Today, over 100 volunteers with the Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America met with lawmakers to express their forceful opposition to a permitless carry bill that would allow people to carry a loaded handgun in public without getting a permit, passing a background check or completing gun safety training. These gun safety advocates join concerned citizens and community leaders from across the state who have recently called on legislators to reject this dangerous policy.
- Faith leaders representing a diversity of faith traditions spoke out against permitless carry last week. Reverend Mitch Randall urged Oklahomans to oppose permitless carry, saying, “Jesus knew that violence begets violence. Make no mistake about it, this bill will will beget violence.” Pastor Todd Littleton also argued against permitless carry, saying that it is “not legislation intended for the common good.”
- Nearly 4,500 concerned Oklahomans signed a petition urging lawmakers to oppose permitless carry. They join people across the state who have made it clear they don’t want this bill to become law. Two individuals wrote a letter to the editor asking why people should be allowed to carry firearms without training or permits while we require these things to drive a car, while another wrote, “responsible citizens believe we can uphold both Second Amendment rights and demand our lawmakers protect sensible gun laws.”
- The owner of a gun store in Duncan spoke out against the bill, raising serious concerns about elimination of the training requirement to carry a loaded handgun in public. “I’ve taught hundreds of classes and thousands of people,” he said. “Every class has people that can’t function, work, operate a gun. Instructions must happen.”
- Law enforcement officials are opposed to permitless carry. Yesterday, Daniel Isom, the former chief of police in St. Louis, wrote that his city experienced a 25 percent increase in aggravated assaults with firearms after Missouri enacted permitless carry. He said, “if Oklahoma’s lawmakers are as committed to public safety as the officers on the front lines of protecting citizens from violent crime, they will listen to the voices of law enforcement and reject permitless carry.”
- Editorial boards across the state have expressed opposition to this dangerous bill. The Tulsa World editorial board argued against eliminating the training requirement, saying “making sure people carrying guns in public have at least a modicum of knowledge about the law serves an important purpose.” And, the Muskogee Phoenix editorial board wrote, “allowing people to pack heat without permits would be a grave mistake.
With so many stakeholders from across the state expressing opposition to this dangerous bill, there is just one question left: Does anyone aside from the gun lobby want permitless carry to be the law of the land in Oklahoma?