In a 59-28 vote, lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, which would allow all law-abiding residents of Oklahoma to “carry a loaded, concealed handgun without a permit” and would permit handgun owners in the state to carry their firearms in “most public places,” according to Fox News.
Additionally, the bill would also do away with required training and background checks, with supporters arguing that it protects gun-owning residents’ right to self-defense and eliminates the expensive permit process.
— Aaron Brilbeck (@AaronBrilbeck9) April 25, 2018
“Would it surprise you that the majority that have committed heinous crimes either have mental health conditions or the background checks have not been followed up?” supporter Rep. Justin Humphrey (R-Okla.) asked.
“We’re failing on that end. We need to concentrate on that end and not hinder our law-abiding citizens,” he added.
“There’s not mandated training, but a law-abiding citizen who avails himself of a weapon would be extremely foolish not to seek training,” the bill’s author, Rep. Jeff Coody (R-Okla.), explained.
He added, “My position has always been that responsible citizens will get more training that (sic) required under existing law.”
Opponents have argued the bill presents safety issues and are calling for “reasonable restrictions” to the Second Amendment. Rep. Shane Stone (D-Okla.) called the bill “too far out there” and even dubbed it “anti-law enforcement,” saying it will put police officers’ lives at risk.
“I do not support the rights of law enforcement to feel not threatened or safe to the detriment of my own constitutional rights,” Coody shot back.
Now, the bill will head to the Oklahoma state Senate, which is expected to vote on the legislation by next week. According to Stone, it has a “pretty good” chance of passing. If so, it will then be given to Gov. Mary Fallin — who is not expected to veto the bill — to sign into law.