Ohio Senate passes bill that would slash firearm training hours for teachers

The state Senate of Ohio passed a bill Wednesday that would dramatically reduce the number of hours a teacher would have to train with a firearm in order to carry on campus.

The bill aims to allow teachers to carry firearms with just 22 hours of training, a far cry from the current 700 hours that are required. State Senator Terry Johnson, a Republican, lauded the effort as a response to calls to “do something” following the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“This bill very specifically does something to protect our kids,” he noted.

Rep. Thomas Hall, the cosponsor of the bill, says that 700+ hours of training just isn’t reasonable.

“750-plus hours is not a realistic or practical requirement for full-time staff to complete in order to simply keep our students and educators safe.”

But critics argue that such a dramatic reduction in training hours is actually a safety hazard for both teachers and children.

“You’re putting guns into schools with little to no training. That is unconscionable,” claimed Democratic state Senator Cecil Thomas.

But Johnson assures those with concerns that school boards would ultimately be able to decide how many hours a teacher would be required to train in their individual districts.

“As far as that training limit is concerned, the school board is not constrained by that number. They can do as much training or require as much training as they want.”

The bill will head back to the state House for a vote, as it was amended in the Senate. It had originally passed the House in November.

Other Ohio lawmakers spoke in favor of the bill, and one even accused Democrats of “crying crocodile tears” in regards to mass shootings.

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