LAWTON, OK (TNN) - A local gun store is speaking out against the latest attempt by the legislature to pass a constitutional carry bill.
Supporters of House Bill 2597 say if the bill is passed, nothing will change in terms of who can buy a gun. Felons and those with mental illnesses will still be unable to legally carry them. What would change, however, is the process after you buy a gun, as citizens would no longer need to own a permit those guns or receive any training to carry them in public, whether it be openly or concealed. The bill’s authors believe that’s the way the Constitution intended it, but Ken Murphree with Murf’s Guns in Duncan disagrees.
"I’ve taught hundreds of classes and thousands of people. Every class has people that can’t function, work, operate a gun. Instructions must happen,” Murphree said.
Murphree said that need for training includes our lawmakers.
"I’ve had elected officials take my class and stand there and shoot guns they cannot operate and cut their thumbs because they hold a gun wrong who want to vote no training,” Murphree said.
The bill’s supporters say gun owners would still have the option to get training and that permits serve as unconstitutional fees. Murphree said he fully supports the right to bear arms and the Constitution but if you’re not properly trained, he said you can endanger your life and the lives of others, particularly police officers. If you are pulled over by a police officer, you are legally required to tell them you have a gun, which is a law Murphree said you learn about in training.
"It’s not asking too much to ask the public to go to a class for a partial day one time in their life. It could make a difference in the life of them or the life of a law enforcement officer if they come in contact with a policeman,” Murphree said.
The bill has already passed through the Oklahoma House of Representatives with a 70 - 30 vote. Before it goes any further, Murphree has a message to all elected officials.
"I invite anybody who is an elected official who can vote for this, I ask the Governor of Oklahoma to come to any class I teach and watch people fumble with a gun and show and prove to me that there is no need for training,” Murphree said.
The bill is now in the hands of the Oklahoma Senate. If it passes there, it will go to Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk for a signature. Governor Stitt has already expressed his intent to sign the bill if it makes it to him.