Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) today voted in opposition to two bills opponents say would make schools and communities less safe and fail 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, while HB 227 would eliminate concealed weapon training and safety standards, including penalties for failing to notify police of a concealed weapon during a stop.
“The biggest question I had today when speaking to HB 99 was, ‘Why?’ We are creating more problems than solutions for schools by letting inadequately trained teachers and staff carry weapons in schools. These problems are overlooked in this legislation. Teachers do not want this, and Ohio does not want this,” said Rep. Miller.
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 that HB 99 only requires 20 hours of training for armed teachers during committee hearings.
Gun violence rates in Ohio surged in 2020, with 25 mass shootings recorded, up from 14 the year before. Emerging data shows that states that have passed permitless carry legislation are experiencing a substantial increase in gun violence.
After passing the House, both bills move to the Senate for consideration.