“A Slap in the Face to Gun Violence Survivors”: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Signs Bill to Arm Teachers into Law Just Weeks After Mass Shooting in Uvalde
Permitless Carry (SB215), Which Governor DeWine Signed Over Staunch Opposition from Law Enforcement, Public Safety Advocates, Also Officially Goes Into Effect Today
The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today signed OH House Bill 99, a bill that would allow teachers to bring firearms into learning environments with minimal training. Volunteers from the Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action testified against the legislation throughout the legislative process of the bill. The legislature sent OH HB99’s to the governor’s desk just one week after 19 children and two educators were shot and killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“The fact that Governor DeWine signed this bill to let barely trained, armed teachers in our classrooms just weeks after a horrific mass shooting at an elementary school is a slap in the face to gun violence survivors everywhere,” said Sara Salsbury, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Time and time again, Governor DeWine has made it clear that he would rather appease the gun lobby and extremists than do what’s right for Ohioans and our kids. And to make it even worse, this news comes the same day permitless carry officially goes into effect. We don’t need more guns in our classrooms – by signing this bill into law, Governor DeWine is choosing to put our kids’ lives on the line.”
“We already have to live in fear of gun violence at school but thanks to Governor DeWine, we now have to endure this new and terrifying reality: teachers with hardly any training carrying guns in our classrooms,” said Cordelia Vanderveer, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Ohio. “Governor DeWine ignored the voices of students, advocates and educators when he signed this bill into law, just like he ignored us and law enforcement when he signed permitless carry earlier this year. We’ll make sure he hears us and is held accountable in November for signing yet another dangerous bill to gut public safety in Ohio. ”
Senate Bill 215, a dangerous permitless carry policy that eliminates Ohio’s permit requirement for carrying a handgun in public, also officially goes into effect today. Governor DeWine signed the bill into law earlier this year despite widespread and vocal opposition from law enforcement across Ohio, local leaders, public safety advocates, and faith leaders. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers joined the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Polices, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Ohio Mayors Alliance, and others in speaking out and providing testimony against the bill throughout the legislative process.
Arming teachers does not make children safer — instead, it increases the risk of gun violence in schools by increasing the chances that a teacher’s gun will fall into the wrong hands, or that a gun will discharge unintentionally and injure a student. There have been several incidents of school staff unintentionally discharging guns on school grounds across the country. Access to a firearm, irrespective of age, triples the risk of death by suicide and doubles the risk of death by homicide.
In an average year, 1,602 people die and 3,552 people are wounded by guns in Ohio. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Ohio. Gun violence costs Ohio $10.9 billion each year, of which $486.5 million is paid by taxpayers.
More information about gun violence in Ohio is available here.