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Everything You Need to Know About Ohio’s Move to Purchase Mobile Home “Shoot Houses” to Train Armed Teachers to “Respond to Active Shooters”


COLUMBUS, Ohio —  Ohio has moved to use taxpayer dollars to purchase “shoot houses,” mobile homes where teachers will be tasked with participating in military-grade tactical room-clearing drills. This move appears to be the first attempt by a state to purchase these facilities following the enactment of extreme legislation to arm teachers.

A shoot house is a type of shooting range designed for training in real-world spaces like houses or businesses. Shoot houses are typically designed to accommodate live-fire training, where special military or law enforcement special forces can practice while using the full capabilities of their service weapons. The use of a shoot house for close-quarters combat training was first devised by the British Special Air Service, and special forces around the world continue to use them for training. Some shooting ranges have designed their own shoot houses for use by the public. 

 These shoot houses are refencered in Call of Duty, a first-person shooter video game that draws on real-world tactical operations and military-grade firepower — and gun makers have shown that they see such video games as a way to market guns to their next generation of customers. 

“Oh sure, let’s take teacher Sally and teacher Joe, with guns in hand, and put them in a special forces training simulation. Putting guns into these classrooms does not help,” said Lora Greene, a rural chapter lead with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Why don’t we put money into things that actually make our schools and kids and teachers safer, instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars to force teachers to cosplay war.”

“Ohio’s attempt to purchase and utilize these tactical, military-style ‘shoot houses’ is a new – and asinine – approach to bringing more guns into schools,” said Monisha Henley, senior vice president of government affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Instead of investing in gun violence prevention measures to keep our kids safe, Ohio lawmakers want to spend taxpayer dollars to fund ‘shoot houses.’ This is not how we prevent gun violence, this is not how we invest in safer communities.”

The purchase of shoot houses is just the latest and most extreme case of Ohio arming teachers. In 2022, following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were shot and killed, Ohio lawmakers lowered training requirements for teacher and school personnel to be armed in schools, from 700 to just 24 hours of instruction – “a slap in the face to gun violence survivors everywhere.” Part of that training could soon be fulfilled in government-purchased shoot houses. 

Ohio’s move to purchase these shoot houses is a part of a larger trend of states moving to arm teachers across the country. Already in 2024, 11 states have introduced or passed legislation that would allow – and sometimes even force – more guns into K-12 classrooms or expand policies in states where teachers are already armed. Today, Iowa is expected to pass arming teachers legislation — Tennessee advanced similar legislation yesterday.

Arming teachers and staff is opposed by school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement – and for good reason. Research shows that arming teachers puts the lives of students, teachers and law enforcement in even more danger. When a gun is in the classroom, students can get access to it. There have been multiple incidents of students and teachers finding misplaced firearms: in bathrooms, locker rooms, and even sporting events. 

Ohio also has some of the weakest firearm laws in the country, scoring only 13 out of 100 for gun law strength. The state lacks any kind of law requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms when not in use. Despite the state’s gun homicide rate increasing over the past decade, higher than the nationwide increase, and the state having one of the highest rates of unintentional shootings by children, Ohio recently passed a dangerous Shoot First law, encouraging violence and vigilantism in public—and eliminated the requirement that a person get a permit and safety training before carrying a concealed gun in public. 

To speak with a policy or research expert from Everytown or volunteer with Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please contact [email protected].