A bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry a gun without a license and without training or a background check is expected to pass in the Senate Wednesday and could be on the governor’s desk by the end of the week.
About 100 members of “Moms Demand Action” met at the state Capitol to urge senators to vote against the bill. But they admit their pleas are likely falling on deaf ears.
“It’s really too bad because it’s going to put peoples public safety in jeopardy, and a lot of us are afraid for our kids and our families,” said President Christine Jackson.
If the bill passes, it will be the first of the session to make it through the legislature and to the governor’s desk.
Senator Greg Treat (R) President Pro Tem admits lawmakers are fast tracking it.
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“So we made the commitment to each other to others that we were going to right the wrong,” said Treat.
Opponents fear people will carry even though they could have violent backgrounds. The current handgun license requires a background check, and background checks are required when you buy a gun from a gun dealer, but not for private sales.
“There are loopholes in the law right now where you can buy a gun without a background check whether it’s through a private sale or on like, different ways. So potentially people could be carrying weapons on the street without ever having passed a background check,” said Jackson.
Representative Emily Virgin (D) House Minority Leader added, “The background checks are absolutely crucial to making sure that guns don’t get in the hands of people that shouldn’t have them.”
Representative Jon Echols (R) Majority Floor Leader responded, “We’ve heard this before. I mean, we’ve heard that after we had concealed carry there were going to be shootings in the street. We heard after open carry there were going to be shootings in the street. Eventually, we have to realize that’s just not going to happen.”
A trailer bill will also be proposed that will require people who carry in parks or city zoos to carry concealed, not in the open.