More than 1,400 teachers have applied for an Armed Teacher Training Program statewide, Buckeye Firearms Association Vice President Chad Baus said Thursday night at a North Central Ohio Conservatives meeting.
Baus said teachers in classrooms have a better chance of stopping an armed attacker than police because the average mass murder attack lasts six minutes, which is how long it takes for police to arrive.
"Shootings in gun-free zones have been happening with increased regularity over the past two decades," he said. "But the horrific events in Connecticut seem to have been a 9/11 type moment for Americans."
Baus said schools across the nation have spent millions of dollars on fire prevention, but he said more attention should be given to ways to protect students from school shootings.
"For the teachers who are willing, for the teachers who have that mindset that they want to protect their kids, we want to give them the tools available - just like the fire extinguisher - to be able to fight that fire or fight that threat in this case."
Through his firearms training company Northwest Self Defense, Baus is offering teachers and school employees free concealed carry classes.
He said the company will be providing free training to teachers from 18 schools in Northwest Ohio.
Baus also spoke about Ohio's concealed carry law, which has been in effect since April 2004.
He said 49 states now offer concealed carry licenses, and Ohio's license is recognized in 31 other states.
To get a concealed carry in Ohio, a person must take a 12-hour training course. Baus said Ohio's training is one of the toughest in the country, and he hopes the state will relax its requirements for the license in the future.
During his presentation, he also spoke about assault weapons, and said it is important how the term is defined.
He said politicians are trying to ban semi-automatic guns by using phrases like "high-capacity" and "military-style" to scare people who do not know much about guns.
"Banning these guns is like banning spoilers on cars to prevent street racing," Baus said. "Just because it looks fast doesn't mean it is. Removing a few cosmetic features changes nothing about its operation."