Anyone that is not in the country illegally or hasn’t been convicted of a gun-related crime will be able to partake in permitless carry in Oklahoma starting Nov. 1.
Oklahomans will be able to legally carry their gun without a permit, background check, or training classes, WFAA 8 News reported.
Kevin Stitt, the new Republican governor in Oklahoma signed House Bill 2597 on Wednesday during a signing ceremony.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) February 28, 2019
The bill easily passed the Republican-controlled House several weeks ago, and garnered a 40-6 vote in the Senate.
In 2018, GOP Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the bill due to criticism from local businesses and police.
Stitt said, “As I traveled all over the state to all 77 counties, I heard from Oklahomans all over that they wanted us to protect their right to bear arms. I’m excited to sign this.”
Current law requires any resident who wants to carry a gun to apply for a license, comply with a state background check, and complete a gun safety class.
Starting in November, all of that will change.
Residents over the age of 21 will be legally permitted “to carry concealed or unconcealed firearms without a license with the exception of in public buildings, schools, professional sporting events, casinos and bars,” WFAA 8 News stated.
Don Spencer, a gun rights activist, said, “I just don’t like asking government for permission to exercise a constitutional right. It’s that simple.”
But not everyone is in support of the bill, including Drew Diamond, a 22-year law enforcement veteran and former police chief of Tulsa. He said, “We already have reasonable licensing and background checks. From a policing standpoint, it seems like we’re taking all that away and moving backward for no good reason. It seems senseless to me.”
Diamond rallied with volunteers from the Moms Demand Action gun safety group to persuade legislators to squash the bill.
Christine Jackson from Moms Demand Action said, “Usually, I am proud to call Oklahoma home. But today, I’m embarrassed for our state. I’m embarrassed that our elected leaders put politics before the safety of our families by passing permitless carry.”
The National Rifle Association reports that constitutional carry without a permit is allowed in 14 U.S. states to some extent.
South Dakota is the latest to join in and the bill was signed by the new Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.