Oklahoma group seeks vote to reject ‘permitless carry’ law

OKLAHOMA CITY - A petition to stop Oklahomans from packing without a permit, the so-called Constitutional Carry law, is a hot-button issue right now in our state. It would let those over the age of 18 carry a firearm without a background check or training but, now, there's a new effort to stop it.

“I decided to take action,” said Democratic State Representative Jason Lowe.

Lowe is talking about his challenge to reject Oklahoma’s Permitless Carry measure.

The law lets Oklahomans over 21 carry a firearm without a permit. The age is dropped to 18 if you're in the military. It swept through the House and Senate last year before being the first bill signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt.

But, Lowe said it should be up to the voters.

“People in the state of Oklahoma can decide whether this is a good law or not,” he said.

Now, facing a tight deadline, the group has until August 21 to gather nearly 60,000 signatures in order to get the question on the 2020 ballot.

However, not everyone is for Lowe’s appeal.

Back in March, Senator Kim David stressed the bill doesn't change federal background checks required by law to purchase a firearm. Also, private property owners will still have the right to allow or deny concealed or open carry on their premises.

“We allow for people in other states to be able to carry in this state without a permit,” David said. “This bill simply allows law-abiding citizens that wish to carry a weapon to be able to do that in our state also without paying for the permit.”

Republican State Representative Kevin West also points out the bill would prohibit felons, those with domestic violence convictions and people suffering from mental illness from carrying a firearm.

“This bill deals with the lawful carrying of a firearm by restoring the second amendment right to a peaceful law-abiding citizen that should not have been taken away,” West said.

In a statement from the governor’s office about the repeal, Communications Director Baylee Lakey said “Oklahomans made their voices heard about their support for constitutional carry on the campaign trail and through the Legislature’s passage of SB 1212 last year and HB 2597 this year. The governor supports the hard work and commitment of our legislators who listen to their constituents and implement legislation that reflects the will of the people.”

The law is scheduled to take effect on November 1.

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