School districts would have to pay for that training. They could adopt alternative training so long as it includes the same subjects as the state training.
State Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, said trainers must be licensed law enforcement officers or veterans who meet state Department of Public Safety standards.
People seeking to carry guns in schools would be subject to annual state and federal background checks.
The nearly two-hour Senate debate grew acrimonious, with both sides accusing the other of hypocrisy.
Democrats decried the drastic reduction in the amount of required training. Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Cincinnati, said most of the new requirement isn’t even gun training but education on crisis intervention, first aid and other subjects. State Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, said the training would be less than required to become a nail technician or Little League umpire. The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission now recommends at least 152 hours (19 days) of training, she said.
State Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, said school districts could require more training than the bill’s minimum. He and state Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, said Ohio’s large cities may have police near schools, but rural counties may have only a few law enforcement officers that are miles away from a school.
State Sen. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, framed the bill as a response to public calls to “do something” about gun violence. Many Democrats in the General Assembly wore red “Do something” buttons, referring to the public chant that greeted DeWine in the aftermath of the Oregon District mass shooting in August 2019.
Johnson said many arguments against the bill were actually “anti-gun” arguments and blamed school shootings on the “breakdown” of the traditional family and religious values.
“These are the real problems,” he said.