Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Despite public support and strong bipartisan votes in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate, Governor Mary Fallin vetoed pro-gun Senate Bill 41 yesterday. The Governor caved to pressure from the Oklahoma City Chamber, which disseminated misinformation based on a flawed legal analysis. The NRA is extremely disappointed that this common sense legislation was put on the back burner in favor of drummed up fears by the Chamber.
SB 41 sought to clarify that public property (open spaces such as streets and parks) remains open to law-abiding Oklahomans with a carry permit even if that public land is currently being used for another purpose by a private entity renting the space for an event. This legislation would have provided for a necessary fix to a loophole in Oklahoma’s state firearm preemption statute. This loophole has been exploited by misguided municipalities, resulting in a ban on law-abiding citizens carrying a firearm on open areas of public land where they have a legal right to be. Senate Bill 41 passed the House by an 88 to 4 vote and the Senate by a 39 to 7 vote.
Current abuses pose a significant problem for lawful carry permit holders by creating an ever-changing patchwork of laws throughout the state with regard to firearms prohibitions on public land within a particular locality. This legislation focused on reaffirming the right of a peaceful law-abiding Oklahoman to exercise his or her basic right of self-defense where they are already legally allowed to be, no matter which private entity is leasing public land at the moment. It did not seek to expand carry into public buildings or structures.
Please contact Senate and House leadership immediately and encourage an override of the Governor’s veto and their support for restoring the provisions in SB 41 this session. Time is running out and session is drawing to a close, so your action is needed immediately!
Please also contact Governor Mary Fallin and voice your disappointment in her veto of a pro-gun, self-defense bill that would have made Oklahomans safer. Contact information for Governor Mary Fallin is provided below:
Office of Governor Mary Fallin: