On POTUS' Exectuive Actions Concerning Guns

Jim Irvine of the gun rights group the Buckeye Firearms Association says increased background checks only serve to intimidate law abiding citizens, because the "gun show loophole" the President cited is a made up term.

FBI data shows the rate of gun sales in 2015 was the highest on record, with background checks on gun purchases and permits up by 10 percent. Irvine says if existing laws were enforced, they
would keep guns out of the wrong hands.

January 6, 2016
Bryan TimesLocal reactions mixed on President's executive order on gun control

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association in Columbus, also agreed with the concept, but not the content or methods behind it.

“The idea to speed up background checks isn’t bad,” Rieck said in a press release following the ceremony.

“But most of the president’s proposals open the door to abuse and arbitrary persecution of law-abiding citizens while ignoring the reality that criminals don’t abide by the current rules and won’t abide by modified rules either.”

Untracked gun show transactions aren’t the problem because “less than one percent of crime guns” were obtained from them, Rieck said.

“The attempt to close this fictitious loophole by requiring background checks for sales by those who may engage in as few as two transactions, serves only to intimidate law-abiding gun owners. It has the potential to make criminals out of hobbyists instead of catching actual criminals.

“I don’t fault anyone for wanting to reduce crime,” Rieck said. “But the fact is, these executive actions demonstrate a lack of understanding about where criminals get firearms and they serve only to erect road blocks for ordinary people to exercise a constitutionally protected right. These proposals will not affect crime in any way.”

January 6, 2016
Gannett Ohio - Law doesn't stop some domestic abusers from having guns

Joe Eaton, treasurer for Buckeye Firearms Association, said lawmakers shouldn't be too quick to take away gun owners' constitutional rights.

"When we’re talking about eliminating someone’s constitutional rights, we need to look at the exact justification of that," Eaton said.

January 6, 2016
WOSU 89.7 FM (NPR Columbus)  - "All Sides with Ann Fisher"

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on "All Sides with Ann Fisher." 

January 5, 2016
WOSU 89.7 FM (NPR Columbus) - Buckeyes Firearms Assoc. Leader Says Executive Orders "Won't Work"

The leader of an Ohio gun owners rights group says President Obama's executive orders meant to address gun violence won't work. 

Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association says more background checks only affect law abiding citizens. Irvine says the "gun show loophole" that the President cited, is a made up term.

"The U.S. Department of Justice did a study and found less than one percent of crime guns were obtained at gun shows. So the gun shows aren't a problem with crime. They just aren't," Irvine said.

Irvine says the government needs better enforce laws already on the books.

January 5, 2016
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Mixed reactions to President's plans from gun owners and dealers

Gerard Valentino, with The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, says owners are demanding answers regarding the new requirements for background checks and licensing

"It never really says specifically if you sell five guns, eight guns or 10 guns," said Valentino. "For a gun owner who wants to be a law abiding citizen, it puts them in a bad spot."

January 5, 2016
WAKR 1590 AM (Akron) "The Jason Sokol Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "The Jason Sokol Show."

January 5, 2016
Gongwer News Service - Obama's Executive Orders On Guns Draw Cheers, Jeers In Ohio

Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck said he doubts the orders will have any impact on crime.

"The idea to speed up background checks isn't bad," Mr. Rieck said. "But most of the President's proposals open the door to abuse and arbitrary persecution of law-abiding citizens while ignoring the reality that criminals don't abide by the current rules and won't abide by modified rules either."

He cited U.S. Department of Justice statistics as showing that very few firearms used in crimes were purchased at gun shows and said the president's actions demonstrate "a lack of understanding."

January 5, 2016
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Bill Cunningham Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "The Bill Cunningham Show."

January 5, 2016
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Mike McConnell Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "The Mike McConnell Show."

January 5, 2016
Cleveland Plain DealerObama initiatives boost gun sales instead of fighting crime, firearms advocates say

In the gun world, there's a joke that President Barack Obama is the industry's top salesman, says Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck.

"Anytime he talks about guns, gun sales go up," says Rieck, who heads the statewide group dedicated to defending and advancing citizens' rights to the legal use of firearms. "Anytime anyone threatens to tighten the laws on firearms, that tends to drive sales up as well."

As firearms control backers praised Obama's newly announced efforts to prevent gun violence -- which include expanding background checks for gun purchasers and closing loopholes that allow some buyers to avoid them -- Rieck and other firearms advocates disputed whether it would prevent crime.

They argue the proposals are meant to intimidate gun owners, infringe on law-abiding citizens' Constitutionally-protected rights, circumvent Congress, and force firearms makers to "adopt unproven and unsafe technology through financial intimidation by the federal government," as Rieck's organization put it. 

"A lot of these proposals are a little naive and disingenuous," said Rieck. "I don't believe the administration really believes they will affect crime. Certainly none of these mass shootings would be affected by these new executive orders. If anything changes, it will become slightly more difficult for law abiding gun owners to buy firearms."

...

Rieck noted that stock prices of gun makers like Smith & Wesson rose after Obama's announcement on Tuesday, and said gun sales are always rise upon rumors of tightened regulations because people "are worried they might lose access to firearms and they want to get the guns while they can get them." He also said it's not unusual for sales to spike around the holidays because of gift-giving.

"People knew something was coming," said Rieck. "It was leaked to the press a while back. This was no surprise."

January 4, 2016
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Rocky Boiman Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Board of Directors member Joe Eaton was a guest on "The Rocky Boiman Show."

January 4, 2016
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Gun Theft Concern: A local gun theft trend has victims worried about more to come

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors member Gerard Valentino was interviewed for this report.

January 4, 2016
Gannett Ohio - Ohio gun show promoter slams Obama plan as rhetoric

Obama's executive order won't save lives like those lost in Aurora or San Bernardino, said Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms Association. The move is merely a frustrated attempt to challenge a Congress that isn't doing what the president wants, he added.

"I think it’s sad what he’s done. I think it’s disgusting what he’s done," Irvine said.

Obama aims to crack down on enforcement of the current law, especially for online sales. Irvine raised concerns that requiring more background checks for small sellers would only increase the price of buying a gun. The changes also might lead to costly court challenges.

...

But Irvine said Obama's changes inch toward universal background checks — a policy that failed in states such as California.

"Look at San Bernardino," Irvine said. "It didn’t stop the killers, the terrorists, from having the guns they wanted for the crime they committed."

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