Maharath Announces Opposition to Senate Bill 317
November 18, 2020
Today, state Senator Tina Maharath (D-Columbus) expressed opposition to Senate Bill 317, which would provide exceptions to current law barring possession of firearms in school safety zones, which include school property, school-sponsored activities and buses.
“We should be ensuring that our schools are as safe as possible,” said Maharath. “Parents have enough to worry about when sending their children off to school as it is. As a parent myself, it frightens me that an under-qualified individual might have the authority to enter school grounds while armed. We should be raising our standards, not lowering them.
“This bill does not address the concerns Ohioans expressed when they called on Governor DeWine to ‘do something’ about mass shootings. The answer to gun violence is not more guns, especially in schools.
“No child should have to worry about the presence of firearms in their classrooms and whether the people carrying them have been properly trained. No parent should have to worry about whether their child will be the next victim of gun violence any time they go to school.”
Currently, only school security officers employed by a board of education or those with written authorization from the board of education or school district governing body may carry a firearm in a school safety zone after receiving 737 hours of training by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, or after having served at least 20 years of active duty as an officer.
Senate Bill 317 is scheduled for a vote on the floor during today’s session.