Ohio Republican tries to own his opponent by claiming teens should be able to bring guns to school
Ohio state Rep. Niraj Antani (R). Image via screengrab.

During a Twitter argument with a political opponent, Rep. Niraj Antani (R) suggested that students of legal age should be able to bring guns to high school campuses.

Antani told the Dayton Daily News Thursday that he was not advocating the arming of students, but rather that "students should have the option of carrying long guns in school if they meet the legal criteria to do so."

"The law is anybody above 21 can have a handgun and anybody above 18 can have a long gun, and so anyone who complies with the law should be able to carry and protect themselves," Antani said.

He added that "many decades ago, people brought their firearms to school," but usually left them in their cars.

The issue originally came up in a Wednesday confrontation between Antani and Zach Dickerson, a first-time political candidate opposing the lawmaker for his state House seat.

The argument started when Dickerson said that unlike his opponents, he intends to listen to students calling for safer schools. To do so, Dickerson called on his opponent to renounce House Bill 233, a bill that would, the Daily News reported, "allow a concealed handgun licensee or military member to carry a deadly weapon into a gun-free zone, and avoid punishment, so long as the person leaves upon request and doesn’t return with the weapon within 30 days."

In response, Antani accused Dickerson of lying, and then doubled down his support for the bill, saying "students deserve a chance to stand their ground and defend themselves.

When his opponent charged him with wanting to arm teachers as well as students, Antani then tripled down, saying "the more people who carry, the safer we will be."

Watch the Ohio Republican explain his stance below, via the Dayton Daily News: