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Conservative Ohio Legislator Backs Off Suggestion To Arm Students

Niraj Antani
Niraj Antani
Ohio House
Niraj Antani

Amid the debate over whether teachers should be armed in schools, a Dayton-area lawmaker says he believes some students could carry weapons as well.

“This is my belief – that any law abiding person who is of age should be able to carry a firearm anywhere in a public place to protect themselves,” said conservative Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). “And I also further believe that gun-free zones don’t work.”

Prompted on Twitter by Zach Dickerson, a Democratic challenger for his Ohio House seat, Antani said that “students deserve a chance to stand their ground and defend themselves.”

After getting backlash from Republican opponents in the May primary, Antani on Friday said that he “did a poor job of communicating my position.”

Antani clarified to say it’s not a proposal he wants to turn into legislation. Rather, he stresses it’s just his belief and that he’s not advocating arming students.

Federal law bans weapons by unauthorized people in schools. But some schools in Ohio allow teachers to carry firearms.

On Wednesday, thousands of students around the country - and in Ohio - walked out of class to demand comprehensive gun control and to advocate for the banning of assault weapons, among other measures.