What’s new from Ohio House Bill 99?  (A summary with a quick Q/A) Thumbnail

What’s new from Ohio House Bill 99? (A summary with a quick Q/A)

Ohio House Bill 99 went into effect on September 12, 2022 (the “Act”).  The Act codifies four new Ohio Revised Code sections: Ohio Revised Code §5502.70, §5502.701, §5502.702 and §5502.703.  In a nut shell, what do the new statutes regulate?
 
ORC §5502.70 creates a Safety & Crisis Division within the Ohio School Safety Center.  The Ohio School Safety Center was established by Governor DeWine in 2019 under the authority of the Department of Public Safety.  https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/what-we-do/our-programs/ohio-school-safety-center
 
What is the new Safety & Crisis Division Going to Do?
According to the State of Ohio Department of Transportation website, the new division is intended to develop and provide training for school staff members whose districts opt to allow certain employees to be armed on school grounds.  https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/home/news-and-events/all-news/dewine-080222  The Act states the objectives are to be carried out by operation of the Ohio Mobile Training Team. 
 
Who is the Ohio Mobile Training Team?
Under ORC §5502.70, the Director of Public Safety is required to appoint a Chief Mobile Training Office by December 11, 2022.  That Director must appoint 16 regional mobile training officers within 90 days of his/her appointment.  To be eligible, the Chief Mobile Training Officer and regional mobile training officers must be a licensed peace officer or veteran of the U.S. armed forces who has been honorably discharged or who has been transferred to the reserve forces with evidence of satisfactory service and must also meet all additional requirements set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 5502.701.
 
What training will the Ohio Mobile Training Team provide?
ORC §5502.702 provides that the regional mobile training officers will be a resource to the public and non-public schools located within that region for (1) developing/reviewing emergency management plans, (2) other security protocols; (3) assist with communications between federal, state and local law enforcement; (4) offering tactical emergency medical services training; (5) promoting the use of SaferOH tip line; (6) enforcing rules and executing additional duties prescribed by the Department of Public Safety and the chief mobile training officer; and (7) providing instruction and training through the Ohio School Safety and Crisis Center created by under ORC §5502.703. 
 
What is 5502.703?
This statute requires the Mobile Training Team to develop curriculum and provide instruction and training, including firearms training, for individuals who wish to be authorized to carry a firearm in a school safety zone.  The instruction and training will follow the private investigator and security guard firearms training guidelines under ORC 4749.06, which specifies initial instruction (not to exceed 24 hours) and annual requalification training (not to exceed 8 hours).  A school district can require additional training.
 
How is it funded?
Funding for the Ohio Mobile Training Team is $6 million for each of Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023. 
However, ORC 5502.703(C)(2) specifically states a school district must pay all fees for training through the Ohio School Safety and Crisis Center for individuals they authorize to convey firearms into a school safety zone.
 
Will the public know if their respective school district authorizes an individual to carry a firearm?
Although ORC 5502.703(D) requires a school district to provide a list of the qualified individuals to the School Safety and Crisis Center, the statute specifically states the list is not a public record.  However, under the amended ORC 2923.122(D)(1)(d)(ii), the Act requires a school district to notify the public “by whatever means the [district] regularly communicates with the public that the [district] has authorized one or more persons to go armed with a school [in that district].”

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