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Ohio Supreme Court Rules Boards of Education May Not Authorize Employees to Carry Firearms Without Undergoing Approved Peace-Officer Training

Posted on June 29, 2021

This morning, in a 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that state law prohibits a board of education from employing a person who goes armed while on duty in his or her job unless the employee has completed an approved basic peace-officer-training program, or has 20 years of experience as a peace officer.
This ruling directly impacts boards of education that previously authorized certain employees to go armed while on duty and carry concealed weapons on school property. Until now, many districts only required those employees to undergo a concealed carry course with additional active shooter training.
The Court’s ruling means employees must immediately cease carrying firearms on district property unless they have at least 20 years of experience as a peace officer, or until they have completed an extensive peace-officer-training program approved by the State of Ohio (currently, 737 hours). Boards of education may not authorize any employee to carry a firearm that does not meet these requirements.
Though this ruling has immediate consequences, the Ohio General Assembly is currently considering a bill to amend the statutory language which resulted in the decision. The legislation, House Bill 99, is presently in the House Criminal Justice Committee. We will continue to track the progress of this legislation and its impact on districts’ ability to authorize employees to carry firearms while on duty.
As always, please contact any of our attorneys if you have additional questions or want assistance reviewing how this ruling impacts your school district.
This communication is intended as general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If legal advice is required, please contact any of our attorneys on our cell phones, at (614) 222-8686, or via email.