OKLAHOMA CITY – For a second day in a row, opponents of a bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry a gun with no training or a permit gathered at the state capitol asking lawmakers to vote no.
On Monday, religious leaders from all over Oklahoma gathered at the state capitol in opposition of a permitless carry bill and prayed outside of Governor Kevin Stitt’s office. Then, on Tuesday, members of the group ‘Moms Demand Action’ rallied for the same reasons.
"We're not trying to take your guns away. We're not against gun owners or owning a gun, but we believe that there are policies that work,” said Debbie Weir, director of the national ‘Moms Demand Action’ chapter, at the rally.
Advocates with the group spent the rest of the day asking lawmakers to vote no on the bill, HB 2597, as it is expected to be heard on the Senate floor later this week.
"This was my first event last year after Parkland. I had just enrolled my daughter in pre-K, and I realized she would be growing up having active shooter drills. She's had two already,” said Audrey Burrow, a group leader with the Edmond ‘Moms Demand Action’ chapter.
The bill would allow Oklahomans 21 and older to carry a gun without training or a permit, as well as those 18 and older if they are a veteran or active duty military personnel.
Opponents feel the measure would do away with common sense gun laws.
"With so many states going to constitutional carry or permitless, they can carry in our state without paying that fee. So, it's almost like we've been penalizing our citizens to be able to carry a weapon,” said Senator Kim David, R-Porter, earlier this month when the bill passed the Senate appropriations committee.
Backers of the bill are standing behind it for those reasons. They also feel most Oklahomans will seek training out once they purchase a gun without it being required by law.
However, opponents aren’t giving up.
"There's just so much more we can do to prevent guns from getting in the hands of dangerous people,” Burrow said.
Stitt has said he will likely sign the measure if it reaches his desk.