Oklahoma senator proposes changes to gun licensing costs

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Being a licensed gun owner can get expensive, but one Oklahoma senator wants to change that with a new bill.

Senator Josh Brecheen wants to reduce the cost of gun licenses from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and possibly eliminate the administrative costs from the local sheriff’s office.

“It’s an attempt to make sure cost isn’t keeping someone from the right to bear arms in accordance to the law,” Republican Sen. Josh Brecheen said.

He and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association are proposing reducing the $100 for a new license, and $85 for a re-licensing fee to $25 a piece.

Retailers say the cost goes up with the training: a background check to buy a gun, another background check for a license and the fees for fingerprinting.

“When you look at the total cost of the five-year permit, it’s close to $200 when you have fees from the sheriff, application fee itself. $200 is a lot of money,” Mike Rust, general manager with H&H Shooting Sports, said.

There’s a possibility there would be no more fingerprinting, which is part of the $25 fee from the sheriff’s office.

“If you can buy a gun without getting a fingerprint, you should be able to carry the gun,” Don Spencer, with the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, said.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff disagrees, saying it would cost the sheriff’s office $105,000 a year.

“I also think it’s responsible for the citizens to pay for some of the services provided and in this case, if you cut $25 from the OSBI, you’re cutting millions out of their budget,” Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said.

And Sheriff Whetsel says now is not the time to cut state expenses.

“Because the Legislature is looking at another three-quarters of a billion dollar shortfall coming in this next fiscal year, so really it’s fiscal insanity,” Whetsel said.

It’s still in the very early stages and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and Sen. Brecheen said there will be more changes to the bill before it’s proposed.

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