Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday signed a bill to allow schools to arm more teachers with guns in response to school shootings, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Ohio law already allowed teachers to be armed as long as they underwent more than 700 hours of training, as is routine for law enforcement officers who are armed. But the new law will lower the amount of required training to just 24 hours.
"In life we make choices, and we don't always know what the outcome is going to be," DeWine said at a news conference. "What this Legislature has done, I've done by signing it, is giving schools an option based on their particular circumstances to make the best decision they can make with the best information they have. That's all any decision-maker can do."
Law enforcement officials criticized the law, arguing that 24 hours is not enough to learn to safely use a gun. Gun control advocates argued that the law would not reduce school shootings.
"I think it’s a horrible idea to arm our teachers," Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said. "There’s a lot of training that’s involved in that. It's naïve to believe that is something we can put on them and expect them to respond to from a law enforcement perspective."
School safety funding:
DeWine also touted other school safety initiatives after the Uvalde shooting in Texas.
The new state budget will provide $100 million in grants for schools to boost school security.
The state is also funding training to help school employees identify behavioral health problems.
"We are trying to do and have been trying to do every single day things that people keep safer – keep kids in school safer but also these same children who go home to neighborhoods where there's violent crime and repeat violent offenders," DeWine said. "Their lives are important, too. All children's lives are important."