Oklahoma lawmakers push to allow guns on city buses

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Lawmakers are pushing a move to allow guns on board city buses.

Right now, it is against the law even for people with concealed carry permits.

"I don't believe that the second amendment stops at the steps of the city bus,” said Senator Kyle Loveless.

Loveless is proposing to change that with Senate Bill 397.

"I think people should be able to defend themselves, if they have a license to carry, they should be able to carry onto a city bus to protect themselves,” he said.

It is a felony to carry a gun on a city bus.

"I think it is a direct assault on minorities and the poor who have to use public transportation, and it does not allow them to defend themselves,” said Oklahoma Second Amendment President Don Spencer.

Loveless said the current law is outdated.

"When they came up with the city bus systems in the 50s and 60s, that's when they changed the law,” Loveless said.

The senator admits there have not been any cases in Oklahoma where passengers were not able to defend themselves, but he claims it has happened in other places.

"There have been instances in other states where hostage situations have gone down, and the person on the bus saved the day. If that were to happen in Oklahoma, then what we're doing is giving people, extending the second amendment onto the city bus,” he said.

Just last summer, two Oklahoman City police officers shot and killed a fugitive who made his way onto a city bus.

It is a case that could have had a much more tragic outcome, and Loveless said that is why passengers should be allowed to defend themselves.

"If they would have tried to defend themselves, they could have had charges brought against them for that, because they would have been breaking the law just by being on the bus. This would give them legal protection just in case something like that were to happen,” Loveless said.

Embark is Oklahoma City’s public bus system.

“On a daily basis, we have nearly 12,000 passengers pass through our transit center and are transported on our buses. Like an airplane, buses are confined in space, and the thought of even an accidental discharge of a weapon in such an environment could have horrific results,” said Embark spokesperson Michael Scroggins. “That is why we take this subject very seriously. The safety of our employees and customers must come first."

Click here to read the bill in its entirety.

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