UPDATE: 12:50 p.m. EST – At least 10 victims were injured on Ohio State University’s campus after a suspect ambushed students with a vehicle and stabbed multiple others before being shot and killed by police, college president Michael Drake told reporters Monday. The suspect’s identity and motive, and whether they were carrying or used a firearm during their attack on the university, remain unclear. Local police shot and killed the suspect after they began stabbing nearby victims. Authorities said the threat facing the campus had ended.
At least 8 people were sent to hospitals near Ohio State University Monday morning as the campus alerted students of a possible active shooter, writing "run, hide, fight" on Twitter. Reports of an active shooter were unverified, though students reported hearing sounds of gunfire.
While details of the alleged shooting remained scant early Monday, reports of a heavy police and fire department presence at OSU quickly turned the nation's interest toward Ohio's relaxed gun laws, which currently provide some of the most lenient restrictions in selling and distributing firearms throughout the nation.
There aren't any state requirements for permits or registration of rifles, shotguns or handguns in Ohio, and residents can carry concealed weapons with a permit. Background checks are not performed at Ohio gun shows, and the state does not restrict the limit of weapons one can purchase.
"Since Ohio does not require criminal background checks on all firearm sales, including those at gun shows, gun traffickers don’t need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members," Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said in a reported statement.
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 147 into law last year, further relaxing the state's gun laws and further expanding gun rights throughout the states. The new legislation allows anyone in the state not barred from owning weapons to carry a gun, as well as forbids law enforcement from performing search and seizures on someone carrying a weapon.
"Any law-abiding citizen should be able to carry a gun, concealed or not," Ohio Rep. Andrew Brenner told the Ohio Dispatch. "Whether they’re carrying it underneath a jacket or openly displaying a sidearm should make no difference."
An apparent suicide attempt at Ohio State University was the only gun-related incident on a school campus reported in Ohio last year, according to information provided by the anti-gun violence nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. It's unclear whether that victim committed suicide with a firearm.