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Oklahoma House passes ‘Constitutional Carry’ gun bill

OKLAHOMA CITY - A controversial gun bill passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives after much debate at the Capitol between opponents and supporters.

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma House of Representative debated and passed what some are calling the 'Constitutional Carry Bill.'

Senate Bill 1212 would allow anyone who owns a gun to carry it without a permit.

Even though the measure eventually passed, it was not exempt to criticism.

"We ought to be able to carry any gun whether we are licensed or not.' Doesn't the Supreme Court contradict that 'cause it's not actually a right?" said Rep. Collin Walke.

Supporters say better efforts are need to screen potential gun buyers, but that shouldn't punish current gun owners.

"Would it surprise you that the majority that have committed heinous crimes either have mental health conditions or the background checks have not been followed up? We're failing on that end. We need to concentrate on that end and not hinder our law-abiding citizens," said Rep. Justin Humphreys.

Even though some agreed that more needed to be done to vet gun buyers, others argued that a permit shouldn't be viewed as an outrageous requirement.

"Can you explain to me why I should have to go pay for a license or an identification card in order to carry out my even more fundamental right to vote, but I shouldn't have to to carry a weapon?" said Rep. Shane Stone.

Other critics say constitutional carry would put law enforcement at risk, but the bill's author says that shouldn't be put above a citizen's right.

"I do not support the rights of law enforcement to feel not threatened or safe to the detriment of my own constitutional rights," said Rep. Jeff Coody, the bill's author.

After amended, the bill then passed the House 59-28 . Now the amended bill moves back to the Senate for approval.

What do gun enthusiasts think?

Mike, a member of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, says he sat in on the House debate at the Capitol.

"It will allow people in Oklahoma to have a gun to protect themselves without putting themselves in jeopardy and without going through the entire permit process and paying close to $300," Mike said.

Issac, a former service member, sees the bill differently.

"I do believe in everybody's right to carry and the Second Amendment, but I don't think just anybody should carry a gun," he said.