Open Carry Legislation Supported By Oklahoma House

Thursday, March 10th 2016, 9:02 pm
By: News 9

A bill that would impact the state’s firearm licensing system passed the Oklahoma House Thursday 73 -15. It had bipartisan support, according to the author.

Lawmakers spouted concerns on the House floor for about an hour about the bill that makes getting a Self-Defense Act License optional and allows whoever bought the gun to put it straight onto their hip and carry openly.

“We should have the right to defend ourselves no matter where we go,” said Representative Jeff Coody R-District 63, who authored the bill.

Some legislators questioned its impact on gun violence, calling it an “overreaction that could have severe, unintended consequences.”

And Representative Emily Virgin worried about the lack of required training.

“Current law requires a minimal amount of training, but it’s training. And you have to be licensed, you have to at least have shot the gun before and know how to work the safety and things like that,” she said.

But the training burden is something Representative Coody said should be shouldered by the citizen. And that the bill falls in line with what's spelled out in the second amendment.

“A gun can be a wonderful thing or it can be a horrible thing, if it’s used the wrong way. And it’s a tool, just like anything else and we have the freedom to get all the training we need and we should,” he said.

According to online legislative documents this would have a big fiscal impact on the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI). But a spokesperson said they remain neutral on the issue.

House Bill 3098 is headed to the Senate for discussion and a vote. Watch its progress here.