OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill by Majority Floor Leader Kim David that would permit Oklahoman’s to carry firearms without a permit.
The committee voted 18-4 for the so-called “constitutional
carry” bill and sent the measure on to be considered by the entire Senate.
House Bill 2597 by David and Representative Jon Echols,
R-Oklahoma City, would permit Oklahomans age 21 and older to carry a firearm
without a permit. Veterans, active duty, and reserve military age 18 and over
would be allowed to carry without a permit under the bill. The bill also
prohibits felons and those with domestic violence convictions or who have been
adjudicated as having a mental illness from carrying a firearm.
Current protections that allow private property owners to
prohibit firearms from being carried are maintained under the bill. The measure
also maintains the ability of higher education institutions to set their own
policies regarding the carrying of firearms on campuses.
Fifteen other states allow constitutional carry, and the
citizens of those states have enjoyed the ability to carry without a permit in
Oklahoma for years. Bordering states include Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri.
“This is a compromise approach to protect and enhance the Second
Amendment rights of Oklahomans while also maintaining private property rights,”
said David, R-Porter. “For years, we’ve granted the citizens of other states
the right to carry without a permit. I’m proud to run legislation that grants
the same rights to Oklahoma citizens. I appreciate the members of the
Appropriations Committee who supported this measure and will keep working to
see it through the process.”