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Group urges Gov. Fallin to sign ‘constitutional carry’ bill

OKLAHOMA CITY - A bill to allow "constitutional" or "permit-less" carry in the state of Oklahoma is awaiting the governor's signature.

The measure would allow law-abiding Oklahomans to carry a firearm - opened or concealed - as long as the person is 21 years old, or 18 years old and a veteran.

As required by federal law, you'd still have to undergo a background check to buy a firearm.

However, supporters said they're speaking out because they don't want their rights to be viewed as a privilege.

"The Constitution doesn't talk about your feelings," said Joe McCray, of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. "The Constitution is protections of the individual, and isn't that paramount to everything?"

McCray joined several other members of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association at the state capitol to leave cards at Gov. Mary Fallin's office, urging her to sign Senate Bill 1212 - which would legalize 'constitutional carry.'

Kathy Renbarger said she feels the need to be armed because she believes she's viewed as a soft target.

"It's a matter of safety," Renbarger said, adding she is 'biologically nocturnal.'

She said she also has concerns with the costs of getting a permit.

"To pay for a class that is essentially to someone who has been around guns all their lives, a kindergarten-level class," Renbarger said.

When asked about recent mass shootings in the country, many of the supporters said arming the public could help solve the problem.

"If you want the crime rate to go down, continue to give the people their rights back and they'll do what is right," said Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.

Republican Sen. Ervin Yen voted against the bill. He said just because it's in the Constitution doesn't mean it's what's best for our citizens today.

"Today versus the late 1700's, when the Constitution was written, things are different," Yen said. "I think people who have handguns outside of their home need to have at least some training."

Supporters said they will speak out as long as they need to, to ensure they are protecting their rights.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in Oklahoma sent News 4 a statement, speaking out against the bill:

“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.”