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DeWine confirms he'll sign bill allowing Ohio school staff to carry guns

 Governor Mike DeWine (R) takes questions from media.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Governor Mike DeWine (R) takes questions from media.

Ohio teachers and other school employees and volunteers could start carrying weapons in school buildings as soon as this fall with a bill that lowers training requirements for those armed personnel.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has confirmed that he’ll sign the bill passed by Republican state lawmakers Wednesday.

The Republican-backed bill dramatically lowers the required training for armed school personnel from more than 700 hours to 24 hours. DeWine, who had campaigned for gun restrictions after the mass shooting in Dayton in 2019, said signing this bill is part of an overall plan to harden school security.

“Ultimately, each school will make its own decision. So we’re not telling any school district – we have over 600 school districts in the state – the school board of that school will decide whether they want to arm teachers or not," DeWine said.

DeWine spoke at an event in northeast Ohio announcing that Ford would start building an all-electric commercial vehicle in Sheffield near Cleveland. It'll invest $1.5 billion and hire 1,800 workers.

DeWine said he asked for lawmakers to include scenario-based training similar to training police officers get and continuing training in this bill, and he said the state will provide for extra training.

“We will also be giving schools the choice of providing additional training, that we will stake out, provide for, if they decide that they want more than 24 hours for a teacher," DeWine said.

The bill passed mostly along party lines, with only a few Republicans siding with Democrats against it.

It is opposed by major law enforcement groups, gun control advocates, and the state's teachers' unions, which asked DeWine to veto the measure. It's supported by a handful of police departments and school districts.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.