COLUMBUS - House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) issued a statement today following the passage of House Bill (HB) 99, Republican legislation that would allow teachers and staff to be armed in schools. Police, teachers’ unions, civil rights groups and students all strongly oppose this legislation and the effects it would have on our children and schools.
“The Republican majority continues to show us who they really are, over and over again. When Ohioans are pleading year after year, begging the governor and the legislature to finally stand up and do something about gun violence, putting more guns near our children is the furthest thing from a logical solution,” said Leader Russo. “Ohioans are asking for more thorough background checks and firearm safety. Instead, Republicans pass shoot-first laws and bills that get rid of concealed weapon training. Enough is enough. This legislature has a responsibility to make communities safer and to ensure that our children grow up free from gun violence. Passing this bill is irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous.”
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 have consistently brought these concerns up during hearings and discussions.
“This is not what our teachers want. Not only do our educators and parents oppose the idea of guns being present in classrooms, but law enforcement itself does not support this bill,” said Rep. Miranda, co-founder of the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus. “Republicans are catering to the minority, instead of the majority of Ohioans who support common sense gun legislation and don’t want guns in our schools.”
Nearly 90% of all high-fatality gun massacres since 1966 at least partly occurred in areas where civilian guns were allowed or there was armed security or law enforcement present. The myth that arming teachers and keeping guns in classrooms will ensure the safety of students is not one supported by data.
HB 99 now heads to the Governor’s desk for approval.