Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to have a law like that.
On Thursday afternoon, the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus announced they want that law, among others, repealed. However, one Republican lawmaker who authored that law and amendments to strengthen it is speaking out.
State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, authored Oklahoma’s anti-red flag law. After the House Democratic Caucus called for change Thursday, he said there is no change needed.
“I don’t think that they ever thought a tragedy like this would find its way here to our state,” said state Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, at Thursday’s press conference with the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus. “But now that it has, and the only thing worse than making a bad decision is continuing down that track.”
“This is just another attempt for them to violate people’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” Dahm said.
The house caucus called for Gov. Kevin Stitt to amend June’s special session to address Oklahoma gun laws. They called it the Stand Against Violence and Extremism, or the SAVE Act.
“I truly believe that the state of Oklahoma believes in this,” said Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, at the same Thursday press conference.
In that plan is a call to repeal permitless carry, concealed carry and the entire anti-red flag law. It also calls to raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21. The author of the state and nation’s first anti-red flag law, Dahm, said it’s not his law, or any of the other’s fault for what happened Wednesday.
“I don’t think we need to repeal any of our existing protections for the Second Amendment,” he said. “It would not stop criminals from committing these acts of violence.”
Red flag laws let police or family members petition a state court to temporarily take away someone’s guns that may be a danger to others or themselves.
“Red flag laws, for example, have been supported by the likes of former President Donald Trump,” Nichols said.
Oklahoma’s anti-red flag law hit the books in 2020. Both sides of the aisle are engaged in another back and forth after multiple tragedies that took the lives of so many.
“This is about a clear and present danger in Oklahoma and across the country,” Nichols said.
“The best solution is to be able to make sure that people can defend themselves,” Dahm said.
The special session called by Stitt is only scheduled to discuss inflation relief right now. It is set for mid-June.