Oklahoma lawmakers continue discussing the possibility of allowing guns on school property. HB 2329 passed overwhelmingly on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Monday, but there is still a heated debate over whether guns on school property is the right call.
Currently, many legal gun owners who pick children up from school might be committing felonies. Adults with guns who stay in their vehicles are following the law. Those who leave their vehicles with a gun inside on school property are committing a felony. HB 2329 would change that, allowing guns to be locked in cars on school property.
Supporters say they want to protect law abiding gun owners. Opponents say there's no room for guns on school property under most any circumstances.
"[The bill is] just something I think is asking for trouble," Brenda Harris said.
Republican State Rep. Dennis Casey disagrees.
"I think [the bill is] about trying to protect the people that are being responsible versus the person who chooses not to be responsible," said Casey.
Casey is a former teacher and superintendent in a rural school district where he says having guns on school property is not rare. The bill would allow guns to be kept in plain sight inside a parked car at a school. Opponents say leaving guns in unattended cars is dangerous because it doesn't take much for a kid to break through a window.
"I certainly support the Second Amendment rights, but when you talk about bringing guns on school campus, I don't care how you fix it up," said Democratic State Rep. Anastasia Pittman. "It's still a gun in an unsafe area."
The bill would not allow K-12 students to keep guns in cars because gun owners need to be at least 21 years old to have a concealed carry license. Frankie Pearson says she's OK with the bill, as long as legal gun owners stay responsible.
"We teach [our kids] not to put their hands on the stove," said Pearson. "We need to teach our kids not to put their hands on a gun."
HB 2329 is now in the hands of the Oklahoma Senate.