OHA, chambers of commerce, education groups and OKC Thunder urge veto of SB 1212, gun bill

Posted on: 5/9/18


Late Wednesday night, May 2, the State Senate approved a bill allowing persons to carry a gun without a permit. OHA, along with associations representing business, education, and sports mounted an effort to urge the governor to veto SB 1212, arguing that the bill provides little or no recourse against an individual who chooses to ignore a business or property owner’s request to keep guns off their premises. The OHA expressed concern on behalf of hospitals about the security implications for emergency rooms and other hospital settings, pointing out the potential additional costs this bill would impose on hospitals to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

To view an OHA letter sent to the governor asking her to veto the bill, click here.
 
Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, the Senate author of the measure, said those 21 years and older, as well as those in the military 18 and over, would be allowed under the bill to carry a gun without first obtaining a permit. Dahm said the bill would eliminate the costs and procedures Oklahomans have to go through in order to exercise their Second Amendment right.

In debate on whether to accept the House amendments, Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, said the decision lawmakers needed to make was one of “policy over politics.” Sharp said he was concerned about eliminating the training and licensing requirements, along with the background checks.

Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, said his office had been inundated with constituents who opposed the bill. Yen argued Timothy McVeigh would not have been arrested had it not been for the handgun an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper saw in the vehicle.

“If the Legislature had passed SB 1212, before 1995 when the Murrah bombing occurred, Timothy McVeigh would not have been arrested,” said Yen. He then made a motion to adjourn the legislative session sine die. His motion was ruled out of order by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa and the evening’s presiding officer.

Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, took issue with the process that had put the bill before them. The bill, she said, left the Senate as five pages in length and had returned 28 pages long. “It is making a major policy change in Oklahoma by eliminating the requirements for citizens to get training before obtaining a permit,” she said.

Rep. Jeff Coody, R-Grandfield, who was responsible for amending the bill in the House, watched the Senate’s consideration of the bill from the gallery.

Floyd said she also was concerned about the impact the bill would have on personal property rights and the ability of businesses to control their property.

“There are too many unanswered questions, not to mention the questions about the safety factor,” Floyd said, urging her fellow senators to vote against accepting the House amendments to the bill.

The bill passed 33-9. It now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration. (Lynne White)

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