State Lawmaker Trying to Put Permitless Carry Repeal on Oklahoma Ballot

Aug 12, 2019

Credit Lucio Eastman

A state lawmaker and advocacy groups want voters to weigh in on constitutional carry in Oklahoma.

Rep. Jason Lowe said he’s filed a veto referendum to repeal House Bill 2597, which would allow anyone 21 or older to carry a gun without obtaining a license starting Nov. 1.

"This petition does not take away guns. This petition does not make tougher and more restrictive laws. This petition does exactly what it should and forces the legislature to rethink our decision to rush a bill to the governor’s desk to fulfill a campaign promise," Lowe said.

HB2597 was the first bill Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law.

The Rev. Lori Walke said police get more than 100 hours of firearms training and still see their accuracy suffer during a gunfight.

"It defies common sense for there to be no licensing, education or training requirements for carrying a firearm in Oklahoma. As the Proverb reminds us, 'Only a fool takes no delight in understanding,'" Walke said.

Currently, Oklahomans wishing to carry a gun must obtain a license through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. A license requires completion of a firearms safety and training course with a certified instructor and demonstrating competency with a handgun.

Young Democrats of America President Joshua Harris-Till said he had four family members injured and four killed in a 2013 shooting, and he’s wary of more guns being allowed in public without the training required for a license.

"In this country, right now, African-American men are 10 times more likely to be killed than any other demographic. So, when you tell me that permitless carry is going to exist in this state, then you are telling me that my life is in more danger than it already is now," Harris-Till said.

The petition needs more than 59,000 signatures by Aug. 29 in order to make the ballot. If it qualifies, the law would be on hold.