Gun Training

600 apply for gun training

by Jill Kelley, Dayton Daily News  |  published on January 6, 2013

Hundreds of Ohio school officials have signed up for the free Armed Teacher Training Program offered in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in December.

“There have been over 600 applicants overall, and by now it might be over 600 from Ohio,” Jim Irvine, one of the founders of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, said Wednesday. “We threw it up on a map and (applicants) cover the whole state. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had somebody from each of our 88 counties.”

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization that predominantly serves Ohio, reportedly received requests from more than a dozen states regarding its free training offer. Separate gun and defense-related groups in Utah and North Carolina offered similar free training for teachers recently, and also received hundreds of responses.

The idea of whether arming school staff members as a possible solution to school violence is still hotly debated.

“Policy-makers should re-examine the expanded availability of weapons in public places, not add schools to the list,” said Ohio Education Association President Patricia Frost-Brooks. “Instead of arming educators, they can enhance school safety with more counselors, better mental health services and partnering with local police to deter violence in schools.”

Roughly 70 percent of the applicantswere teachers, and there also were administrators, office staff members and guidance counselors.

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