Oklahoma lawmakers have again introduced dangerous legislation that would allow Oklahoma residents to carry a loaded handgun in public without getting a permit, passing a background check or completing gun safety training. The bills would gut Oklahoma’s permitting system and facilitate allowing certain people with dangerous histories who are currently prohibited from obtaining a permit to carry loaded handguns in public. Moms Demand Action volunteers will be at the Statehouse sharing their concern about these dangerous bills with lawmakers today.
Permitless carry legislation is opposed by 81 percent of people in Oklahoma. Last year, former Governor Fallin vetoed a similar bill after strong opposition from a coalition of 50 state associations, universities, business owners and law enforcement organizations. Lawmakers were also urged not to pass the bill by the editorial boards of Tulsa World and the Oklahoman.
In her veto statement last year, Gov. Fallin wrote, “SB 1212 eliminates the current ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to distinguish between those carrying guns who have been trained and vetted, and those who have not. Again, I believe the firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal, and serve to reassure our citizens that people who are carrying handguns in this state are qualified to do so.”
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the bill would threaten “the safety and security” of Oklahomans. The bill would also be a substantial financial burden; last year’s proposed legislation would have cost the Bureau nearly $5 million.
Permitless carry is regularly rejected by states across the country. Not a single state enacted permitless carry last year ― in fact, 17 states rejected permitless carry legislation in 2018 alone. The few states that have passed permitless carry legislation have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence.
If you are interested in learning more about how permitless carry would threaten public safety in Oklahoma, please don’t hesitate to reach out.