Bill increasing court safety passes House

Bill increasing court safety passes House

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation allowing permitted county officials to carry firearms inside a courthouse passed Monday out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives with a vote of 85 to 11.

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House Bill 1104 would allow elected officials with a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act to carry a firearm within the courthouses of the county in which he or she was elected. The official must be acting in the performance of their official duties and would not be allowed to carry into a courtroom.

“This legislation was written to protect people like treasurers, who are often carrying money to and from the courthouse,” said Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “These people are the backbone of local government, and they ought to be able to protect themselves.”

Cleveland said he was inspired to write the legislation because of heightened emotions across the country.

“Sometimes folks get so mad at the government, they choose to make rash decisions and act out against an elected official. I don’t want anything like that to happen in Oklahoma, but I also want to prepare our public servants as best we can. We are expecting the best and preparing for the worst,” Cleveland said.

“Anyone who chooses to carry their handgun will have to have a concealed carry permit, and the guns will not be allowed in the courtroom itself.”

House Bill 1104 is endorsed by the National Rifle Association. It now proceeds to the Senate for consideration, where state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, is the author.

Cleveland represents House District 20, which includes parts of Cleveland, Garvin, McClain and Pottawatomie counties.

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