Representative Tom Gann

Hi, I'm Tom Gann and I represent the people of Oklahoma's 8th District.


News & Announcements

Mar 21, 2024
Recent Posts

Gann Says Warrantless License Plate Scanner Tracking is Not Authorized By State Law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, issued a statement today about the failure of legislation that would have authorized the use of license plate scanner technology for a purpose beyond insurance verification. "In 2016, the Legislature made the unfortunate decision to authorize the use of license plate scanner technology for the purpose of insurance verification," Gann said. "That law limited the use of this intrusive technology to that purpose only. This year, the Legislature considered House Bill 3570, which was not heard prior to the March 14 third-reading deadline for bills in their chamber of origin. Also considered was Senate Bill 1620, which was defeated on March 14 by a wide margin — becoming one of the very few bills to be defeated on the Senate floor. These bills would have authorized the use of this technology for purposes other than insurance verification. As these laws have failed, it's important for the public and city councils across the state to know that: There is no specific statutory authorization for using these systems beyond insurance verification." While the Legislature was considering these proposals, Gann said numerous concerning details have been brought forward. He said that while the proponents advocate for its ability to automate National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and Amber Alert scanning, it's clear that the real impact of this technology is to create a database of vehicles' travels, complete with the vehicles' identifiers, including its bumper stickers, and to then allow warrantless searches of that data – data that's stored in the cloud and that is then subsequently shared with many, many diverse government entities including those that are not in Oklahoma, Gann said. To demonstrate this concern, Gann pointed to the fact that in the past 30 days, Tulsa's data collection has been queried 2,143 times compared to 1,364 Amber and NCIC alerts. "That's 2,143 searches that have clearly occurred without a warrant and undoubtedly compromised the information of many innocent persons," Gann stated. Gann also stated that departments that use this technology have been known to share access to the data collection with federal agencies, including the FBI and ATF. "No Oklahoman should ever have to worry about their movements being shared with the Biden Administration's federal police state," Gann declared. "That's clearly what this technology is enabling." Gann said in the case of the Del City Police Department , that department appears to be sharing their information with more than 60 other government entities including the U.S. Postal Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center. In addition to sharing Oklahomans' travel data with many government entities, the technology also appears to allow government entities to create custom watch lists that will inform them whenever certain people attempt to travel into or within their city limits, Gann said. "In my view, these abuses are clear violations of the Fourth Amendment and are not specifically authorized by state law," Gann said. "By not hearing House Bill 3570 and defeating Senate Bill 1620 by such a wide margin, the Legislature has clearly signaled that it doesn't intend to authorize them at any point in the near future."

Jan 18, 2024
Recent Posts

Gann Files Bill to Protect Oklahoma Students from Hostile Foreign Governments

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, said he is taking a proactive step toward safeguarding Oklahoma’s public school students with the introduction of House Bill 3112. The bill would prohibit schools and school districts from accepting financial donations or gifts from countries designated as "hostile" or "Countries of Particular Concern (CPC)" by the United States Secretary of State. On Sept. 21, 2023, Superintendent for Public Instruction Ryan Walters issued a report to the Legislature from his testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. He described the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party in Oklahoma public education. The hearing titled "Academic Freedom Under Attack: Loosening the CCP's Grip on America's Classrooms," covered the investigation that began under the Trump Administration, and the work of Parents Defending Education. Gann said the hearing uncovered the covert efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to influence young people in the United States through the nation's universities and K-12 systems of public education. "One of the most disturbing statements in the report was, 'The Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), a Chinese-based organization sponsored by the CCP, is directly mentioned ten times in a contract that Tulsa Public Schools signed with the Confucius Classroom Coordination Office (CCCO) within the nonprofit IL Texas Global," Gann said. "We must never allow an avowed enemy of America and of freedom direct influence over the education of our children," he said. HB3112 would prevent school districts from accepting funding from hostile foreign governments beginning in the 2024-25 school year going forward. In addition to the prohibition, the bill mandates that school districts annually report any receipt of donations or gifts falling within the specified criteria. These reports will be required to be submitted through the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System used by schools and the state Department of Education, ensuring transparency and accountability in financial transactions. The bill contains an emergency clause, so it would take effect immediately upon being signed into law. It will be eligible to be considered when the regular legislative session starts. Feb. 5. 

Jan 9, 2024
Recent Posts

Gann Files Bill to Protect Oklahomans from Overreaching 'Road User Charge' Plan

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, today filed what he called "a pivotal bill aimed at safeguarding Oklahomans' freedom and privacy." House Bill 2970 comes in response to what Gann termed are growing concerns over the Oklahoma Road User Charge (RUC) Task Force's controversial "Road User Charge" proposal. "Under their Orwellian proposed plan, Oklahomans would be monitored on every mile they drive, and pay a tax for each of these miles," Gann said. He said he believes this could lead to excessive government control over personal travel and play, and that he is echoing the worries that many citizens have expressed. He sees the proposal as unfairly penalizing motorists, especially those in rural areas of the state who do not have alternative options for commuting. "It's quite inconceivable to me that in the near future, motorists might face variable-rate, per-mile fees for driving beyond a government-approved limit," Gann said, highlighting his concerns about the recommendations' potential to put government in charge of every motorist's driven mile. Gann also raised alarm over the suggested requirement for surveillance infrastructure to track mileage. He said he fears this system could be exploited by state and federal authorities for various oppressive purposes, including targeting individuals with differing political views. Gann said the first stage of the Oklahoma version of the Road User Charge plan – a pilot program and a task force established in 2021 by House Bill 1712– is already in motion. He said the next phase – voluntary participation – has been recommended by the task force for legislative consideration in 2025. He said he believes a third phase – mandatory participation – may soon follow. He said he bases this observation on Oregon's version of the plan, where that state initially created a volunteer plan, but discussion in their Legislature has since turned to mandating participation. Gann's bill seeks to repeal House Bill 1712, halting any future advancement of this initiative. Gann, who voted against House Bill 1712 in 2021, said he believes the bills implications were not fully understood. "House Bill 2970 is about reassuring Oklahomans that their Legislature won't enforce a socialist, Orwellian green agenda and a surveillance state here," Gann said. "This is also a chance for the Legislature to correct its course, realize its mistake and repeal House Bill 1712." Gann said he also intends to update his bill in committee to withdraw Oklahoma's membership from the Western Road Usage Charge Consortium, in opposition to that organization's efforts to promote the road user charge system in Oklahoma and other states. "House Bill 2970 represents a crucial step in protecting the rights and privacy of Oklahomans and ensuring government policies reflect the will of the majority of the people," Gann said.