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(WJW) – There’s a new push for Ohio lawmakers to approve a bill that would allow educators to carry guns in school.

It’s called House Bill 99 and it would give Ohio schools the authority to put guns in the hands of school staff with only 20 hours of training.

“We have some serious concerns about HB 99 which would essentially gut training requirements for any school employees who are authorized to carry weapons on school property,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association.

DiMauro said right now, an Ohio teacher must undergo basic peace officer training at 700 hours in order to
carry a gun in school.

“What the bill would do is put a maximum of 20 hours training in that state standard, completely tying the hands of the experts who are tasked with the training regimen,” said DiMauro.

The Buckeye Firearms Association supports the legislation.

“The current requirement has shut down security programs all over the state and there are a lot of schools right now that are wide open and defenseless,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director.

In addition to teachers, the bill would allow janitors, cafeteria workers and support staff to carry a gun with 20 hours of training.

Rieck said he believes the legislation will give complete control to districts about security in their schools.

“A lot of schools that have security programs with armed personnel are in rural areas where they are far from law enforcement. It could take 15-20 minutes for them to show up,” said Rieck.

Under the proposed legislation, it would still be up to each individual district to decide what they would require.

“There is no state that allows for teachers to be authorized to carry weapons that have a training standard as low as what is being proposed in House Bill 99,” said DiMauro.

The bill has passed in the House. It’s currently in Senate committee but has not been voted on.