Controversy over guns at Oklahoma City Zoo

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A second amendment rights group is challenging the Oklahoma City Zoo’s policy prohibiting guns.

Don Spencer is the president of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association. He said they’ve been getting complaints from their members who can’t bring their guns into the zoo.

So, Spencer went in back in August open carrying a gun and wearing a body camera. He said he was let inside and wandered around for about 30 minutes before being approached by zoo security and two Oklahoma City police officers.

"We do have a policy you can't carry a weapon on zoo grounds,” the security guard can be heard saying to Spencer on the body camera. "I do need you to either take your weapon back to your vehicle or leave zoo grounds with the firearm."

“Or what's going to happen?" Spencer said.

Spencer was escorted from the zoo and told he was not welcome back.

"If you're really concerned about the law, you wouldn't be running these little scams, trying to make money, trying to be a YouTube sensation,” said the officer walking him out.

"You'll be having a discussion pretty well about this so-called scam because state law is not scam,” Spencer said. "In 2016, Senate Bill 1057 was clarifying law that public property is always public property, even if there is a tenant, even if it's inhabited, even if it's leased, it's always public property. And, a person shall not be prohibited the carry of a peaceful firearm on that property."

The zoo has signs letting the public know guns are banned. And, the executive director of Zoo Trust said their attorneys are confident they’re legally able to do it.

"The team here at the zoo works hard every day to make this place a fun, family friendly, engaging experience, and we don't feel that open firearms are really conducive to that,” said Dr. Dwight Lawson.

Spencer addressed the Zoo Trust on Wednesday afternoon, letting them know his association expects the rule to change.

Even though, the zoo bans guns, they do not screen for them.

"If they think, for right now, there are no guns walking in that zoo every day with moms, and dads, and grandmas and grandpas, they are greatly mistaken themselves,” Spencer said.

Oklahoma City Zoo officials tell us it is the first time the rule has been challenged at their zoo.

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