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Tulsa County Sheriff speaks on officer safety, gun policy

Elizabeth Caldwell
Sheriff Vic Regalado speaks at a forum hosted by Crime Stoppers on June 14, 2022. Gun policy questions were not allowed during the forum but the sheriff spoke to reporters before and after.

After a forum on active shootings held at Tulsa Tech on Tuesday evening, Sheriff Vic Regalado weighed in on whether or not permitless carry combined with other lax gun regulations in Oklahoma is a safety problem for police.

Unlike Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, who told The Tulsa World that permitless carry plus straw buying puts officers at significant risk, Regalado said the ease with which guns can be acquired in Oklahoma isn’t as problematic as other factors.

“It’s very easy to get in a political pointing of fingers and that’s the problem we’re having today. There’s no common sense. [There’s no] bipartisan think tanks that can solve this problem, which can be solved. I would tell you law abiding citizens are not causing active shooters. I would tell you that in regards to the active shooter, the long-term fix is providing mental health and addiction services starting now.”

As for background checks or raising the age to purchase a gun, Regalado said he might be supportive.

“I think those are talks that should be had. I’m not gonna give you, ‘yes, I agree’ but I certainly would like to sit down and discuss. There are a lot of things we can do that I think would satisfy your Second Amendment people, would satisfy your more leaning-left people, and that can benefit the people.”

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.