OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 2, 2018) – Yesterday, the Oklahoma Senate gave final approval to a so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill that would make it legal for most Oklahomans to carry a concealed firearm without a license. Passage into law would also foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) authored Senate Bill 1212 (SB1212). Under the proposed law, people 21 and over, along with military personnel who are 18 and older, would be able to legally carry a concealed firearm without a license.
Under SB1212, Oklahoma residents would still be able to obtain a license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with Oklahoma.
As originally passed by the House, SB1212 simply allowed people to carry a weapon in a wildlife refuge or wildlife management area. But the House amended language authorizing permitless carry into the bill. The House passed the measure 59-28. Yesterday, the Senate passed SB1212 by a 33-9 vote. The bill now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk for consideration.
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing SB1212 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” ShallNot.org campaign lead Scott Landreth said.
SB1212 was transmitted to Gov. Fallin’s desk on May 3 and the legislature is pushing to adjourn this week. If so, the governor must act within 15 days of the date of session adjournment, or legislation is pocket vetoed. If you live in Oklahoma, call 405-521-2342 and urge Gov. Fallin to sign SB1212 into law.