Governor DeWine Signs HB 99 "Armed Teacher" Bill into Law
On Monday, June 13, 2022, Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 99 to return authority over school security programs to local school boards, including programs which allow teachers and staff to be armed.
Sponsored by State Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.), this bill reverses an absurd ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that requires school employees to receive the same training as police officers before they can carry a firearm in school even if approved by the local school district.
This training includes more than 700 hours, most of which is unrelated to stopping active killers, and which would be next to impossible for anyone employed by a school to complete. It's the equivalent of nearly 20 years of continuing education the average teacher receives.
The problem began when attorneys with Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety filed suit against Madison Local School District in a blatant effort to shut down school security programs involving armed staff members.
The district initially received a favorable ruling, but an appeals court overturned it. It then went to the Ohio Supreme Court, which with a narrow 4-3 ruling in June, 2021, agreed with Everytown. Many school security programs have been shut down ever since as a result of this ruling.
The OSC ruling made it necessary for the Ohio General Assembly to address the matter, with Buckeye Firearms Association pushing lawmakers to move legislation quickly.
"Parents, students and communities across Ohio can now return to the enhanced safety and security plans they had in place for the previous decade," said Joe Eaton, FASTER Saves Lives Project Director. "Several hundred Ohio schools are again safer today and hundreds more will be in the future. Additionally, HB 99 improves on the previous law by providing access to many more resources to any school where student safety is truly a priority."
We deeply appreciate the work of legislators on this bill and Governor DeWine's support to do what's right and allow school districts to begin rebuilding their security programs.