Anti-Gunners Fail to Derail Oklahoma’s New Constitutional Carry Law

Nov. 4, 2019
Bob Adelmann

Somehow Oklahoma City Democratic representative Jason Lowe didn't get the memo – or, if he did, he's ignoring it: Oklahomans want full enjoyment of their God-given rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Simply put, those citizens want to make their own decisions on when to carry a firearm for their own protection, and where. They don't think they should have to request permission from the government to exercise their rights.

In his first official act as Oklahoma's new governor, Kevin Stitt signed a "constitutional carry" bill into law earlier this year that had been overwhelmingly approved by both the House (70-30) and the Senate (40-6). The previous governor had vetoed a similar bill.

Lowe pushed back against Stitt's approval of the bill. Working with Moms Demand Freedom, a group that shares Lowe's unhappiness over citizens exercising those rights without government permission, Lowe tried to gin up excitement and enthusiasm for a petition to let voters second-guess the state's elected officials' decision on the matter of "constitutional carry." However, his petition failed to gather the minimum number of signatures required to put it on the ballot.

So he tried a last-minute strategy: demanding a stay of the law by a local judge. The judge ruled against Lowe. Lowe appealed. And the state's Supreme Court upheld the ruling.

Between 250 and 300 Oklahoma gun owners joined with Oklahoma's Second Amendment Association in celebrating the state's newly-minted "Constitutional Carry" law – carrying in public without government permission – in front of the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Friday.

State Senator Nathan Dahm, the author of the bill that had previously been vetoed by former Governor Mary Fallin, exulted:

It's a great day and a historic day. Throughout this process we faced committee chairmen who refused to hear a bill to restore our constitutional rights, or a Republican governor who broke her word, violated a campaign promise and vetoed the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms...

Today we celebrate being victorious.

Oklahoma joins 16 other states with similar "constitutional carry" or "permitless carry" laws: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Montana, and Kentucky.


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An outline of the state's gun laws reveals just how free its citizens are to exercise their Second Amendment rights:

Does the state require a permit to purchase a firearm? No

Does the state require firearms to be registered with the state? No

Is there an "assault weapon" law on the books in Oklahoma? No

Does the owner of a firearm need to be licensed? No

Does he need a concealed carry permit to carry? No

Does he need a permit to carry openly? No

Are background checks required for private, person-to-person sales? No

There are limits, however, indicating that there is still more work to be done. While the state's preemption law prohibits local municipalities from enacting gun laws that are more restrictive than the state's, open or concealed carry is not allowed on college campuses. It remains illegal for gun owners to carry into public sporting events or casinos, although they are now free to carry at public parks and zoos. Property owners remain free to prohibit carrying if they so choose. The law also bans anyone in the state illegally or those convicted of certain crimes from enjoying the benefits of the new law.

The new law extends to visitors to the state as well, said state Senator Kim David: "We allow for people in other states to be able to carry in this state without a permit. This bill simply allows law-abiding citizens who wish to carry a weapon to be able to do that in our state without … a permit."

With passage of the new law, Oklahoma will likely enjoy another benefit: lower homicide rates. According to data from the FBI, Arizona – which adopted "constitutional carry" in 2010 – saw its homicide rates decline from 6.4 per 100,000 to 5.1 by 2018. Mississippi – which adopted a similar law in 2016 – saw its homicide rates fall to the lowest numbers seen in decades. Three of the four states with the lowest murder rates in 2018 are "constitutional carry" states.

Perhaps now Jason Lowe will have gotten the memo, and direct his attention away from trying to infringe on Oklahomans' precious rights.

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Sources:

Guns.com: OKLAHOMA BEGINS CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY DESPITE PUSH BY ANTI-GUN GROUPS

ABC News: Oklahoma judge rejects challenge to 'permitless carry' law

Fox News: Permitless gun carry in Oklahoma takes effect

NRAILA.org: Constitutional Carry OK in Oklahoma

Newsweek: OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT DENIES EMERGENCY INJUNCTION, PERMITLESS CARRY GUN LAW WILL GO INTO EFFECT NOVEMBER 1

Tulsa World: Celebrating and carrying, about 300 gather at Oklahoma Capitol to mark change in law

KFOR.com: Oklahoma Supreme Court denies injunction to stop permitless carry from going into effect

KXII.com: Oklahoma judge rejects challenge to 'permitless carry' law

Oklahoma's gun laws

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