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Rep. Jarrells opposes the passage of GOP gun bill that would make our schools and community less safe

June 3, 2022
Dontavius L. Jarrells News

COLUMBUS – Rep. Dontavius Jarrells (D-Columbus) voted in opposition to a bill opponents say would make schools and communities less safe and fails to address gun violence in Ohio. House Bill (HB) 99 would allow school districts to arm teachers in the classroom without adequate training or safe storage requirements. HB 99 would also cut the training hours for school staff to be certified to carry guns from 700 hours to no more than 24, plus eight hours of prequalification training every year.

“I voted against HB 99 because it fails to protect the mental health and safety of Ohioans, and takes Ohio in the wrong direction. The unintended consequences of this law could be disastrous, including the loss of a loved one, due to an accidental discharge of a firearm,” said Rep. Jarrells. 

“The reality is that families are in fear that this bill will hurt their loved ones. It could very well put our students and teachers at risk for something we are not prepared for in the aftermath.”

Both teachers and law enforcement are opposed to bringing more guns into schools. A 2018 survey found that 80% of teachers were “strongly opposed” to having armed faculty in schools. Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police noted that the minimal training required by HB 99 is significantly less than the hundreds of hours of training required for police officers. Democrats expressed similar concerns during committee hearings.

Gun violence rates in Ohio surged in 2021, with 1,762 Ohioans dying as a result of firearms. Emerging data shows that states that have passed permit less carry legislation are experiencing a substantial increase in gun violence. 

HB 99 now heads to the Governor’s desk for approval.