OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) - The Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee has approved a bill that would allow people 21 and older to carry a gun without needing a permit. Representative Jeff Coody of Grandfield authored the proposal that would allow people without a felony conviction to carry. Coody said all law-abiding citizens should have every power to defend themselves, if they need to. Therefore, they shouldn't have to have a permit to carry a gun. He said no other constitutional right requires training or permits.
"It's just a dangerous trend that a lot of people assume keeps us safe because we've taken that right away from law abiding citizens and forced them to ask for permission, pay a tax, and then after you wait awhile to receive a government blessing," Coody said.
While Coody believes people should be able to carry without having a permit, he still thinks they need training.
"I'm very, very much in favor and believe that everybody that uses a weapon needs to be trained," Coody said. "They need to know how to use the weapon and how the law is. They need to know what they can and can't do and if they ever have to use the weapon what to do, and how to involve law enforcement in the process."
He said when other states have allowed their residents Constitutional Carry, the number of those wanting training has gone up. Coody said people are giving up their freedoms when they say they don't need the freedom to protect ourselves.
"If you're willing to sacrifice your second amendment freedom, you're willing to sacrifice all of the other freedoms that are in the bill of rights," he said.
The bill has provisions that will keep some people from being able to carry guns. They apply to people who can't purchase weapons already, like domestic abusers, those with protective orders against them, and those who are mentally ill. Although though this bill allows people to carry without a permit, there are places they still can't carry like schools, government buildings, and banks.
Coody expects to see this bill go to the House floor for a vote in the next couple weeks.