2017 - BFA in the News

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

August 16, 2017
Americas1stFreedom.org - Equipping Teachers And Staff Members To Protect Students

The Mad River Local Schools in Ohio have kicked off a new academic year, and students and staff are safer than they were this time last year. After spending hours in the classroom and on the range over the past several months, more than 30 employees of the school district are now trained to serve as a first line of defense against any armed school attacker. I recently spoke with the Mad River superintendent Chad Wyen on NRATV’s “Cam & Co.” about the district’s decision to incorporate trained staff members who have access to hidden gun safes as part of the school’s security plan.

According to Wyen, it wasn’t a decision anyone took lightly. Members of the school board and administration talked with local police, consulted several other school districts in Ohio that had already undertaken the process of training educators with the help of the Buckeye Firearms Association, and spoke to parents and teachers about their plan ahead of time. They conducted lengthy interviews with more than 50 applicants, all currently employed by the school district and all current concealed-carry holders. The initial pool was winnowed down to a total of 32 staffers, with two dozen receiving FASTER training through Buckeye Firearms Association and eight receiving Ohio Peace Officer Training.


August 2, 2017
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio House puts gun rights over property rights: editorial

In this 2007 file photo, Cheryl DeBose, wife of the late state Rep. Michael DeBose, both from Cleveland, practiced loading a revolver on the shooting range in the basement of Gray's Armory during a Buckeye Firearms Association-hosted concealed-carry course in Cleveland. 

July 23, 2017
Toledo Blade - Toledo area gun sales see drop since Trump's inauguration


“We’re coming off an election year, and I’m sure that drove some of the numbers. This year it might cool down a little bit, and in fact, I would be surprised if it didn’t,” said Dean Rieck executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, a lobbying and advocacy group.


Some purchasers were undoubtedly new to firearms, but Mr. Rieck said many were hard-core collectors or hobbyists who sought assurance they could get the guns and ammunition they wanted before regulations change.

July 20, 2017
Columbus Dispatch - Editorial: Own a gun? Lock it up

The result is the new Partnership for Safety of Children Around Firearms, which takes a practical approach to saving lives. Other issues — gun rights, mental health and gangs — aren’t on the table. The group’s tightly focused “Store it Safe” campaign has one simple message: If you own a firearm, keep it locked up. Gun boxes and safes are relatively inexpensive and can be accessed quickly in an emergency. Just as parents buckle their children in car seats, they need to take this protective measure to keep youngsters safe from firearms.

The Partnership, led by the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has a broad coalition of members, including (to name a few) the Columbus Division of Police, the Buckeye Firearms Association and the Blackwing Shooting Center.

[Firearms trainer] Andy Loeffler and Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, also want to make their message of responsible gun ownership resonate beyond their traditional membership — experienced gun owners who tend to be responsible. “Previous to this, we were preaching to the choir,” Loeffler said. “The messages were never really going to the people who hadn’t heard it before.”


It’s a winning strategy. In the current political climate, American is divided on many fronts. Keeping children safe from guns can’t be one of them.

July 19, 2017
Breitbart.com - Laura Carno: Why Students are Safer When Teachers are Armed

Consider two different scenarios when an active killer enters a school.

Scenario 1: The door to Mr. Russell’s 3rd grade English class flies open. A troubled teen with a blank look in his eyes demands that Russell and his 8-year-old children move to the corner in the rear of the classroom. The teen starts shooting, first Russell, then one by one, the children. The sobbing children have no options. They simply wait to be the next one shot. Someone has dialed 911, and the police are only two minutes away. That gives this troubled teen plenty of time to move to another classroom. The shooter wanted maximum body count, and he got what he wanted.

Scenario 2: The door to Mrs. Sebastian’s 3rd grade English class flies open. A troubled teen with a blank look in his eyes demands that Sebastian and her 8-year-old children move to the corner in the rear of the classroom. Mrs. Sebastian draws her Glock 43 from concealment, stopping the shooter before he gets off a shot. The shooter wanted maximum body count, but Mrs. Sebastian stopped him, saving the lives of her third graders. Someone has dialed 911, and the police are only two minutes away. Because the shooter is down, there is no second classroom. Lives were saved because Mrs. Sebastian was authorized to be armed on her campus, and attended lifesaving FASTER training.

In which classroom would you rather your children be sitting?

Students are safer in Scenario 2. Even if law enforcement is only two minutes away, precious lives can be lost.

The difference between the reality of these two scenarios is precisely why Coloradans for Civil Liberties (CCL) brought FASTER training to Colorado. FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. We know that in an active shooter situation, the faster the shooter is stopped, the fewer people die. In Colorado, it has been law for more than a decade that school staff members, who are authorized by their school board, can be armed first responders on their campus.

Until now, these Colorado staff members—teachers, principals, superintendents, janitors— had to figure out how to get their own training. Most school districts, particularly those in rural areas, do not have the budget for an armed School Resource Officer, much less to pay for advanced skills like FASTER training offers.

The good news for these schools is that CCL raised the money to provide this first FASTER class at little or no cost to the teacher, school or district. Unfortunately, we need to help with fundraising to continue our training.

You can help. First, forward this article to anyone you know who works at a school in Colorado. Next, help sponsor a teacher or a class. Donating to help train more armed teachers ensures more of our school children find themselves safer in Scenario 2.  It is up to all of us to help ensure Scenario 1 never happens in Colorado again.

July 17, 2017
America's 1st Freedom - Coming Unhinged In Cleveland

Larkin concluded his rant by quoting Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, as telling the Dayton Daily News in March, “There is no right to be free of stupid people.”

If Irvine wasn’t referring directly to Larkin, it’s likely he was talking about someone very similar.

And people wonder why having a “reasonable conversation” on the gun issue is so difficult.

July 13, 2017
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Ohio lawmakers' 17th-century mindset on gun laws: Brent Larkin

Defending the proliferation of guns into almost every aspect of society, Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told the Dayton Daily News in March: "There is no right to be free of guns. There is no right to be free of stupid people."

July 12, 2017
WRGT (Fox Dayton) - Local district training, arming teachers in case of school shooting

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - More teachers are taking up arms across the country, including right at home in the Miami Valley.

Mad River Local Schools will join Sidney Public Schools allowing teachers access to guns at school.

FOX 45 was the only television station with the teachers as they went through three days of intense training.

When students come back to school August 14, there will be something different, guns in the schools.

The schools have a buzz in system and cameras, and the district has gone through the ALICE Active Shooter Training but the superintendent felt that still wasn't enough security.

"When parents drop their kids off to us, we're responsible for them and I want to do everything I can to keep them safe," said an unidentified teacher.

There were 24 teachers in training going through the shooting drill at the gun range.

The teachers must have their concealed carried license before getting the nearly 30 hours of Faster Saves Lives training put on by Buckeye Firearms.

FOX 45 blurred the faces of the teachers because they going through a rigorous training, but also due to the fact if it's known who the staff members are then we go from being a hard target to a softer target

"...because they can be identified easily in the building and that's not our goal." said Mad River Local Schools Superintendent Chad Wyen.

The goal: have properly trained and prepared teachers in case there's a shooting at any of Mad River's seven schools.

"The last two years we dealt with the situation in Madison, we dealt with the situation in West Liberty Salem and it's very close to home and the reality is it could happen here. Mad River is unique. We have Wright-Patterson Air Force Base right in our back yard, we have a school located within base housing," said Wyen.

"You have to be that willing person to take the fight to your adversary," said one instructor to the teachers.

The teachers also got classroom instructions.

"We've learned about the history of active shooters and about how they usually happen (40) and how to deal with that and how to interact with the police when they get there," said the unidentified teacher.

They learned how to deal with medical trauma too.

"Once they realize they have the skills, they have the ability, they're making the situation better, the light bulbs come on in their heads this is not only

something they want to do, but something they can do. As of now we have trained just about 900 school staff from 192 school districts. That is across eight states but the vast majority are from here in Ohio," Said Faster Saves Lives Program Director Joe Eaton.

More than 100 teachers in Montgomery, Shelby and surrounding counties have been trained with FasterSaves Lives

"I don't think I would take on this responsibility without the amount of training that they're giving us," said the unidentified teacher.

Another part of the training is the the Force on Force scenarios.

In one, a gunman shoots students and a teacher has to respond.

"You have to be prepared to encounter victims okay maybe there are kids you know are laying in the hall begging for your help," said one of the instructors.

The reporter is put in the action, playing the role of a teacher hearing gunfire.

"Your job is to go stop the shooter, if you stop to help somebody else, it's going to cost more people their lives," said one of the instructor.

The reporter was forced to shoot the bad guy.

"It's going to take a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun," said the unidentified teacher.

Several other scenarios played out,

The scenarios help reinforce the training we've given them over the past three days.It also reinforces that they are able to make the right decision and they are doing things which are making the situation better and that they're helping save lives," said Eaton.

"My hope is we never have to deal with anything like this in Mad River Local Schools. The reality is if we do, We'll be prepared and we will keep our kids safe here," said Wyen.

July 10, 2017
GunNewsDaily.com - Colorado Teachers Get Advanced Gun Training

The three-day course demonstrates move-and-shoot drills, hand-to-hand combat, and medical triage of gunshot injuries. The class, Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, or FASTER, was started five years ago by Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Tactical Defense Institute in Ohio. Since then, almost 900 school employees have finished the class.

Co-founder of Coloradans for Civil Liberties Laura Carno said, “I don’t think there is anything as good as FASTER.” The organization bringing FASTER to Colorado is “committed to restoring the Second Amendment freedoms of Colorado citizens.”

July 8, 2017
Gongwer News Service - Controversial Gun Bill Clears Divided House

Following the vote, Ohio Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety criticized the passage of the measure.


But the Buckeye Firearms Association called the anti-gun groups opposing the measure "astroturf" organizations that are "flooding Ohio with emails essentially claiming that the world is about to end if this bill is passed."

The association also labeled the several business organizations opposed to the measure as "anti-self-defense rights" groups. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce and law enforcement groups voiced opposition to the bill in committee on Wednesday.

"The opposition cited public safety and private property concerns, but was never able to explain why Ohio must have draconian penalties for our citizens compared to the rest of the country, or how a law-abiding citizen in possession of their gun was more dangerous than leaving the gun unattended in an automobile where it is more likely be stolen, or how all the extra handling of firearms was safer than just leaving them holstered on one's person," BFA stated.

July 5, 2017
KTRH (Houston 740 AM) - KTRH Morning News with Matt Patrick

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on Houston, TX's KTRH Morning News with Matt Patrick.

July 1, 2017
The Tribune-Review - Pennsylvania's guns-for-teachers bill hailed, panned

FASTER Saves Lives is affiliated with the Buckeye Firearms Association in Greenville, Ohio. The organization has provided training to educators mainly in Ohio for the past five years and recently offered its first round of out-of-state sessions in Colorado.

Joe Eaton, program director, said educators from Pennsylvania, New York and Tennessee have traveled to Ohio to observe sessions.


And if teachers are likely to put themselves in between a violent intruder and a student, districts owe it to their staff to have policies and training in place that support them in fighting back, said Joe Eaton, program director with the FASTER Saves Lives organization.

"There's no other emergency that we rely 100 percent of the time on outside help," he said, explaining that teachers should be thought of as the first responders in violent intruder situations.

June 30, 2017
Independent Journal Review - 
Let That Be a Lesson to Criminals: More Teachers Grabbing Guns, Taking Firearms Training Classes


Fox News reported that hundreds of teachers have already been trained in its FASTER program:

Hundreds of school teachers in Ohio, Colorado and elsewhere have been trained by an organization called Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER). The group, operated by Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association, conducts a program that was created along with concerned parents, law officers and safety experts, according to a description of the group on its website.

Laura Carno of Coloradans for Civil Liberties told 9 News that teachers in rural areas are especially vulnerable:

“In a nutshell, it is training for teachers and other school staff who are armed first responders in their schools. [...] By and large rural school districts [...] have made the decision that law enforcement is 30-45 minutes away. [...] They are their own first responders.”

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation introduced the FASTER program in 2015:

Spokesman Jim Irvine says that active shooter training for teachers and administrators shouldn’t be about guns.

Irvine told Fox News it should be about safety:

“The safety of our kids should not be a controversial issue. This is not about guns. For nearly 60 years, not one student has died from a fire. That is due to a redundant, overlapping approach to safety.”

The group says the program isn’t about replacing cops and EMTs; it’s about equipping people to make-do until the professionals get there.


June 28, 2017
Dayton Daily News - State softens plan to punish employers for not allowing guns on sites

Jim Irvine, chairman of the pro-gun Buckeye Firearms Association, said the original law lacked penalties and he supported adding the civil liability as a way to force businesses to comply with the “spirit of the law.”

June 28, 2017
FoxNews.com - Teachers packing heat: More educators taking gun training classes

Hundreds of school teachers in Ohio, Colorado and elsewhere have been trained by an organization called Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER). The group, operated by Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association, conducts a program that was created along with concerned parents, law officers and safety experts, according to a description of the group on its website.

The program provides 26 hours of hands-on training over three days and exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, according to FASTER officials. It entails practice scenarios in which the armed protector must find and subdue the threat as students flee a classroom.

In addition to the combat training, those who attended the exercise were also given combat casualty training where they learned how to treat injuries at the scene with bandages and a tourniquet.

“The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately,” reads a description of the program.

Most recently, more than a dozen Colorado teachers received training from FASTER after a request by Coloradoans for Civil Liberties, which felt that the training was necessary for teachers in more rural districts with remote first responders.


FASTER operates under the belief that along with other preventative measures, teachers packing guns can help provide the first line of defense should a shooter come on campus and open fire.

“Similar to pilots who carry guns to protect their passengers and crew (something that has worked very well in spite of all the anti-gun predictions of disasters), school staff need the tools to protect their children — not just from fires or abuse, but also from a killer in the room,” read a section from a FASTER white paper that describes the program. “If we have someone willing to lay their life on the line, it’s our responsibility as a society to give them the tools, skills and permission needed.”

The group boasts that similar programs have worked in states like Utah, Alabama and Texas and that at least 23,000 schools – nearly one-third of all public schools in the U.S. -- already have armed security on staff.

FASTER was first enacted in the Buckeye Firearms Association's home state of Ohio after dozens of school districts allowed teachers with concealed carry permits to bring weapons to work in 2015.

“The safety of our kids should not be a controversial issue. This is not about guns,” Jim Irvine, with FASTER and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said to Fox News at the time. “For nearly 60 years, not one student has died from a fire. That is due to a redundant, overlapping approach to safety.”

“We should be copying that same method for incidents of violence in our schools," Irvine added. "You need something that is effective. Show us another method and we would invest in it.”

June 23, 2017
Good.is - When Teachers Put Down Pencils And Pick Up Guns

When school lets out for the summer, the nation’s teachers get a much-deserved chance to sleep in, lounge by the pool, or travel. Along with the rest and relaxation, plenty of educators also spend the summer months planning lessons for the next school year and attending professional development workshops. And if they’re teachers in Colorado, this summer they might be learning how to handle a gun on their campus.

This week, a group of 17 educators are participating in a three-day workshop in Weld County outside Denver, where they’re learning how to fire back at an active shooter and give medical help to students who’ve been hurt. The workshop—the first of its kind in Colorado—is run by Faculty Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER). The Ohio-based organization was started after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which killed 20 children and six adults.

 We hope that no innocent students are unintentionally shot by the volunteers.

Ronnie Wilson, a school administrator who will be opening a charter school in Falcon, Colorado, in the fall, told KDVR that he chose to participate in the workshop because he’s concerned about the safety of his 700 students. 

“The kind of training that I have personally received is something beyond what I could have received through the sheriff’s office, just for my conceal-carry permit,” said Wilson. “So crisis management is of utmost importance. Also, to kind of prepare yourself not for if the worst happens, but when it could happen.” 

In the aftermath of Newtown, the idea that allowing teachers to bring guns to school would make kids safer took root in some parts of the nation. In 2013, South Dakota became the first state to authorize teachers or other school staff to carry concealed weapons in K-12 schools. Now, nine states allow it. 

Since its founding, FASTER has trained about 900 school staff in Ohio. “The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately,” according to the FASTER website. Participants have to already have a concealed carry permit and be authorized to serve as a volunteer security officer by their local school board.

However, the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, which was established in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students, is opposed to these laws and trainings. In a section of its website with tips about how to respond to an active shooter situation, REMS-TA states: “The possibility of an active shooter situation is not justification for the presence of firearms on campus in the hands of any personnel other than law enforcement officers.” 

Research gathered by Everytown for Gun Safety, indicates that the likelihood of a Newtown or Columbine-type incident happening is “extremely rare.” On its website, the nonprofit, which advocates for gun control and against gun violence, notes that “only 1 percent of all homicides of school-age children occur on school grounds, on the way to or from school, or during a school sponsored event.”

That doesn’t mean incidents don’t happen, though. Everytown has tracked shootings at K-12 schools, colleges, and universities since 2013. According to its data, there have been 228 school shootings in the past four years. However, Everytown defines a school shooting to be “when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented by the press or confirmed through further inquiries with law enforcement.” So when a couple of girls eating lunch outside an elementary school in Chicago are hit in the hand and arm by bullets from someone shooting in the surrounding neighborhood, that qualifies. 

Everytown also points out that when the source of the gun used in a school shooting is known, police find that half of students acquired a gun in the home. “Making it harder for children to bring firearms from home—by enacting child access protection laws and promoting a culture of safe storage—could help address those situations,” wrote Everytown.

In a post on its Facebook page on Thursday, the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America condemned the Weld County training. “More guns on campus will not stop school shootings. Keeping guns out of dangerous hands will,” they wrote. “We hope that no innocent students are unintentionally shot by the volunteers after their 3 day training course.”

Wilson was the only participant in the FASTER training to identify themselves to the media. The anonymity of the school staffers concerned several people posting on the Moms Demand Action Facebook page. Some wondered if parents will be notified by their schools if a teacher or other staffer has a gun on campus, and what the insurance implications are for schools. It might not be too hard for folks to find out whether staffers took part though, since, as one commenter pointed out, all public schools are “subject to disclosure of records.”

June 23, 2017
Greeley TribuneWeld County sheriff hosts active shooter training that teaches educators to stop threats

The bark of gunfire rang in the air as 17 Colorado teachers and school administrators squeezed off round after round from their pistols Thursday afternoon.

The event marked the end of a three-day, highly specialized class in Weld County — at an undisclosed Weld County Sheriff's Office site — designed to teach education professionals how to stop active shooter situations and deal with related injuries.

This is the first time Colorado educators have had the chance to take this specific advanced course, designed to train concealed weapon carriers to stop threats in a school environment. It took place in Weld County because Sheriff Steve Reams agreed to let the class use a sheriff's office site for the training.

"I've always been kind of a proponent for providing teachers a way to be armed in school districts that have been open to that ideology," Reams said. "If you look at any of the school shootings around the country, the emphasis is always the quicker the threat can be stopped, the less carnage ensues — whether that's a school resource officer that happens to be in place or just an armed responder in any capacity."

The FASTER course — an acronym for "Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response" — was the brainchild of Ohio organizations Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Tactical Defense Institute. Its curriculum includes three days of rigorous mental, physical and classroom education on firearms, tactics, fist aid and more specific exercises designed for schools and educators.

This week's class marked the first FASTER course taught outside of Ohio, said Angela Armstrong with Buckeye Firearms Association.

In five years in Ohio, the institute has taught educators from 75 of the state's 88 counties — and the organization predicts it will have instructed more than 1,000 educators by the end of the year.

Throughout the class educators go through firearm accuracy drills — by the end of the class each person will fire more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Course materials cover topics from mindset to medical techniques. Each student also will participate in live simulations with non-lethal pellet guns.

In Colorado, public school staff designated as school security officers may carry concealed weapons. It's a law that has been on the books for a while, but it gained renewed attention in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, said Coloradans for Civil Liberties founder Laura Carno. In 2014, Colorado gave charter school boards the ability to designate school security officers, she said.

With Colorado's ability to put staff armed with concealed weapons in public schools, Carno thought the state could have a use for a specialized class for school security officers.

With a more-than-20-person waiting list for an as-of-yet unscheduled class, this won't be the last time Colorado educators have the chance to take the FASTER training. And in Reams' mind, that's a good thing.

"Is three days enough, I don't know," Reams said. "I can tell you that's much better than no training."

In his mind, advertising a school as a gun-free zone tells criminals they won't find serious resistance if they try to harm the school and its students and teachers, he said.

A school security officer could be full-time position, however. In many rural school districts, it's a designation educators volunteer for in addition to their normal duties. Thursday's class was comprised of about 40 percent teachers and 60 percent administrators, Carno explained.

Only educators with concealed carry permits and who have been approved as a school security officer — or are actively in the process of getting approved — can take the class. The class cost about $1,000 per participant. Some schools district pay for their security officers to attend, she said, but most small districts can't afford it, so Coloradans for Civil Liberties raises money to offer scholarships.

"We're not saying we want more people to carry guns," she said. "I'm advocating that this is the law. People are doing this. There should be better training."

About five Weld educators took the class, but Carno wouldn't say which school district they came from because anonymity comprises an important part of the course.

While some school districts publicly declare the presence of trained and armed educators, most districts don't publicize the fact, she said. If people knew which educators carry weapons, that could make them targets, she said.

Carno kept the location of the class and the identities of its participants confidential — unless the participant explicitly allowed the release of their identities. The Weld participants in the class opted for that anonymity.

The training doesn't turn educators into law enforcement professionals, Carno said. It helps prepare them as much as possible for how to stop a bad situation from getting worse, she said.

"If there's a fire on the stove and you call 911, you don't wait there with your arms crossed. You try to put the fire out while you wait," she said. "We just want to provide world-class training because we know this can save lives."

June 22, 2017
Guns.com - Colorado teachers receiving active shooter training

Some Colorado teachers have headed to the gun range instead of summer vacation in order to receive active shooter training in Weld County.

Colorado 9 News reported the group Coloradans for Civil Liberties paid for about 17 school staff members to receive FASTER Training, which stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.

“In a nutshell, it is training for teachers and other school staff who are armed first responders in their schools,” said Laura Carno, founder of the civil liberties group.

The program, first started in Ohio, offered scholarships to teachers and other school staff members in Colorado, many of whom are from rural districts.

“By and large rural school districts, who have made the decision that law enforcement is 30-45 minutes away,” Carno explained. “They are their own first responders.”

Ronnie Wilson, who hopes to start a K-12 charter school, was one of the first to fire some rounds at the training.

“I’m looking for every possible venue and avenue to ensure safety of students,” Wilson said.

Under current Colorado law, school staff members with permits can carry concealed guns in school so long as they have been designated as a security officer.

Carno noted Wilson was the only trainee willing to give his name, as knowing who is armed in a particular school might give an attacker a strategic advantage. She said many involved in the training are already carrying concealed firearms in their schools.

Some opponents of the program, like Tom Mauser of Colorado Ceasefire, argued the staff members won’t be receiving the same level of training as armed security guards.

Mauser, who lost his son in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, said staff members carrying guns may cause more confusion for law enforcement arriving at an active shooter scene.

Those sentiments were echoed by Ken Toltz, the founder and co-chair of Safe Campus Colorado.

“The dangers of adding guns to a school environment are dramatically increased by allowing loaded lethal weapons into a school environment on a daily basis – as the promoters of FASTER envision,” Toltz said in statement provided to 9 News.

Toltz also said the program was started by the Ohio gun lobby and characterized it as an attempt to lay the foundation for another push to loosen gun laws in Colorado.

Carno disagreed, saying they were just trying to provide safety training.

June 22, 2017
CompleteColorado.com - First Colorado FASTER training a success

GREELEY —  Thirteen minutes.

That’s how long it would take a Logan County Sheriff’s deputy to get to Fleming’s one school if the call of an active shooter came in.

That’s assuming the deputy is in Sterling and that he’s driving 100 miles per hour.

“They’ve told us that 7-8 kids are shot per minute in the average school shooting,” said Scott Muller, president of the Fleming School District Board of Education.

The entire K-12 population of the rural Colorado school district is 200.

If the deputy happens to be on the other side of Logan County, it could be 35 minutes or more before law enforcement arrived.

“Whether it’s a rural school or an urban school, in a lecture setting or recess setting, there are a lot of kids in a confined space,” said Fleming Superintendent Steve McCracken. “We want them to know they are safe.”

Muller and McCracken were two of 17 teachers, bus drivers, janitors and other administrators or school staff members taking part in the first Colorado Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) course.

The participants came from several school districts across the state. Some districts have been open and vocal about their decisions; others have made the decision in executive session and have not gone public to protect the teachers and staff who have volunteered for the program.

Complete Colorado will not identify schools, districts or employees in those districts who have asked to remain anonymous.

The three-day course took place at the Weld County Sheriff Office training facility in east Greeley. Weld officers did not help with the training but Weld Sheriff Steve Reams partnered with the organizers of FASTER to use the facility.

The class accepts no more than 24 students. Laura Carno, who organized the training though her organization Coloradans For Civil Liberties, said she had more than 24 registered but had to stop registrations at 17 because funding ran out. The course is $1,000 per student.

The Independence Institute* funded some of the registrations.

Although schools and their districts can fund themselves, Carno said FASTER recognizes that most districts don’t budget for this kind of thing, so she fundraises to help defray the costs. With this the inaugural session, Carno is hoping word gets out and she can raise more money for future sessions, which she already has a wait list for.

Opponents such as Colorado Cease Fire, started by the father of a Columbine High School shooting victim, argue more guns in schools is not the answer.

However, Colorado laws already allow school districts to contract with armed security personnel. Many districts in Colorado have expanded that to include teachers and other staff. Bennett School District in Bennett for example, creates a separate contract with any staff member who qualifies for $1. The contracts specify the responsibilities in detail of the both the staff member and the school district. They are usually year-to-year and require on-going training in handgun use and safety. Muller said Fleming will do the same thing.

The course includes everything from gun safety and how to handle an active shooter, to crisis management and first aid.

“One of the most important things I’ve learned is the crisis management,” said Ronnie Wilson, another participant who is currently in the process of starting a charter school in the Colorado Springs area. “The trauma doctor who was here and all the trainers that were here have been highly qualified and experts in their field.”

Wilson said they talked about situations that didn’t involve guns.

“So learning how to treat wounds is something that I’ve never been trained on,” Wilson said. “And I see the value of that for all school staff because you can have an accident of some kind at a school that may not even involve the type of situations were being trained for here.”

He said he chose to allow his staff to arm because prospective parents to his school are asking about security just as much as they are asking about curriculum.


Carno learned of FASTER through a friend, Sean Maloney, and then decided to bring it to Colorado after she saw it in action in Ohio. The idea was born out of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Maloney, co-founder of FASTER and part of the Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association, said he was on a football recruiting trip with his son when his phone rang off the hook from others as Sandy Hook played out on national TV.

He and his colleagues knew they had to do something, he said, and he thought about a seminar he had recently attended and the words of the speaker, Lt. Col. David Grossman, Ret.

“I don’t know an awful lot, but do know a school shooting will happen again,” Grossman said that day.

“And they do,” Maloney said. “Gun advocates know the only way to stop a bad person with a gun is with a gun. Nothing else works.”

In fact, a 2013 FBI study found that most incidents from 2000-2013 ended on the gunman’s terms. However, five incidents ended when armed individuals who were not law enforcement officers, exchanged gunfire with shooters. Three shooters were killed, one was injured and the other committed suicide. All the citizens involved had valid firearms permits.

“It was a combination of actions by citizens and/or law enforcement that ended the shootings,” the report reads. “In at least 65 (40.6%) of the 160 incidents, citizen engagement or the shooter committing suicide ended the shooting at the scene before law enforcement arrived.”

Maloney said FASTER was developed to empower schools to protect themselves from incidents such as Columbine or Sandy Hook.

“The anti-gun crowd for whatever reason pretends to think the no gun signs is going to stop somebody or that they can legislate evil out of person’s heart and soul,” Maloney said. “That is just not going to happen. If you are willing to slaughter little babies, a no gun sign isn’t going to make a difference.”

Muller agreed, adding that when Fleming begins concealed carrying this fall, it will post signs similar to the Bennett School District all over its building notifying intruders that teachers and other staff members are allowed to carry on site and some do.

“Hopefully, that will be enough so that we never have to use this training,” Muller said.

The Ohio FASTER program will have trained more than 1,000 teachers by the end of this summer. They have a waiting list much longer, Maloney said.

Buckeye brought its trainers to Colorado along with instructors from the Tactical Defense Institute, which developed the curriculum, to kick off the program. He is confident the Colorado training will expand just as it has in Ohio as parents become educated on the topic and see its success in other districts.

“FASTER came from the emotion of knowing we could do something by teaching people how to stop it, or at least to minimize the damage,” Maloney said. “When the damages are little babies and life?”
The FBI report also stated that 11 of the incidents “involved unarmed principals, teachers, other school staff and students who confronted shooters to end the threat (9 of those shooters were students).”

That fact is exactly why Maloney is passionate about arming teachers.

“I think about the 26-year-old teacher at Sandy Hook, when the only thing she had to put between the gunman and her kids was her body,” he said. “I just want to give them the chance at life.”


The first Colorado training included both men and women and ranged from 24 to near retirement.

One woman, a 24-year-old high school teacher who asked to remain anonymous said she got her first firearm at 19 and has been training for this opportunity since.

“It’s extremely important to protect our children in school,” she said. “I’m a young female teacher. I don’t have children of my own, but I hope to one day. And I hope that if my children don’t go to my school, that they will be protected in this way.”

She said it frustrates her to hear some of her colleagues in opposition to the idea claim she can’t protect herself from a bigger, stronger student being able to disarm her.

“I know from this position, I can protect anyone of my students,” she said. “And no one can get my gun from me, should they want to.”

She said she went into the training with no expectations, and was thankful for FASTER.

“The instructors truly want the best for us,” she said. “They want us to succeed. They have exceeded everything I thought it would be. It has all been just supper beneficial.”

One of those instructors, Angela Armstrong, said it is imperative that participants get real training about active shooter scenarios so they know what to expect before they experience it.

“You have to work through different scenarios in your mind,” Armstrong said. “You’re not going to rise to the occasion, you’re going to fall to your level of training.”

McCracken said FASTER was exactly what his district was looking for.

“The school board asked us to go above and beyond the minimum standards to be able to carry a gun on campus,” he said. “Such as what if a student tries to take our gun? There are some issues that are true concerns. Through this training and education, we are hoping to eliminate those concerns.

Armstrong said she understands this isn’t for everyone, but it should be available for those who do want it.

“You have to have the mindset,” she said. “You can put a gun in someone’s hand who is a really good shooter, but if they don’t have the mindset to pull that out and engage that lethal threat of someone coming in that school, it’s not going to work.”

Scott said he believes the training should be mandatory in all school districts for staff who wants it.

“I’m biased,” he said. “But it’s just safer. Some people will never believe that or agree with that, but it is if you’re trained and know what you’re doing.”

June 21, 2017
OpposingViews.com - Colorado Teachers Training to Carry Guns in Schools

After several Colorado school districts voted to allow campus personnel to function as unofficial security officers, dozens of teachers in the state have begun gun safety training under a pilot program that began after the Sandy Hook massacre.

On June 20, the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program began training teachers with concealed carry permits in Weld County, Colorado. The three-day training session aimed to teach school officials how to react in the event of a gunman targeting their campuses.

"In a nutshell, it is training for teachers and other school staff who are armed first responders in their schools," Laura Carno of Coloradans for Civil Liberties, who helped bring FASTER to the state, told KUSA.

Colorado prohibits people from carrying firearms onto K-12 school campuses, but several of the state's school districts have opted to allow teachers to acquire a security officer designation. If the teachers undergo a training program, they can be armed while on school premises.

In July 2016, Colorado's Fleming School District voted to allow campus staffers to be armed under this requirement. In December 2016, Hanover School District voted on a similar measure on the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.

In the Sandy Hook shooting, which happened in December 2012, Adam Lanza entered an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, and shot and killed 20 children and six adults. Gun proponents say that having armed teachers would have lowered the number of children who died or could have prevented Lanza from shooting in the first place.

"The timing was a coincidence," Michael Lawson, a Hanover school board member and National Rifle Association instructor, told the Los Angeles Times of the vote.

Hanover resident Terry Siewiyumptewa supported the measure because the school district is remotely located, resulting in a slow response time from law enforcement.

"If I need a deputy it will take 30 to 45 minutes to get here," Siewiyumptewa said. "How long did Sandy Hook take? Thirteen minutes? And 26 people were dead? So now you understand our problem."

Carno, who supports enabling more Colorado teachers to be armed while on campus, asserted that there were more state districts that had secretly approved of the measures adopted by Fleming and Hanover, making a training program like FASTER necessary.

"There are many more schools with armed staff than we thought," Carno told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "I'm hearing from another dozen that are contemplating it. Ninety-five percent don't make it public."

Tom Mauser of Colorado Ceasefire, who lost his son in the Columbine High School shooting in rural Colorado in 1999, believes that allowing teachers to bring gun to schools only increases the danger for students.

"These teachers are not going to get the level of training that law enforcement or really highly trained security guards are going to have," Mauser said, saying armed teachers could result in crossfire and law enforcement "coming on the scene not knowing who the good guy and the bad guy is.”

FASTER was formed after the Sandy Hook shooting and is based in Ohio. Ken Toltz of Safe Campus Colorado views the program with suspicion and has accused it of having an agenda to proliferate firearms.

“FASTER was created and is promoted by the Ohio state gun lobby,” Toltz said. “Bringing it to Weld County is an attempt to lay the groundwork for another legislative push in the 2018 session to loosen Colorado’s gun laws.”

Carno dismissed criticism of FASTER, asserting "I don’t think anybody’s opposed to safety training, so I think that’s why it’s not really controversial."

June 20, 2017
KUSA (NBC Denver) - 
Active shooter training in Colorado teaches school staff to shoot back

WELD COUNTY, COLO. - While school’s out for summer, some teachers are training on a gun range in Weld County.

“In a nutshell, it is training for teachers and other school staff who are armed first responders in their schools,” Laura Carno said.

Carno is the founder of Coloradans for Civil Liberties which paid for about 17 staff members from Colorado schools to receive FASTER Training. The acronym stands for “Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.” The program started in Ohio and Carno brought it to Colorado, offering scholarships to school staff members, mostly from rural districts.

“By and large rural school districts, who have made the decision that law enforcement is 30-45 minutes away,” Carno explained. “They are their own first responders.”

Ronnie Wilson was one of the students taking part in the three-day training event that started Tuesday. He hopes to open a K-12 charter school in Colorado Springs. Wilson said he gets an equal number of questions from parents about academics and school safety.

“I’m looking for every possible venue and avenue to ensure safety of students,” Wilson said.

Wilson was the only school staff member involved in the training willing to share his name and school with reporters. The others wanted to keep their identities private for a specific reason.

“If you picture a bad guy with ill intent and wanting to harm a particular school, if he knows that school staff is armed, or that a particular staff member is armed, that gives him a strategic advantage,” Carno explained. “We never want the bad guy to have a strategic advantage.”

Under Colorado law, school staff members can carry concealed weapons in school so long as they have a permit and are designated as a security officer. Carno said most of those involved in the training are already carrying concealed weapons in schools.

“These teachers are not going to get the level of training that law enforcement or really highly trained security guards are going to have,” said Tom Mauser, of Colorado Ceasefire.

Mauser lost his son, Daniel, in the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. He said he sees no problem with well-trained, armed security guards at schools, but he has several concerns with teachers being armed.

“Cross fire, if you have more than one armed person,” Mauser said. “[A] teacher becoming the first person that might be targeted, law enforcement coming on the scene not knowing who the good guy and the bad guy is.”

Mauser said he believes the FASTER Training is preying on people’s fears and is really intended to pressure schools to arm teachers. Mauser’s sentiments were shared by Ken Toltz, founder and co-chair of Safe Campus Colorado.

“The dangers of adding guns to a school environment are dramatically increased by allowing loaded lethal weapons into a school environment on a daily basis – as the promoters of FASTER envision,” Toltz said in statement provided to 9NEWS.

Toltz also expressed concern about the political motivations behind the FASTER Training program.  

“FASTER was created and is promoted by the Ohio state gun lobby,” Toltz said. “Bringing it to Weld County is an attempt to lay the groundwork for another legislative push in the 2018 session to loosen Colorado’s gun laws.”
Laura Carno downplayed the politics behind the training event in Weld County.

“I don’t think anybody’s opposed to safety training, so I think that’s why it’s not really controversial,” she said.

Tuesday’s training also included sessions on crisis management and medical instruction on how to use a tourniquet. The training event will wrap up on Thursday with a mock shooting event where school staff members will have to apply everything they’ve learned.

June 6, 2017
BearingArms.com - 2A Group Is Helping Ohio Teachers Take School Safety to the Next Level

Thanks to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, teachers in Ohio will receive free training on how to respond to an active shooter on their campus.

The foundation is funding a three-day workshop put on by FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response).

FASTER is a unique non-profit that provides “practical violence response training.” Its program doesn’t teach school staff and faculty the typical lockdown procedure – clearing halls, barricading doors, covering windows. It teaches them how to actually take down an active shooter.

“In a lot of cases and across the country, law enforcement’s two, five, ten, fifteen minutes away depending on the jurisdiction,” Andrew Blubaugh, a former police officer and law enforcement trainer who now teaches for FASTER, told WOSU Radio. “So the next best person is somebody who is in the building, who is educated, that we already trust with our kids, and we can give them the skills that they need.”

“They’re not expecting a teacher,” Blubaugh added. “They’re looking for uniformed officers. That’s what they’re going to be cued in on. So you have the element of surprise.”

On it’s website, FASTER notes that its program is not meant to replace police officers or other first responders “but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately.”

Chris Cerino, who is also a former police officer and law enforcement trainer that now teaches for FASTER, broke down the course.

“We teach them about target and backstop. We give them good marksmanship skills,” Cerino told WOSU Radio. “We talk to them about closing the distances and using cover. And we also talk to them about not shooting when they shouldn’t or can’t.”

Participants are also taught emergency medical care. Although, they’re told that caring for someone who is injured isn’t the priority in such a situation.

“It is true if somebody is injured and little Suzy that you know is laying there bleeding, at this point, it is your job to go stop the shooting,” Michelle Cerino, who also works with FASTER, explained. “You’re the one that is supposed to go on the hunt.”

Cerino also teaches participants on how to restrain the shooter if he/she is caught.

Lastly, participants are instructed on how to properly conceal their weapons in the classroom.

As WOSU reminds us, in Ohio, it is up to each district whether or not teachers and other staff are allowed to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds. Districts are not required to reveal to the state whether concealed carry is permitted on their campuses or which staff members have chosen to carry, meaning the number of armed teachers in Ohio is currently unknown. However, it is estimated that around 40 districts now permit concealed carry on their campuses.

Regardless of how many armed teachers there are in Ohio, hopefully they’re all participating in the FASTER program this summer. Props to Buckeye Firearms Foundation for giving them such a great opportunity to help keep them and their students safe.

June 6, 2017
WKRC (CBS Cincinnati) - Bill would give concealed gun permit holders more protection, expanded permissions

Joe Eaton with Buckeye Firearms Association added, "The main focus of it is to quit making criminals out of otherwise honest people, people that accidentally go inside of a government building, that's owned by the government. They should not be charged with a felony."

June 6, 2017
Dayton Daily NewsRTA to allow guns on buses

The Buckeye Firearms Association heralded the change in policy on its website, saying the Dayton RTA has been illegally banning concealed carry on its buses for years. Toledo’s transit authority changed their policy in 2011 under similar pressure.

June 5, 2017
Youngstown VindicatorNewly proposed Ohio legislation still wouldn’t protect homeowner who kills when not in danger

Jim Irvine, president of the board of the Buckeye Firearms Association, supports House Bill 228, introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives on May 16, because individuals under deadly attack have enough to worry about.

They shouldn’t be second-guessed later as to whether they might have been able to avoid using deadly force against an attacker by retreating, he said.

There are several requirements, however, that have to be present for a person to use deadly force for defense in an attack, Irvine said, including:

The attacker has to have a gun or other weapon that could cause harm to the victim.

The attacker has to have proximity to harm the victim.

The attacker has to have the intent to harm to the victim.

“They all have to exist at the moment you use deadly force,” Irvine said. “That is the law” and that wouldn’t change under HB 228, he said.

“Also in the law is the duty to retreat, if able,” he said. Ohio should eliminate the duty to retreat, he said.

Consider the scenario where a thug attacks a woman with intent to kill, for instance in a parking garage.

“She has a duty under Ohio law to see if she can escape first. She has to make this decision in an instant, but it’s going to be debated over the next year in courts and in testimony,” Irvine said.

“Should she have tried to get in her car first? She’s under so much stress, all she’s thinking is, ‘I need to get my gun, and I’m not sure I have time to do anything else.’ We’re putting too many duties on the crime victim here.”

If the three conditions he mentioned earlier exist, “We shouldn’t then force you to jump through a legal hoop before you defend your life,” he said.


Irvine said no one should take lightly taking someone’s life, but most of us “don’t want to kill.”

Many people in such a situation don’t take a life even though they could justify it. Most people he’s asked say they didn’t shoot because they didn’t have to.

“We don’t need a law to codify it. It’s ingrained in us,” he said.

In the months since Nasser Hamad shot and killed two people at his house on state Route 46 and injured three others when the five came to his house to fight him Feb. 25, many people have questioned why Hamad didn’t have the right to kill to defend himself.

Hamad is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and several counts of attempted aggravated murder because police say he was involved in a fistfight with one of the five in Hamad’s front yard, then went in the house, got a gun and came out shooting.

Irvine said the type of scenario described in the Hamad case doesn’t include all three of the requirements for using deadly force because Hamad went inside the house, where he was safe.

“He’s now the aggressor. He’s not being attacked,” Irvine said of Hamad.

June 2, 2017
Journal-NewsStudy: Guns for protection more common with rural residents

Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said Roberts acted within the law and demonstrated exactly what should happen during an event like that.

“While Buckeye Firearms Association does not encourage gun owners to act as law enforcement, Mr. Roberts appears to have exercised good judgment in calling 911 and helping local police catch two criminals,” Rieck explained. “As we continue to report, the vast majority of gun owners prove again and again that they are sensible, law-abiding people.”

Rieck added that it is also important for gun owners and the public to understand and keep up to date on the rules of gun ownership.

“You need a concealed handgun license (CHL) — strictly speaking, not a permit — in Ohio to carry a handgun concealed. Open carry of a handgun does not require a license,” Rieck said. “It’s also worth pointing out that the CHL is for handguns only. It is not a ‘weapons’ license or permit as in some other states.”

June 1, 2017
Columbus Dispatch - Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly launches Ohio coalition to fight gun violence

Jim Irvine, board president of Buckeye Firearms Association, isn’t buying it. Mandatory background checks are the first step towards mandatory gun registration, which he said would facilitate firearm confiscation if the government chose to do so. He also said mandatory gun registration would be politically impossible.


Irvine agreed the firearms group could do more to help urban neighborhoods afflicted by gun violence. His organization would even be willing to partner with other community initiatives, but only if “they can show they are willing to solve the problem.” He noted that stricter gun laws are not viewed by the organization as a solution to violence perpetrated with firearms.

June 1, 2017
WVIZ (PBS Cleveland) - Teachers Simulate an Active Shooter Scenario in Force-on-Force Training

Ohio state law prohibits firearms inside school buildings, but school boards have the right to give individuals permission to conceal carry.  At the Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response or FASTER training, educators prepare in case of an active shooter.  On the third and last day, participants go through an active shooter simulation.  

At Wadsworth High School, a role playing scenario unfolds with one person pretending to be an active shooter.  Gunshots sound in the otherwise quiet hallway.

Seconds later, a teacher comes out of a classroom carrying a gun.  He carefully but quickly shuffles toward the sound of gunfire.  He approaches a large room, sees an angry teenager with a gun, and confronts him.

“Freeze! Freeze! Drop it!” he shouts. 

The actor pretends to take his own life, “I’m shooting myself.” 

The mock shooter appears dead on the ground and the man – Keith -- assesses the scene.  Another man emerges and Keith tells him to call 911.  But the caller is unclear as he describes the scene to emergency services.

“Yeah, the teacher’s got his gun out.  Yeah, no he’s got his gun and he’s pointing it at people,” he rambles.  “He’s wearing a white shirt...” 

Finally, Chris Cerino, the trainer watching this simulation unfold, calls an end to the scene.  He reminds Keith that police entering the building could mistake him for the shooter.

“If people don’t know you’re armed in this school, you might need to say, ‘Tell them I’m one of the first responders here at the school.  It is ok for me to have a gun.’  You gotta think about what you’re going to say,” Cerino advises.

The superintendent of Hicksville Schools in Northwest Ohio is here to better understand the training that his armed teachers and staff are getting.  Keith Countryman says this is one in a series of security measures at Hicksville including security cameras and doors that lock automatically.  He says they couldn’t afford a school police officer, but they also don’t want to be a soft target.

 “The people I’ve chosen to carry I’ve instructed them that they are to never have the gun off their body for any reason nor have it shown for any reason unless it’s needed in a threating situation,” says Countryman.

Other schools have chosen to conceal their weapons differently.  Just outside Dayton near Wright Patterson Air Force base, Mad River Schools has purchased guns, ammunition, and safety vests that will be kept in safes throughout its buildings. 

“Only the response team members and myself know the location of where the safes are,” says Chad Wyen, Superintendent of Mad River Schools.

For the past year, Wyen has been preparing his staff and interviewing volunteers who will be on the 32-member response team.  They’ll each go through training before the firearm plan goes into effect in the fall. 

“Our community in general is very Appalachian and military,” Wyen explains, “and I think maybe they have a better understanding of what this means as far as protection and school safety.” 

The Mad River teachers’ union declined to comment, but to get a sense of how the community feels, I spoke to a half dozen parents at pick up time outside Beverly Gardens Elementary.  No one was opposed to the plan but some expressed concerns.

“Well, as long as they get well trained, I don’t mind,” says Richard Love. “Personally, I always carry on me.”  

“I think it’s a good idea,” says Kelly Rinehart, “but they need to be locked up in a lock box so little ones can’t get to them.” 

Love had not heard about the new safety plan but the district has been open about it, posting a video on its Facebook page explaining the decision.  But most districts have been quiet.  We attempted to contact every district in the state asking if they had given anyone permission to conceal carry.  Many did not respond.  Most who did said no.  Others said their safety plans are not public information. 

Back at the training site, a group of teachers line up for a series of target tests.  They stand in a line and must hit a series of targets within a limited time period.

By the end of the program, all except one participant has passed the marksmanship test.  The last person passes on a re-test.

May 31, 2017
WVIZ (PBS Cleveland) - Educators Train to Conceal Carry Firearms in Schools

As the school year comes to a close, some Ohio teachers will be spending part of their summer break training for next fall.  They’re preparing in case of an active shooter in their schools.  But this isn’t ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training where educators are taught to barricade doors or counter a shooter with distractions.  In the small town of Rittman, Ohio, south of Akron, a pro-gun organization funds force-on-force training.

Down an inconspicuous dirt road beside the train tracks, beyond a metal garage-like classroom, a group of teachers stand in a line poised with guns in hand.

Chris Cerino shouts to his adult students, “Alright, shooters.  This line is hot for 12 rounds from the high ready.”  They wait for Cerino's signal and fire.

For the next three days, these educators are here as part of the FASTER program – Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.  It’s free and funded by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

Chris Cerino and Andrew Blubaugh are former law enforcement trainers and police officers.  They’ve been hired by FASTER to prepare school teachers and staff in case of an active shooter. 

“In a lot of cases and across the country, law enforcement’s 2, 5, 10, 15 minutes away depending on the jurisdiction,” says Blubaugh.  “So the next best person is somebody who is in the building, who is educated, that we already trust with our kids, and we can give them the skills that they need.”

“We teach them about target and backstop.  We give them good marksmanship skills,” Cerino adds.  “We talk to them about closing the distances and using cover.  And we also talk to them about notshooting when they shouldn’t or can’t.”

He also talks to them about how to conceal their weapons. 

“If you want to wear an ankle holster, an ankle holster’s fine, but you have to have appropriate pants for it because the second you sit down, if it lifts up, people are going to see it.”

In Ohio, any school board can decide to allow an individual to carry a firearm into school buildings.  The state does not keep track and districts are not obligated to reveal the information.  The debate at school board meetings usually happens behind closed doors.  And it’s not just teachers who have been given permission.  It’s nurses, principals, and maintenance people, according to Jim Irvine, Director of the FASTER program.  But he says, it’s strictly voluntary.

“No one should ever be forced to carry a gun,” says Irvine. “It’s something you have got to want to do because if you don’t want to do it, you’re not going to embrace it with the right mindset and the right attitude to do it properly.”

That mindset includes the possibility that that children could be injured in crossfire, or that the active shooter could be one of the teacher’s own students which means shooting someone they know.

Back inside the training classroom, a medic instructs the teachers on emergency medical care such as how to tie a tourniquet.  But trainer Michelle Cerino reminds the group, that’s not your primary job.

“It is true if somebody is injured and little Suzy that you know is laying there bleeding, at this point, it is your job to go stop the shooting,” she says.

‘You’re the one that is supposed to go on the hunt,’ she tells them.

On day 2, Andrew Blubaugh continues his training outside at a wooden structure called the “shoot house.”  It’s meant to simulate a hallway, doors and corners.  

“​The big things we’re going to be talking about here is utilizing cover where it’s available such as doorways,” Blubaugh explains.

Today they’ll learn how to use a small window on a classroom door to check for a threat and how to restrain the shooter if he’s caught. 

“What’s great about you guys is when we start talking about the element of surprise, they’re not expecting a teacher,” says Blubaugh.  “They’re looking for uniformed officers.  That’s what they’re going to be cued in on.  So you have the element of surprise.”

Most of the educators at the training did not want to speak on tape for a few reasons: they don’t want others to know who is conceal carrying because those people could be targeted.  Some districts have not informed the public that guns will be in their schools.  Some have signed confidentiality agreements.  So it’s unclear exactly how many districts have firearms in their schools. 

May 31, 2017
WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Mark Kelly calls for gun control in Columbus

The Buckeye Firearms Association says they have been hearing the same rhetoric for years and, even though it's now backed by big names who were personally touched by gun violence, they don't think it will gain momentum.

“They can keep trying to spin that yarn, more guns mean more crime, but it’s long since been refuted,” said Buckeye Firearms Secretary Gerard Valentino.

Valentino argued that universal background checks wouldn’t make a difference because most crimes aren’t committed by guns bought at gun shows.

May 28, 2017
Denver PostAdvanced gun training for Colorado teachers on its way

Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, or FASTER , has been taught in Ohio for the past five years, and nearly 900 school staff members have completed the program. FASTER was started in Ohio by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the rights of citizens to own and use guns, and Tactical Defense Institute, a private self-defense and firearms training company.

“I don’t think there is anything as good as FASTER,” said Laura Carno, co-founder of Coloradans for Civil Liberties, which is bringing the training program to Colorado. Carno’s group is “committed to restoring the Second Amendment freedoms of Colorado citizens,” according to a news release. The class is being organized in partnership with the conservative-leaning Independence Institute.

May 27, 2017
Dayton Daily News Ohio lawmakers consider to make major changes to gun laws

President of Buckeye Firearms Association Jim Irvine bristles at calling it “stand your ground” legislation. “Some people may call it that. It’s an inappropriate label,” he said.

Ohioans have the right to fight a threat in their home or car but elsewhere they face a legal duty to retreat, if possible. Irvine said the vast majority of people won’t use deadly force. “It goes against our grain and against who we are.”

May 18, 2017
WCPN (PBS Cleveland) - 'Stand Your Ground' Law Introduced In Ohio House

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, says the change would make it easier for people to defend themselves.

“Before you can do that, we’ve put up this hoop and say, ‘you have a duty to retreat if you can.’ Well, that’s just not fair," says Irvine.

May 13, 2017

Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Linda Walker was a guest on Gun Freedom Radio with hosts Dan Todd & Cheryl Todd. Click here to listen to the podcast. Linda's segment begins at the top of the second hour.

May 9, 2017
An Economy of One

Buckeye Firearms Association Director Sean Maloney was a guest on "An Economy of One" with host Gary Rathbun. An Economy of One is sydincated by Radio America, which now serves over 500 stations, the American Forces Radio Network and Sirlus/XM Satellite Radio.

May 7, 2017
WLWT (NBC Cincinnati) - Training for mass shootings involves lessons on preventing blood loss

McElroy, an Ohio police officer, paramedic and firefighter, served as instructor during the mass casualty training event sponsored by the Buckeye Firearms Association.


McElroy said Buckeye Firearms takes a two-pronged approach when providing training for active shooter situations in school settings. The organization's FASTER Saves Lives program features courses that teach people how to stop threats and courses like the one McElroy led, which are designed to keep victims from bleeding to death.


Buckeye Firearms does not plan to conduct another public mass casualty training event any time soon. Instead, the organization is scheduled to conduct three private mass casualty training exercises at schools and churches.

A spokesman for the organization said individuals interested in attending a training exercise in the future should contact the group online by visiting buckeyefirearms.org.


May 7, 2017
Dayton Daily NewsCedarville U. could become first Ohio college to allow concealed carry

Jim Irvine, board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said he’s had discussions with other colleges in the past year “and I have a meeting with one in the next week or two.

“So, this is being discussed on many campuses,” he said.

March 29, 2017
Cincinnati.com - No need to tell police about concealed guns, Ohio Republicans propose

Police should focus on more serious crimes and the state's heroin epidemic rather than on citing gun owners for forgetting to notify police that they have a concealed handgun license, Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine said. "It's not in everyone's best interest to tie up resources."

March 23, 2017
The Clermont SunRestrictions removed for gun owners with a concealed license

Buckeye Firearms Association is pleased that Senate Bill 199 took effect Tuesday, March 21st.

It makes a variety of improvements to Ohio law that allow Ohio gun owners with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to more fully exercise their rights.

Beginning today, business entities, property owners, and public or private employers can no longer ban a person who has been issued a valid CHL from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition when the items are locked in a person’s privately-owned motor vehicle on company property.

“This is important,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, “because, previously, if a business bans guns at work, including parking lots, employees are essentially banned from having their firearm all day, and are defenseless from the time they leave home in the morning until they return home in the evening.”

In addition, the new law allows CHL-holders to keep their handgun locked in a motor vehicle on school premises; allows colleges and government bodies to decide for themselves if concealed-carry should be allowed; allows CHL-holders to carry on private aircraft, in the non-secure area of airports and in day-care centers, unless the day care posts a “no-guns” sign, allows active military members who have the same or greater training than CHL holders to carry a concealed handgun without a license.

It also allows for the sale of firearms to active duty military members without regard to what their age maybe be.

Rieck continued, “For well over a decade, Ohioans with a Concealed Handgun License have proven themselves to be overwhelmingly law-abiding and trustworthy. And SB 199 makes welcome improvements that citizens deserve.”

March 23, 2017
Bryan TimesOhio gun law goes into effect

“The main reason for the change was to remove victim zones,” said Chad Baus, secretary of the Buckeye Firearms Association and a concealed carry instructor who lives in Archbold. “The bottom line is that bad guys don’t care whether guns are allowed or not. They do what they want; they carry illegally and they hurt people. This law gives good, law-abiding people the opportunity to carry as well. They deserve the chance to defend themselves.”

The law also puts the Second Amendment on equal footing with the First, he said.

“Business rights don’t extend to violate civil rights and an employer can’t tell you what to do with your own property,” Baus said. “You can’t be fired for keeping a Bible or a Quran in your car and you can’t be fired for sporting a political bumper sticker your boss disagrees with. The Second Amendment deserves the same protection.”

March 21, 2017
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 by Radio America, which now serves over 500 stations, the American Forces Radio Network and Sirlus/XM Satellite Radio.

March 21, 2017
Columbus DispatchOhio laws allowing guns in parking lots, driving through red lights take effect

"This is important," said Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "Previously, if a business bans guns at work, including parking lots, employees are essentially banned from having their firearm all day, and are defenseless from the time they leave home in the morning until they return home in the evening."


Under Senate Bill 199, today also would be the first day that guns could be carried on college campuses and in daycare centers, if trustees or center owners choose to allow them.


Rieck said he wasn't expecting universities to act quickly on the matter.

March 21, 2017
Cleveland.com - New Ohio gun law expands where people can carry concealed weapons

Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said employees deserve the right to defend their lives.

"An employee's gun is their private property and their vehicle is their private property, and there's nothing that allows the employer to dictate what's inside that employee's private property."


Irvine and other supporters said the changes are intended to prevent law-abiding gun owners from accidentally breaking the law. For example, parents who have to unexpectedly pick up a sick child from school don't have to stop home first to store the weapon before parking at the school.


Irvine said some schools are considering allowing some faculty or staff to carry on campus. He declined to identify the schools.

"All of this stuff is all about protecting people's rights and protecting people's lives," Irvine said. "It's about safety and making the law work well."

March 21, 2017
WRGT (FOX Dayton) - New gun laws take effect today in Ohio

"Fear not, we've been in public carrying our firearms since 2004," said Buckeye Firearms Association Regional Manager Larry Moore.

That's the message Larry Moore hopes to get across now that there are new concealed carry gun laws.

"Every time they come in, there's a great deal of anxiety. Most of the time, two years later we don't think abnything about it," said Moore.

Starting today employers have to let CCW holders bring their gun on to company property.

"Locked in the truck or in a container inside the vehicle," said Moore


"I've had calls as a grandparent to go pick up a sick grandchild at school. I'd been out running errands. I had my handgun with me so I have to go home, drop my gun off and then go three or four more miles back to school," said Moore.

Gun owners said the new law gives them more flexiblity.


"I think it's a great step forward for Ohio gun owners," said Moore.

Moore said the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is against the new law.

March 21, 2017
Cincinnati.com- Changes to Ohio concealed carry law take effect Tuesday

Joe Eaton, with the Buckeye Firearms Association, said his group pushed for the changes in the law.

"It's currently a felony and that's where we ran into a problem because a lot of people don't know if their kids are going to be called sick from school," he said. "They may be at work, and they have their firearm, and they would have to go home first and dispose of the gun at their house before going back and picking up the kids. There was a lot of honest people just trying to stay in line with the law."

Eaton said these laws will bring Ohio in line with neighboring states like Kentucky and Indiana.

He said now his members won't get fired for storing their guns in their car to go hunting after work.

March 21, 2017
WCPO (NBC Cincinnati) - Big changes to Ohio’s gun laws take effect today

"When someone tells you, 'Guns in day care. Well, why do you want that?'" said Sean Maloney, a pro-gun attorney for Buckeye Firearms Association.

He says parents with concealed carry licenses face a quandary when it's time to pick up and drop off their kids.

"Think about how dangerous it is with us in the parking lot, arming and disarming ourselves, with people in the parking lot watching that happen -- with kids, potentially, in the back seat of the car, and us leaving a firearm in there," Maloney said.

Maloney hopes day care operators and others will embrace Ohio's changing gun laws, which create more places where legal firearms are allowed.

"Nothing that Ohio is doing is groundbreaking,” he said. “Every other state has already had it. So it just makes sense."


The revision to the concealed carry law affects more than day cares and airports. For more information on where concealed carry weapons license holders can potentially carry their guns, click here.

March 21, 2017
WLWT (ABC Cincinnati) - Ohio concealed carry holders can bring guns to work now, thanks to new law

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, argued that a company that bans concealed weapons is also liable for any crimes committed against employees on the way to and from work that could have otherwise been defended against with the use of a handgun.

“For any business that tells you they don’t like this, ask them, ‘Are you willing to take the liability for the 25-year-old single mother who gets car-jacked on the way home?’” Irvine told the Dayton Daily News. “There is no right to be free of guns. There is no right to be free of stupid people. We don’t have the right to be free of danger.”

March 21, 2017
WSYX (ABC Columbus) - Concealed carry law allowing weapons at colleges, daycares, airports takes effect

The Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association supported it, along with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

March 9, 2017
Dayton Daily NewsDo concealed-carry laws make us safer?

Jim Irvine, chairman of the pro-gun rights Buckeye Firearms Association, argues that private citizens with guns can and do thwart mass shootings.

He cited a 1998 incident in Edinboro, Pa., where student Andrew Jerome Wurst killed a man and wounded three other people before being stopped by a man with a shotgun.

Another incident, in 2014, involved a doctor at Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital in Delaware County, Pa., who wounded psychiatric patient Richard Plotts after the patient fatally shot his caseworker and injured the doctor.

“Part of the reason you don’t have these huge big killings where a license holder saves the day is because it doesn’t become a huge killing,” Irvine said. “The bottom line is waiting for law enforcement will always result in a higher body count when you look collectively at the stuff.”

But of the eight shootings Irvine cited as examples of armed private citizens intervening, two of the shooters were stopped by police and one by an off-duty police officer, rather than private citizens.

Another example on the Buckeye Firearms Association website is a 2009 robbery of an Akron pizza parlor, and in that case the owner of the business shot and killed an armed intruder.

March 8, 2017
Dayton Daily News - Guns at work: New law allows handguns on private property

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which advocated for the new law, said the U.S. Constitution clearly protects a person’s right to bear arms, and restricting that right endangers society.

“For any business that tells you they don’t like this, ask them, ‘Are you willing to take the liability for the 25-year-old single mother who gets car-jacked on the way home?’” Irvine said. “There is no right to be free of guns. There is no right to be free of stupid people. We don’t have the right to be free of danger.”


Although Irvine says he believes companies have a right to keep guns out of their buildings — putting him at odds with some of his fellow gun advocates — he also argues that if an armed hothead at work is confronted by someone else with a gun “might it not be safer if they have the skills, if someone had a gun.”


Irvine said he thinks companies have the right to keep guns out of their buildings.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Because it is inside their private property.”

March 8, 2017
NRANews.com - "Cam & Co."

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine was a guest on NRANews.com with NRANews.com's Cam Edwards on Cam & Company.

March 6, 2017
Columbus DispatchPilot program to offer gun boxes to parents of young children

A new partnership is handing out lock boxes for guns to some Columbus pediatricians to distribute in an effort to curb the number of unintentional shootings among young children.


The Partnership for Safety of Children Around Firearms includes the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Buckeye Firearms Association, Black Wing Shooting Center and Kiwanis Club of Columbus. The pilot program was announced Monday.

The Kiwanis chapter is providing $10,000 to pay for about 500 lock boxes. Buckeye Firearms [Association] bought an additional 100.


The boxes, manufactured by SnapSafe, are constructed of 16-gauge steel and feature a key lock and a security cable.


"It is completely anonymous. We're not tracking any of the data," [Dr. Sarah] Denny said. "We want people to feel, if they want it, they can ask for it."

March 4, 2017
Bryan TimesConcealed carry: 2016 broke records; 2017 won't

Chad Baus, who lives in Archbold and serves as vice chairman and secretary of the Buckeye Firearms Association, agreed with Stanley’s assessment.

“For much of 2016, Americans were operating under the threat of an extremely anti-Second Amendment candidate being elected to the presidency,” Baus said. “Unlike President Obama, who at least tried to hide his anti-gun rights position during the campaign, Hillary Clinton was the first candidate since Al Gore to openly campaign against gun rights. Many people chose to obtain their licenses out of concerns for what a Clinton presidency would do and what changes she would have made to the Supreme Court would have meant for the Second Amendment.”

February 16, 2017
France 2 - VIDEO: Teachers armed at school

Facing the resurgence of mass shootings in schools, in 2007, Texas allowed teachers to carry weapons inside classrooms. Since then, across the United States, some 20 other states have legislated in this direction. A report from the magazine "Envoyé spécial".

Weapon training for teachers

A team of "Special Envoy" filmed a teacher in the state of Ohio. Diana will have to use her gun if a shooter jumps into the school, while her pupils are only 7 and 8 years old. In his establishment, some forty teachers and educational personnel have been trained in the use of weapons.

In August 2016, the state of Texas took a new step in allowing students to carry a weapon in universities. A highly disputed decision on the Austin campus, where "Special Envoy" followed a student who attended his courses with his weapon.

A report by Kristian Autain, Loup Krikorian and Nils Montel, aired in "Envoyé spécial" on 16 February 2017.


January 28, 2017
Akron Beacon-JournalArming themselves out of fear: Politics, violence push up gun sales

“One of the jokes in firearm stores, eight years running, is they have posters on the doors for salesman of the year: Barack Obama,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, Ohio’s largest gun advocacy group.


With Trump in office, Second Amendment enthusiasts are at ease. They expect sales to level off, but the gun culture in America, they say, is here to stay.

“It may increase or decrease a bit, but it will continue to rise compared to historical figures,” said Irvine, the gun lobby president. “That’s because owning a gun is not a radical idea … Carrying a gun is not about being a soldier or doing battle. It’s to protect yourself or your country. It’s like putting on a seat belt.”

Irvine, who tracks legislation, is assured that a Trump administration will sign the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, introduced this month by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. The bill would make concealed carry permits as accepted nationwide as driver’s licenses. Another bill Ohio passed into law last year, Senate Bill 199, goes into effect in March, allowing for guns in day cares if not posted and forbidding bosses from disciplining employees who leave their guns in their cars at work.

But will the pro-gun push led by Trump and Republicans calm the fervor that drives firearm sales?

“Now you have someone talking about moving legislation that hasn’t been talked about in 20 years. Will that crush the industry?” Irvine asked. “I could see how you might think it would. But the environment has changed so much. So many people are into shooting now.”

January 28, 2017
Marietta TimesFrontier mum on conceal carry program

Buckeye Firearms Foundation launched a program called FASTER in early 2015 to provide violence response training to teachers and administrators. FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.


FASTER is funded by donations and the classes are provided at no cost to the school districts operating with this program. The program offers a curriculum with more than 26 hours of hands-on training that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

January 12, 2017
Bryan TimesSchool staffs armed statewide

In 2013, comedian Stephen Colbert openly mocked Montpelier Exempted Village Schools on national television after its board of education voted to allow four custodians to carry weapons on the job.
But since then, the concept of armed school employees has gone from a radical idea to a widely accepted concept.

The Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) program has trained school employees in 74 of Ohio’s 88 counties, according to program Director Joe Eaton. In 2016, 194 school districts sent 773 employees through the program.

“We worked with Montpelier back then and the Colbert thing is hilarious to this day,” Eaton said. “He failed to mention that the janitors were selected because they already had police training.
“We decided back then, after the (Dec. 14, 2012) Sandy Hook shooting, that any schools using firearms in their safety plans should have access to the best training available,” he said. “That’s what we’ve spent the last four years doing.”

Most of the time in a three-day FASTER training seminar is focused on trauma-level first aid training, crisis management, crowd control and evacuation techniques, but the guns get most of the attention.
“Too much attention,” Eaton said. “That’s always what the media and the public focus on, but firearms have to be a part of the plan. When extreme violence comes to a school you need a solution to stop it immediately. Sometimes a voice of authority and reasoning work. Sometimes it doesn’t. The whole point is that if someone’s willing to stand between killers and kids, we want to give them the tools they need so they can go home at the end of the day.”

FASTER weapons training is based on the same course used at the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, “But we add more targets and increase the standard,” Eaton said. “You can miss five of 25 targets and pass through the academy. In our program, you can only miss two of 28.

“We don’t want to replace the professionals,” he said. “We just want to be able to stop the killing and save lives until the professionals get there. In no other emergency do we rely on outside help. If somebody falls into a pool, we don’t just call 911 and wait for an ambulance. FASTER buys victims extra time to save lives until the professionals get there.

“This year we’re planning our first out-of-state training in Colorado and Tennessee,” he said.

January 10, 2017
Gongwer News Service - Concealed-Carry Law Impact Uncertain As State's Largest Campuses Plan To Maintain Prohibitions

Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye Firearms Association's board of directors, said it's "shameful" that most institutions won't consider making policy changes or likely reach out to his group for guidance on the issue.

"I hope universities authorize people to carry, but I don't think that's going to happen right away," he said in an interview. "Obviously a lot have come out and voiced opposition to authorizing concealed carry, and I think the key on this is that we'll work with the universities that want to work with us and there are a few that are already doing that."

Like it does with primary schools, the association is offering active shooter training for campus staff members who could be authorized to carry concealed firearms once the law takes effect, Mr. Irvine said.

The intent behind the law is to allow individuals to protect themselves and others in an active shooter or other dangerous event, he said.

"To those that say this makes college campuses more dangerous: Explain how the person who carries responsibly everywhere else in their life is suddenly dangerous on a university campus," Mr. Irvine said, adding: "It's not about guns; it's about safety and that's what too many people don't understand."

January 10, 2017
WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "WLW Weekends"

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

January 7, 2017
Cleveland Plain DealerNew state school board member Lisa Woods has Tea Party and parenting background

Among her most prominent endorsements for the state board seat was the Buckeye Firearms Association. Woods said she and her husband used to target shoot, but despite being a hiker and camper she never hunts.

"I have never killed anything and I hope I never have to," she said.

But she said she is concerned by the threat of school violence and wants teachers and school staff to be better prepared to handle any attacks on schools. That includes first aid training to deal with serious wounds from gunshots.

"You can do things that will keep them alive until you get to the ambulance and the hospital," Woods said.

She supports letting teachers and staff carry guns in school to counter any attacks.

"I think if they are well trained...and willing...it's a good idea," she said. I wouldn't want to talk someone into something they don't want to do."

January 5, 2017
Dayton Daily News
Despite new gun law, state firearms group won’t pressure area colleges

To convince colleges to allow concealed carry on campus, one gun rights group has a plan: do nothing.

A new Ohio law gives individual college boards of trustees the authority to allow guns on campus but university officials at Wright State, Miami, Ohio State and Cincinnati have said they’ll continue prohibitions on firearms. The University of Dayton has not taken a stance on the new law but UD already prohibits people from carrying concealed guns on campus.

“You can’t force somebody into this and that’s not the intent,” said Jim Irvine, board president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “I don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t want to work with me.”

While the association and Irvine support the new law, he said they are not planning anything to pressure college trustees into allowing guns on campuses. Instead, Irvine said the association will take a “hands-off approach” and expects most Ohio colleges will eventually come around on their own.

“My guess is it’s been discussed at every college that gives a damn about safety,” Irvine said.

All it takes to change minds, Irvine said, is “an event that touches an emotional nerve.” He referenced the November attack on Ohio State’s campus when Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove a car into a group of people outside Watts Hall before exiting the vehicle and beginning to stab bystanders.

“Literally, in an instant, that idea can change,” Irvine said. “That fear now opens the door.”

Despite Irvine’s prediction, officials at nearby universities have been clear about their opposition to concealed carry on campus. Miami and Wright State both sent students and staff emails reminding them that despite the new law, guns are still prohibited.

January 4, 2017
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 by Radio America, which now serves over 500 stations, the American Forces Radio Network and Sirlus/XM Satellite Radio.

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