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Ohio Rep. Thomas Hall explains rationale behind push to reduce gun training for teachers

Hall's House Bill 99 has trigged controversy throughout Ohio
Published By WLWT 5 on June 2, 2022
Thomas Hall In The News

"Just trying to make this as much of a local control decision as anything — to allow the schools to have this practice," Hall said.

HB 99 reduces the number of training hours a teacher would need to carry a gun in an Ohio classroom from 730 to 24.

"My goal — and the goal of this legislation as a whole — was to always protect and enhance the school safety for students and staff," Hall said.

Hall represents Butler County. His dad is Kent Hall. He was the school resource officer who chased a student who shot two classmates out of Madison Junior-Senior high school in 2016.

"In these situations, second matter. My dad responded to the school shooting in Madison in seven seconds," Hall said.

But, as WLWT investigator Todd Dykes pointed out during a news conference Thursday at the Butler County Republican Party's headquarters, Hall's father had undergone hundreds of hours of training.

Assuming Gov. Mike DeWine signs HB 99 into law, a teacher could carry a gun with significantly less practice if a school board goes with the bare minimum.

"They get to make the ultimate decision," Hall said.

Hall knows his measure has critics, like Cincinnati Public School Board member Mike Moroski.

"It's extraordinarily disappointing to me that the Ohio Republican Party's response to violence in schools is such an unserious response — and dangerous," Moroski said.

Moroski is among those who think making it easier for more guns to get inside schools will make students less safe, not more.

"The answer is very clearly not let's throw more guns at the problem," he said. "But let's have a serious conversation. Why is America obsessed with violence?"

Moroski told Dykes that he and another board member are already pushing for a resolution that would oppose having CPS educators pack heat.

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