OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s a controversial Senate bill that some say would do away with gun shows at the state fairgrounds.
There were 27 gun shows at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds last year.
But Second Amendment rights advocates say if Senate Bill 1347 passes, those could be a thing of the past.
They’re now pitted in a battle with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
“Our experience with the chamber is that they’re not all that pro gun. As a matter of fact, they have been anti-gun on things in the past,” said Tim Gillespie, president of OK2A Action.
Gillespie says the bill backed by the chamber would do away with gun shows in any public or government buildings.
“Whether it’s their intent or not, that’s what they’re doing,” said Gillespie.
“We are not trying to stop gun shows. And we are not attempting to prevent people from bringing their guns into gun shows,” said Mark VanLandingham, Vice President of Government Relations & Policy for the Greater OKC Chamber.
VanLandingham says the intent of their bill is to protect events like the Women’s Softball College World Series and horse shows, events with contracts that prohibit weapons.
“This bill is an attempt to while we expand on gun rights, also insure that we don’t jeopardize the loss of these events that contribute significantly to our economy,” said VanLandingham.
There’s no question that gun shows also contribute to the local economy.
“It’s a significant part of our business. We do host a lot of events out here at State Fair Park but 27 events in one category is certainly a significant number,” said Scott Munz, spokesperson for State Fair Park.
Gillespie says they have their own bill that would accomplish the same thing the chamber wants while preserving the gun shows as well.
“It provides protection for those events where there’s a contractual need for that,” said Gillespie.
Chamber officials say they are working with the NRA and that they’re also willing to work with Gillespie and his group.
Gillespie says they have his number but have not yet contacted him.
The governor vetoed a bill last year that would have allowed gun owners to bring their firearms into events at public parks, recreational areas and sporting events.