OKLAHOMA CITY – The House Public Safety Committee advanced House Bill 2597 Thursday morning. The bill was presented by Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, who said the bill promotes constitutional carry for citizens who are not felons, adjudicated with mental illness or have domestic violence convictions.
The committee gave a do pass recommendation with a vote of 9-2.
“I’m pleased that the Public Safety Committee voted today to support the Second Amendment rights of Oklahomans across the state,” Roberts said. “Law-abiding citizens should have the ability to exercise their constitutional right to carry firearms without government interference.”
Roberts also said the bill prohibits illegal aliens from possessing firearms and allows for continued restriction of firearms where carry is already prohibited. Fifteen states have similar constitutional carry legislation. The state-issued Self Defense Handgun License program would remain in place for persons that still wish to obtain a license to carry in other states for reciprocity with other states.
HB2597 was authored by nine other representatives, including Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City; Rep. Garry Mize, R-Guthrie; Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont; Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore; Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow; Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland; Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola; Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore; and Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon.
“It was a team effort to get this bill through committee,” Roberts said. “I’m thankful to my fellow authors for their willingness to address this important issue head on and for their hard work to ensure this bill becomes law.”
The bill is expected to be heard on the House floor in the following weeks.
Constitutional carry legislation has also been filed in the Senate by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. A similar bill passed the Legislature last year before being vetoed by then-Gov. Mary Fallin.