Correction, 1:57 p.m.: This post originally stated that a person in Ohio must be 18 years of age to purchase a handgun. They must be 21.
It is unclear how T.J. Lane, 17, who authorities say carried out the shooting, acquired the gun.
But the shooting is bound to push Ohio lawmakers and residents to look more closely at their gun laws.
Under Ohio gun laws, a person must be 21 years of age, pass a national background check and fill out a firearms transaction record to purchase a handgun. A state permit, firearm registration and owner’s license, however, are not needed.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence rated Ohio only a 7 out of a possible score of 100 in terms of strong gun laws, saying that people can avoid background checks by buying handguns in private sales.
Last summer, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a “guns-in-bars” bill into law, making it legal to carry concealed firearms into bars, restaurants, shopping malls, nightclubs and sports arenas for the first time. The law is considered one of the broadest gun laws in the country.
And the law may have sparked more gun-buying, with licenses to legally carry concealed firearms more than doubling in the past three years, according to a recent report.
The legislature is now considering a bill that would go even further by allowing concealed carry in places of worship, on private and public college campuses, daycare centers and some government buildings.
As Frank Ochberg wrote Tuesday on CNN’s blog Global Public Square, there is no one answer to why shootings happen at schools in the United States more than in any other country.
The possible factors in the Ohio shooting, Ochberg wrote, include “failure by classmates, parents and school officials to see the warning signs; bullying and revenge; serious mental illness; violent role models; drugs; access to guns; and a culture that condones extremism.”