Man Tries To Take Knife Into State Capitol

Sunday, February 7th 2016, 10:43 pm
By: News 9

A man is stopped at the doors of the state Capitol as he tried to get inside with a switchblade knife.

He said what he was doing was completely within the confines of the law.

"You're going to acknowledge that you're in violation of state law,” Don Spencer said to Oklahoma Highway Patrol security in video he shot with his cellphone.

"I’m telling you that you can't bring this knife into this building,” the trooper said. “This knife cannot come in the building. It's a weapon."

However, Spencer insists he was in the right, and his rights were violated when he was not able to make it past security and into the Oklahoma state Capitol with his switchblade knife.

"Why on earth did you think you could carry a knife into the Capitol?" 

"Well, because it was signed into law as of November 1, 2015 that the state preemption protects a person to be able to carry a knife almost anywhere including the state capitol,” Spencer of the OK Second Amendment Association said.

Spencer claims he was just going about his normal day when he was turned away at the doors, because of what he was trying to bring into the building.

"They say it is their policy that they can ban knives and other weapons from the building but the fact is knives are under the state preemption,” Spencer said.

The move was a bold one. So News 9 went straight to the source.

"I believe there is some misinterpretation on his end as far as the law,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent said.

Spencer cited Title 21 of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, but the Department of Public Safety said that's not what the law states.

"Part of the rules that we have at the Capitol for the safety of everybody that's in there is that there are no knives that are supposed to be brought in with a blade longer than three inches,” Vincent said.

"It's over three inches,” Capitol security could be heard stating in the video.

Any business or establishment can prohibit people from bringing weapons onto their property including News 9 where signs are visibly posted.

"Are you carrying a firearm right now or a knife?"

"I'm carrying a knife,” Spencer said. "I just want the policy to come into compliance with state law. I'd like for the officers involved to be brought up to date on what it is and also how to deal with a person who is obviously showing them that they are out of compliance with the law and they not have such a cavalier attitude to deal with it."

The Department of Public Safety is reviewing what effect if any a recent statutory change will have on providing security to the Capitol.