State reps talk about potential ‘Constitutional Carry’ changes
LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - An Oklahoma lawmaker is trying to gather enough signatures to put the new constitutional carry law, which is expected to take effect in November, on hold.
The bill referred to as constitutional carry goes into effect on November 1st, allowing Oklahoma residents to carry firearms without a permit or any type of training. But Representative Jason Lowe of Oklahoma City is taking steps to prevent that from happening by collecting signatures to suspend the law.
"Our goal is to suspend the law once we get enough signatures and then put it on the ballot in 2020 to a vote of the people where they can vote yes or no on whether they want the law to go into effect,” Lowe said.
Lowe said recent events prompted this effort.
"It just became really personal to me the last couple of weeks with the mass shootings taking place, it’s become very personal. So instead of just standing by, not doing anything, I decided to take action,” Lowe said.
Lowe has until August 29th to collect more than 50,000 signatures if he wishes to suspend the law.
"We’re just advocating for training. We’re advocating for background checks, that’s it. I’m not trying to take anyone’s guns. I’m not trying to take anyone’s right to bare arms. I believe in the second amendment as well, all we’re asking for is safety. That’s it,” Lowe said.
Representative Trey Caldwell of Lawton said he agrees with Lowe on the training aspect of the law.
"I was one of the few republicans that voted no against it. My kind of thought process is that if you wanted to take a loaded firearm into public, if you wanted to take it to Central Mall or a local park, going through the background check, going through that course that says you know how to discharge the weapon, you know what the legal ramifications are if you send a round down range, that’s good information to have for everybody,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell said some of the concerns he heard were how expensive the training and permits required could be. So, he actually wrote a bill last session to address that, though he says it got very little traction.
"That would essentially keep everything in place, but the state of Oklahoma would waive all the fees. So, as long as you would go through the background check and through the eight-hour concealed carry class, you could still get it, it wouldn’t cost anybody any money, but you’d still go through that safety training,” Caldwell said.
Representative Lowe said if you want to learn more about how you can sign the petition, you can go to his Facebook page.
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