Hamilton, OH— Butler County, Ohio Sheriff Richard K. Jones, in response to the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, has reportedly begun offering free concealed carry classes and additional training for school teachers.
On February 18th he tweeted:
I am going to offer free concealed and Carry class free 2 teachers in butler county. Limited number. Details coming soon on line. Also training on school shootings.
— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 18, 2018
Based on a Facebook post on the Butler County Sheriff’s Office page, within 20 minutes posting his offer of free concealed carry classes, Jones received 50 emails.
Over 50 emails in 20 minutes. Keep them coming, we will find a plan. This community rocks! #kidscomefirst!!
By February 20, the number of requests for concealed carry training had reached a staggering 300, forcing Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones to announce that the limit for the class had been reached, according to NBC 5. Class dates and times have not yet been made public.
We have reached our limit right now, we've cut it at 300 requests. We will be in contact soon about classes and times. Thank You!
— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 20, 2018
“People in the schools need to be trained with firearms, period,” the outspoken Sheriff Jones said. “Even if you hate guns, you need to know about guns if you’re in the schools.”
NBC 5 reports that currently in Butler County, the Edgewood School District is the only one that allows certain administrators to be armed. Jones said he will use the eight-hour concealed carry class to educate teachers about firearms and school shootings.
“We’re going to talk about school shootings. We’re going to talk about the different types of guns, and we’re going to make it a very interesting and very thoughtful class,” Jones said.
Additionally, Jones said he plans on discussing the benefits of allowing teachers to carry with other school districts, but stressed that that decision ultimately lies with the school board.
“If the school boards want to give the authority to teachers to be armed…[they] can do that, they have the authority to do it, but I’m going to do my part, and I assume I’m probably the only one in the state of Ohio that’s doing that – but something has to happen,” Jones noted.
While Jones acknowledged that he does not have the authority to allow teachers to be armed, it’s reported that wants to do his part in helping teachers be prepared if their school board makes the decision to allow armed teachers.
While certainly in the minority, there are numerous public schools in the U.S. that allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms, with the idea that a warning of armed staff would provide a stronger deterrent than a “gun-free” zone sign.