Oklahoma Senate passes permit-less carry bill

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Senate members passed a bill allowing for permit-less carry.

Senate Bill 1212, also referred to as the “Constitutional Carry” bill, was presented by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. It passed the Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday night by a vote of 33 to 9. If ultimately signed into law, it would allow for open carry without a permit.

On the Senate floor Wednesday night, Sen. Dahm said 12 states have already passed similar legislation; however, the measure was not met without criticism.

Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma, who voted against the measure, said it wasn’t properly vetted.

The bill passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives last week in spite of much debate on the floor.

"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.

Supporters argued that better efforts are needed 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.

With the bill passing the Senate on Wednesday night, it now heads to the governor.

The Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released the following statement:

“Oklahoma’s strong permitting standards help keep our communities safe. Permitless carry is an incredibly dangerous policy that will make it easier for people with violent histories to be armed in public. Make no mistake about it, today the politicians who supported this bill voted against public safety. We urge Gov. Mary Fallin to do right by Oklahomans and veto this bill," said Alyson King, a volunteer with the organization.