(NewsNation) — Ohio legislators passed a bill that paves the way for armed teachers in schools.
HB 99 would allow any adult in a public or private school to carry a concealed firearm if a district chooses to allow it.
Both its House and Senate votes fell almost strictly along party lines. Only Two Republicans in the Senate voted against it. No Democrats in either chamber voted for it.
Proponents of the bill are championing it as a “historic school safety bill,” while opponents say it only poses further safety risks putting guns in the hand of teachers who might not be adequately trained to use them.
The Ohio Education Association is asking Gov. Mike DeWine to veto the bill, saying it would make teachers both educators and armed security guards, according to NewsNation affiliate WTRF.
The President of the OEA said arming teachers would “undoubtedly” lead to more, not fewer, tragedies in schools.
DeWine is expected to sign the bill regardless.
Nationwide calls to stop violent mass shootings are growing following a month where the country witnessed 10 people get shot and killed in a Buffalo grocery store and 21 more killed in a Texas Elementary school a week later.
Americans seem to be in agreement something must be done to stop these violent mass killings, which have plagued the country for decades. How to do that, however, is where fissures are occurring.
Democrats, including President Joe Biden, are calling for stricter gun laws. Republicans are calling for a greater focus on mental health.
Teachers who choose to carry a firearm in schools under Ohio’s law would be required to complete 24 hours of training, followed by eight more hours of annual training. Armed school staff members would get an annual criminal background check.
The bill’s chief sponsor, Republican Rep. Thomas Hall, worked as a school resource officer before being elected to the state legislature.
A 2019 study by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which polled 3,000 teachers, 450 of which are gun owners, showed that teachers overwhelmingly do not want to be armed.
An alarming 95% of teachers responded they did not believe a teacher should be carrying a gun in the classroom and only 6% said they would be comfortable using a gun to stop a shooter.