The Oklahoma Legislature will be busy addressing the dozens of proposed gun laws filed for consideration when the lawmakers convene for the 2017 session beginning February 6th.
Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm (R-Tulsa) is a firm believer in the right of law-abiding citizens to be able to carry guns for self-defense and he intends to protect that right. He has expressed his strong support of the Second Amendment on his official website:
“For too long this God-given right to self-defense has been infringed upon by all levels of government. This rights needs to be protected rather than infringed upon, and it starts at the state level with our Legislature doing everything in their power to guarantee this right to the People of Oklahoma.”
On January 10, 2017, Sen. Dahm filed three separate bills that would significantly relax state gun laws and criminalize those imposing federal restrictions.
The first measure, SB 65, would prohibit public officers and employees from using public monies to promote gun control or from preparing or distributing any pamphlet, booklet, publication, or tv/radio communication to support or defeat any proposed legislation, rule, ordinance, or administrative action relating to gun control, including prohibition against paying anyone else, like an outside contractor or consultant, to promote gun control.
The second piece of legislation is SB 66, allowing individuals with a valid handgun license to enter the State Capitol Building armed with a concealed handgun. The bill would not authorize any security officer to remove or inspect any weapon nor restrain any licensed person from entering with their concealed weapon.
The third bill, SB 67, called the ‘Firearms Freedom Act,’ is a little more complex, with two major aspects.
The first part deals with the manufacturing of firearms and it is intended to exempt any firearm, firearm accessories, or ammunition manufactured commercially or privately in Oklahoma and that remains within the State, from any federal law, federal taxation, or federal regulation or registration. Firearms that meet the requirements spelled out in the bill would be stamped “Made in Oklahoma.”
The second major component makes it a felony punishable for up to five years for any federal or state governmental official, agent, or employee that enforces or attempts to enforce any federal law or regulation in violation of the Firearms Freedom Act.
But Sen. Dahm (R) is not the only one to propose gun legislation.
Sen. Wayne Shaw has introduced SB 158 that would prevent healthcare practitioners from denying health car to a patient based upon that individual’s ownership of guns.
Sen. J.J. Dossett (R) has introduced a measure (SB 288) that would make employers liable for damages incurred by an employee with a carry license that was denied the right to carry a firearm for self defense in a company vehicle because of a company policy prohibiting firearms. Employers could require the employee to sign a waiver acknowledging that the company is not obligated to provide legal representation for any action taken by the employee with his firearm.
We will continue to monitor these bills and other gun-related measures.
These laws, if passed, would become effective November 1, 2017. –by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog