Columbus, Ohio – For immediate release
In a convoluted 4-3 ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion that Ohio Revised Code 2923.122 does not mean what is says. In short, schools may not allow their staff to carry firearms, even if they pass qualifications higher than Ohio law-enforcement, but school boards can authorize any non-employee with a CHL to carry firearms without further restrictions.
The Ohio Senate passed legislation multiple times last session that would have solved this problem, but the House never took action. This year Representative Thomas Hall (R-53) has introduced HB99 which will resolve the issue. It has had multiple hearings in the House Criminal Justice Committee, but Chairman Jeff LaRe has not scheduled a vote yet.
“The only thing that should be a higher priority than the budget should be the safety of our children.” Said Jim Irvine, co-director of FASTER Saves Lives. “Our program has been recognized as the best in the country because we hire and work with our nation’s experts. When a court ruling endangers the lives of our children, it becomes the obligation of the legislature to promptly correct the defect.”
The majority opinion even makes this point stating, “To the extent that the third dissenting opinion is correct in placing blame for inconsistencies within the statutory language of R.C. 109.78 on the legislative inadvertence, the General Assembly may take up the cause to eliminate those inconsistencies.”
The ruling negates the emergency response plan in hundreds of Ohio schools. Without legislative action, schools must now abandon best practice replace it with some less effective measures. “Schools and law-enforcement are upset that what they know is safest policy is now illegal in Ohio.” Noted Irvine.
It’s a shame that certain individuals, including Supreme Court justices have put anti-gun bias and politics above the safety of our children. Hopefully the legislature takes immediate action so that schools are safe when they return in the fall.