COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill creating a program that would allow school officials to be trained to carry guns in school is one step closer to becoming law.

What You Need To Know

  • Senate Bill 168 establishes the Ohio Mobile Training Team Program

  • The program would help K-12 schools and colleges develop plans for emergency situations and the right to have a school resource officer, a security officer or another trained staff member carry a gun

  • The bill is awaiting a floor vote by the Ohio Senate

The proposal says whomever a school district designates to have a gun must complete basic training and have a license.

However, gun control advocates are not on board.

Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the idea of allowing school districts to decide if it wants to arm its teachers. ​Yet, the state legislature is moving forward with a bill that could do just that.

"I think one way or another, the legislature is going to have to address the issue of school safety and I think that's what their motivation is here," said Rob Sexton with the Buckeye Firearms Association. 

Senate Bill 168, passed out of the Ohio Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, establishes the Ohio Mobile Training Team Program.

The program would have more than a dozen training officers help K-12 schools and colleges develop plans for emergency situations. The bill also gives schools the right to have a school resource officer, a security officer or another trained staff member carry a gun.

Gun rights advocates like the Buckeye Firearms Association support the bill.

"When you ask a question, how are more guns in schools make it safer? Well, you know, random anybody who you don't know, I suppose you make that point,” said Sexton. “But when we're talking about someone who has elected to do so to protect their students, that's one more person that can that can engage an attacker and therefore save lives.”

Gun control groups like the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action oppose the bill as does the Ohio Education Association. Moms Demand Action said more guns in schools increase the chance that something could go wrong.

"We've had incidents where kids have gotten their hands on guns, where a teacher has accidentally placed it in a location where a student can have access to it,” said Mimi Karon. “Guns have disappeared in schools and have been located in student lockers. Those are accidents waiting to happen and that that is what this bill is.”

Karon thinks the legislature needs to divert resources to other places if they want to prevent school shootings.

"Mental health training for teachers. Trauma informed education for teachers and school personnel,” Karon said. “Students having access to mental health professionals. Safe storage is huge. These are things that our lawmakers know. They work, and these are things they need to be focusing on.”

The bill is awaiting a floor vote by the Ohio Senate. If it passes, it would then head to the House for consideration.​