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Oklahoma House passes measure to clarify who can own what types of guns

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma officials are looking to change a part of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Representative Dan Fisher believes that language is needed to clarify the intent of the right to bear arms in the Oklahoma Constitution.

Fisher said, “It’s obvious that Oklahoma’s Founding Fathers, when drafting the state constitution, considered self-defense the primary reason citizens have the right to bear arms … Unfortunately, Oklahoma courts have sometimes interpreted the state constitution in ways that go against that intent. Concerned citizens feel it is necessary to place new language into the state constitution to clarify the right, to correct past misinterpretations by Oklahoma courts and to prevent similar misinterpretations from occurring in the future.”

In Article II, Section 26 of the Oklahoma Constitution, it currently says:

“The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.”

Representative Fisher and Senator Greg Treat have authored a resolution that would that would allow voters to change Section 26 to clarify the manner in which citizens may keep and bear arms.

According to reports, House Joint Resolution 1026 is seeking to specify “handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives, nonlethal defensive weapons and other arms in common use, as well as ammunition and the components of arms and ammunition” and add “self-defense” and “lawful hunting and recreation” in order to ensure that courts have less latitude in interpreting the language.

HJR 1026 is also seeking to add two additional subsections to Section 16.

The first would clarify that the state could prevent convicted felons and the mentally ill from possession of firearms.

The other would prohibit registration or special taxation on arms and ammunition.

Rep. Fisher stated that the measure poses no danger to Oklahoma’s Self Defense Act.

The resolution passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives by a vote of 87-7, and will now head to the Senate for consideration.