House Passes Expansion of Right to Bear Arms

Mar 08, 2024
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, on Wednesday secured passage of a resolution in the House that would expand Second Amendment protections for Oklahoma citizens if approved by voters.

House Joint Resolution 1034 would send to a statewide vote a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution. The amendment would specify that Oklahoma citizens' rights to possess handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives, nonlethal defensive weapons, and other arms in common use, as well as ammunition and the components of arms and ammunition, shall not be infringed upon. It does not differentiate between items used for self-defense, lawful hunting or recreation.

The resolution, which is authored by House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, was presented in the House by Rep. Kevin West.

“The Second Amendment is the pillar upon which all the other amendments rest,” McCall said. “It is built into the bedrock of our nation and state, and House Joint Resolution 1034 further strengthens the already firm commitment that Oklahoma has to protecting and defending our God-given Second Amendment rights.”

West said the purpose of the resolution "is to direct the courts to interpret the Second Amendment based on the original language included in the Bill of Rights attached to the U.S. Constitution. We've had several court rulings that restrict or uphold restrictions of carrying a firearm even for citizens on their own property. This would correct that."

The proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution would allow the Legislature to enforce or adopt narrowly tailored time, place, and manner regulations, or authorize political subdivisions to adopt and enforce such regulations, to serve a compelling state interest. These could include restrictions of carrying firearms in government buildings or other sensitive areas, West said. There are already state and federal laws prohibiting certain convicted felons from possessing firearms.

The amendment would prohibit any law from imposing registration or special taxation upon the keeping of arms including the acquisition, ownership, possession, or transfer of arms, ammunition, or the components of arms or ammunition.

The resolution passed the House on a partisan vote of 81-19. It now moves to the Senate where it is authored by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant. 

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal