State Lawmakers Giving Constitutional Carry Another Shot

Friday, November 30th 2018, 6:34 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Lawmakers are planning to give constitutional carry another shot. It would allow anyone 21 and over, without a felony record, to carry a gun without training or a license. Backers hope a new governor improves their chances of getting the bill passed. 

Last session, constitutional carry passed in both the House and the Senate but was vetoed by the governor. Now, we have a new governor-elect who says he’ll back the measure if it makes it to his desk.

Senate author Nathan Dahm says the Second Amendment doesn’t require a license or training, so the state of Oklahoma shouldn’t either.

"We have rights enshrined in our Constitution, one of which is our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That right is being infringed upon in the state of Oklahoma for Oklahoma citizens,” said Senator Dahm.

House leaders back the idea.

"I would anticipate that being something that we will debate, that we will vote on, and I anticipate frankly it passing,” said Representative Jon Echols (R) House Majority Floor Leader.

But don’t expect constitutional carry to sail through the legislature.

The Senate has 12 new members, and nearly half of the House are freshman.  And while Republicans, who are traditionally strong supporters of the Second Amendment, still control both houses, Republicans in the House also worked to oust their most conservative members.

See Related Story: Legislative Breakdown – Oklahoma Republicans Hold Supermajorities In House, Senate

Opponents say they’ll be targeting those freshman members, pushing for “No” votes.

"I don't feel safer in public knowing that people might have loaded guns on them and haven't been through safety training,” said Audrey Burro of Moms Demand Action.

“We're going to make sure that our legislators have all the facts and I'm sure they’ll agree with us that this is a bad idea,” she continued.