An important piece of pro-gun legislation known as the “Constitutional Open Carry Bill” cleared the Oklahoma Senate Rules Committee Wednesday by a vote of 10-3. The measure would allow law-abiding citizens over 21 to openly carry a firearm. Based on the bill’s wide margin of support in committee, and the fact that the House version passed earlier this year by a vote of 73-15, the bill is expected to pass when it heads to the full Senate.
Oklahoma currently requires open-carry applicants to obtain a permit like for concealed carry. Rep Jeff Coody, who authored the House version, says this measure will bring Oklahoma in line with other states in protecting gun owners’ rights.
“In 30 other states people can carry out in the open without a permit, without asking permission and without paying a tax to the government, and it’s not been an issue in other states,” Coody told the Norman Transcript.
Faux Medical Groups Call For Restoration Of CDC Gun-Control Funding
More than 100 so-called “medical” groups called for an end to the ban on federal funding for gun-control efforts by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In reality, the list is padded with political advocacy groups, such as five chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Research!America, the Big Cities Health Coalition and the Colorado Public Health Association (whose website says it’s “working on a new Vision & Mission,” but “aspires to be the Voice of Public Health in Colorado”).
The letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees was released by Doctors for America, another self-described “progressive” activist group. In addition to lobbying for safe storage and background checks, the letter asks, “What should be the trigger pull on a firearm so a toddler can’t use it?”
The CDC’s opposition to gun rights prompted Congress to bar it from using taxpayer funds for gun-control efforts in 1997. Since then, CDC advocates have attempted to cast gun crime as a public health issue in order to remove those restraints. Even with the ban, the CDC still published 121 articles on gun violence in 2013.
Maine Governor Signs Bill To Protect State’s Gun Ranges
Gov. Paul LePage gave his signature of approval Tuesday to a measure that will protect and promote access to shooting ranges in Maine. Supporters said the law was necessary to preserve the more than 100 outdoor ranges that are being threatened by increasing rural development. “Shooting ranges are under assault,” declared Robert Jordan, president of the Lisbon Fish & Game Association.
In the past few years, people have filed lawsuits against shooting ranges for a variety of reasons, including noise, nuisance and simply being in opposition to their existence. Legislative Document 1500, sponsored by Republican Patrick Corey, now protects fully compliant ranges from those legal actions.
One of those ranges—the Spurwink Rod & Gun Club—celebrated the victory. The 60-year-old organization had been one of the targets for noise and safety complaints. “This was [about a] principle, not a vendetta,” said Spurwink President Tammy Walter.
Mississippi RTC Bill Goes To Governor For Final Approval
The Mississippi House of Representatives on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to concur with Senate amendments to House Bill 786, sending the Right-to-Carry expansion legislation to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant for his expected signature.
Despite months of misleading attacks by New York gun-ban billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun state groups, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved HB 786 this session. The measure, by Republican state Rep. Andy Gipson, will:
Expand current permitless carry options to include belt and shoulder holsters;
Allow church authorities to develop security programs that designate enhanced carry permit holders or those with military or law enforcement backgrounds to protect places of worship and receive the benefits of existing protections under the state’s “Castle Doctrine” law; and
Prohibit state or local enforcement of federal executive orders or agency regulations not approved by Congress which conflict with the Constitution of the United States or the Mississippi Constitution.
Bills To Arm Tennessee Teachers On The Move
On Wednesday, legislation that would allow Tennessee teachers and staff to carry guns at school for self-defense passed the House Education Administration and Planning Committee.
House Bill 1751, sponsored by Republican Rep. David Byrd, is directed toward smaller school systems that don’t have the funds for school resource officers. The measure is intended to “give school systems in distressed rural counties the ability to allow certain staff and volunteers to carry guns at school and school-sponsored activities,” said Byrd.
The second bill, House Bill 1736, would permit full-time employees of state public colleges or universities to carry a handgun on campus if they have a valid Tennessee concealed-carry permit. HB 1736 is sponsored by Republican state Rep. Andy Holt. An amendment to the bill that included an opt-out option for private universities failed to pass.
Both bills will now be heard by the Finance Ways and Means Committee.
Tulsa Gas Station Owner Shoots Attacker
A gas station owner in Tulsa, Okla., shot a man who entered the store with a makeshift weapon and began throwing trashcans and threatening the owner and store patrons.
According to local police, the man apparently had a disagreement with the owner on Saturday, then returned to the store on Sunday swinging a rope or belt with a heavy piece of metal on the end. He also threw trashcans around the station parking lot. Feeling threatened, the store owner shot the man once, ending the episode.
“Whatever it was about, I don’t think it was worth coming back at 2 o’clock the next day to continue the argument,” Tulsa Police Sgt. Kurt Dodd told local media. The man is listed in stable condition at a local hospital.