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House Committee Votes Down Bill To Repeal Permitless Carry

Posted at 8:18 PM, Feb 20, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR-TV) — The fight over gun laws continues at the Oklahoma State Capitol, according to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.

Last February, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 2597 into law.

“We want to make sure that we let Oklahomans know that we are going to protect their rights to bear arms,” Stitt said.

The law allows Oklahomans who are over the age of 21 to carry a firearm without a permit. If you are in the military, you only have to be 18-years-old.

However, critics say this bill could make things more dangerous for women, and increase pressure on law enforcement officers.

Months after the bill was signed into law, an Oklahoma lawmaker created a petition that would put the measure on the ballot. Ultimately, that petition drive fell short of its goal.

Now, the same lawmaker has filed a bill that would repeal permitless carry.

On Thursday, Rep. Jason Lowe went before the House Public Safety Committee to discuss his bill, which would turn back the law that went into effect last November.

“I have filed a bill to repeal permitless carry,” said Rep. Jason Lowe, (D) Oklahoma City.

Lowe says permitless carry is simply too dangerous and not in the best interest of Oklahomans.

“ I believe this law is absolutely dangerous. It's a ticking time bomb and has been an utter disaster,” said Lowe.

With no debate, Lowe's bill was voted down 12-1 in the committee.

“I'm not surprised whatsoever. I knew this was gonna be a fight,” said Lowe.

“The people of the State of Oklahoma have their right to keep and bear arms peacefully and carry, and there is no appetite for this to be taken away,” said Don Spencer, of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association.

This bill is the latest in a line of attempts by Lowe and others to overturn permitless carry. In addition to the failed petition, a lawsuit also failed to stop the implementation of the law last year.

“I think permitless carry does make our community unsafe,” said Cacky Poarch.

Poarch says Mothers Demand Action will join Rep. Lowe in moving forward with a new petition.

If granted by the Secretary of State, they would need 90,000 signatures in 90 days to put the repeal of permitless carry to a statewide vote.

“There is a disconnect between the legislators and the citizen of the state, the voters of the state. They don’t want this law. We have to stop the insanity. We have to stop it and I’m gonna continue to fight against this law,” said Lowe.

“We always know there are going to be people that break the law, no matter what the laws are. They were going to do that before Constitutional Carry and they are going to do it after Constitutional Carry, just the object is so the rest of us can defend ourselves from those people,” said Spencer.

Lowe says they could get approval for the petition as early as next week.

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