OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A measure that would stop non-U.S. citizens from buying land in Oklahoma is heading to the governor’s desk.
Sen. David Bullard, (R-Durant), worked with the attorney general’s office to craft Senate Bill 212.
Organizers say the bill would keep non-U.S. citizens from directly or indirectly, through a business entity or trust, owning land in the state unless otherwise authorized by law.
“I have been working to stop the foreign takeover of our state by means of illegally purchasing our land,” Bullard said. “To date, they have consumed over 380,000 acres of land. Senate Bill 212 closes the loopholes they are using and adds an affidavit to the process to create a paper trail for law enforcement to shut it down.”
Currently, it is illegal for non-U.S. citizens to acquire or own land in Oklahoma.
If they do acquire it by “devise or descent,” they must dispose of it within five years.
Bullard’s bill takes on the practice of ‘straw owners,’ which can be individuals, businesses, or trusts that fraudulently complete real estate transactions to get around the law.
Under SB 212, any land deed will have to include an affidavit saying the buyer is complying with Oklahoma law and that no funding source is being used in the sale that violates federal law.
“We know the grass is greener here in Oklahoma, but we don’t need the Red Chinese Communist Party, drug cartels or the mafia coming here to buy up our land to grow black market marijuana that will get shipped to other states or around the world,” Humphrey said. “This measure will help us crack down on this illegal foreign ownership of land in our state through straw purchasers and better protect our citizens. I’m glad to see it pass the Senate with our House amendments.”
The measure has passed the Oklahoma Senate and now heads to Gov. Stitt for approval.
If signed, it will go into effect Nov. 1.