OKLAHOMA CITY – There will be thousands in attendance at the opening weekend concert featuring Kings of Leon.
The City of Oklahoma City said there will also be lots of security.
“There will be metal detectors. There will be one specified locations for handgun license holders and then there will be 12 exits that will be available for anybody leaving the concert,” Deputy City Attorney Amanda Carpenter said.
It’s a state law that’s been in effect for years, but with the upcoming Scissortail Park about to open guns in public places is getting heated on social media.
“State law does allow a person with a valid handgun license to carry a gun in the park,” Carpenter said.
That includes any public park. The Gathering Place prohibited handguns last year until second amendment rights advocates fought back.
Don spencer heads the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and says he’s glad to see the city of Oklahoma City in compliance with state law.
“Government recognizes a citizen’s right and reinforces and protects their right. It’s a good day for Oklahoma,” Don Spencer, Pres. of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.
But Moms Demand Action, a group started after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to fight for gun reform, disagrees.
“There will be guns everywhere in all of our parks. Where kids play and it’s disturbing,” Cacky Poarch, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, said.
Cacky Poarch says she reached out to Governor Kevin Stitt many times but didn’t hear back.
The latest gun bills including house bill 2597 allow residents to carry a gun without a permit. That goes into effect November 1.
“Right now it’s open carry or conceal carry if you have a handgun license. After November 1 it will only be conceal carry in a city park,” Carpenter said.
The law only refers to parks operated by a trust including Scissortail Park. It will not include a municipal, city, county or state park.
Which the city attorney says will include the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Mayor David Holt tweeted about allowing guns in parks. He said “this has been true for many years and is not anything new. I encourage you to reach out to your legislators if you’d like to see it changed.”
Something moms demand action plans to do.
“We are growing. We will be at the Capitol and we will be fighting for sensible gun legislation,” Poarch said.
Meanwhile, Don says you won’t even notice they’re at the park.
“Hey go and have a good time because most Oklahomans carry conceal, you’re not even going to know they have a firearm on them,” Spencer said.
The state law has a specific exemption on carrying guns into sporting events and municipal buildings.
District 85 Representative Cyndi Munson responded with the following statement:
“I will continue to advocate for and support common-sense gun legislation. I will urge my colleagues and the Governor to listen to Oklahomans as they continue to demand common-sense gun laws for the health and safety of their families, children, and neighbors. The real and dangerous consequences we face as a result of senseless gun laws are too high.”