Oklahoma: Constitutional Carry on the March with New Governor
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On 25 April 2018, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed Constitutional Carry by a vote of 59-28. The bill had passed the Senate unanimously on March 6th, 2018. Constitutional Carry was part a bill removing wildlife refuges as gun free zones. The amendment process allowed the bill to bypass Senate committees that had blocked Constitutional Carry in the past.
On 2 May 2018, the Oklahoma Senate passed Constitutional Carry again. The popular bill had passed both the House and the Senate by veto-proof margins. It passed the Senate on a 33-8 vote.
On 11 May of 2018, Governor Mary Fallin vetoed Constitutional Carry in Oklahoma.
Governor Fallin was term-limited, and could not run for governor for a third term. She felt free to violate her campaign promises and veto the popular bill.
On September 4, 2018, governor candidate Kevin Stitt said he would sign a Constitutional Carry bill. From news9.com:
“I would sign it. I am a constitutional conservative. I support the first amendment, the second amendment and I think the best defense for a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun,” said Stitt.
Kevin Stitt, the Republican candidate, was elected on 6 November 2018, with over 54% of the vote.
The results of the 2018 elections leave Republicans with super majorities in both houses in Oklahoma. In the Senate, Republicans have 39 of 48 seats. In the House, Republicans have 76 of 101 seats.
The demons dwelling in the details can throw pitchforks into the gears. Many legislators who loudly proclaim they are Second Amendment supporters work hard to derail Constitutional Carry behind the scenes.
Nonetheless, SB 1212 or another version of Constitutional Carry is likely to become law in Oklahoma in 2019. If passed, the statute would go into effect in November of 2019.
The Third Millennium has seen a resurgence in Constitutional Carry.
There are 13 states that already have forms of Constitutional Carry, and Vermont has always been a Constitutional Carry state.
All 18 states were Constitutional Carry states before 1813. In 1833 the Supreme Court ruled the Bill of Rights did not apply to the States. States, especially slave states, accelerated restricting the exercise of the Second Amendment.
The first restrictions of consequence were on concealed carry. By the 1920s all previous slave states had restrictions on concealed carry; by 1950 all states but Vermont prohibited concealed carry without a permit. Since then, in this new millennium Constitutional Carry has been on a steady march, with many successes:
- 2003, Alaska passed Constitutional Carry to restore the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
- 2010, Arizona passed Constitutional Carry.
- 2011, Wyoming passed Constitutional Carry.
- 2013, Arkansas passed Act 746 into law. It is effectively Constitutional Carry, but is disputed by some county prosecutors.
- 2015, Kansas, and Maine joined the Constitutional Carry club.
- 2016, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia, and Mississippi enacted Constitutional Carry.
- 2017, New Hampshire, and North Dakota were added to the list.
In 2018, South Dakota replaced a governor who vetoed Constitutional Carry with one who promised to sign a Constitutional Carry law. It is uncertain whether South Dakota or Oklahoma will pass Constitutional Carry first in 2019.
If Governor Stitt signs SB 1212 into law, Oklahoma will be the 14th or 15th state to restore Constitutional Carry in the nation.
If both Oklahoma and South Dakota pass Constitutional Carry laws in 2019, 30 percent of the states in the United States will have restored Second Amendment rights with more than mere words.
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.