State Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) spearheaded and was the primary sponsor of House Bill 99, which was signed into law on Monday by Gov. Mike DeWine. The reformative bill focuses on school gun and safety training. Hall joined the governor at the Department of Public Safety for the bill signing.
“We are doing something to help protect the lives of our children and staff at schools here in Ohio,” Hall said. “In Butler County, we dealt with this firsthand when my father who is a school resource officer at Madison High School chased a school shooter from the premises. With these emergencies, seconds matter and this legislation today really matters.”
Hall originally introduced the bill after his father, as serving as Madison High School resource officer, chased a shooter from the school back in 2016.
The legislation establishes the Ohio School Safety Center and the Ohio Mobile Training Team under the Department of Public Safety. The bill also allows school boards to authorize individuals that have completed the required training to be armed within a school.
In an aim to protect the children and staff of Ohio families at schools across the state, the legislation creates the Ohio School Safety Center that will:
- Be operated by the Ohio Mobile Training Team. The team will consist of one chief mobile training officer and 16 regional officers that will be assigned to geographic locations around the state. The officers must be peace officers or veterans;
- Help schools develop and implement emergency management plans and assist schools with security;
- Create a training curriculum for school personnel that wish to carry firearms in school safety zones when authorized by the board;
- The training must consist of 24 hours of initial instruction, followed by 8 annual hours, and include topics such as mitigation techniques;
- School boards may require more training if they choose. School boards may also develop their own training plans that are submitted to DPS for approval;
- School personnel that are armed will get an annual criminal background check; and
- School boards must inform parents, by whatever way the board normally communicates with the public, if school personnel are authorized to be armed.
The General Assembly approved the measure earlier this month and it will now take effect in 90 days after being signed into law today.