By: Teresa Mull

Oklahoma is one step closer to becoming the fourteenth state to pass Constitutional Carry, as a bill to establish permitless carry as the law of the land has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives and been sent to the State Senate.

South Dakota became the thirteenth state to pass full Constitutional Carry in late January. The policy, as South Dakota Gun Owners describes it, “recognizes law-abiding citizens’ right to carry concealed firearms for self-defense, without obtaining a permit…”

Tulsa World reported late last week:

Billed as constitutional carry, House Bill 2597 doesn’t change where guns are allowed or, for the most part, who can carry them. It passed 70-30, with all 24 Democrats and a handful of Republicans in opposition.

The bill was authored by about a dozen Republican House members.

"What this does is allow, as the constitution states, that a person can carry a firearm without having to purchase that right," said Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore. "The Constitution clearly states that we have right to keep and bear arms."

West said the cost of training and licensing is an unconstitutional barrier to gun ownership, and said HB 2597 will particularly benefit poor people.

Cause for Concern
“The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) applauds the passage of the Constitutional Carry bill in the Oklahoma House, but we are concerned about a last-second Amendment added to the bill to further entrench the ban on Campus Carry into state law,” Ryan Flugaur, NAGR’s Senior Political Director, told Gunpowder Magazine.

“We encourage the Oklahoma Senate not to placate the anti-gun special interests by weakening this bill,” Flugaur said. “We insist they oppose all further amendments and swiftly send a clean Constitutional Carry bill to Governor Stitt for signing.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at [email protected].