In Oklahoma, Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes is joining the growing list of law enforcement officers encouraging citizens to arm themselves. He says recent events, including the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, have lead him to waive all sheriffs fees tied to Oklahoma Self-Defense Act gun license applications.

“Hopefully waiving the fee will encourage more people to do the process to legally carry a handgun,” Rhodes told News Channel Four last week.

“This is the least I can do for law abiding citizens, a good gesture to encourage people to carry a gun lawfully. We want people to carry a handgun lawfully, and I want to remove any obstacles for people interested in getting a handgun license.”

While the $35 fee is being waived at this time, other costs from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for first time applicants and license renewals still apply. Encouraging citizens to follow the law, the sheriff also says he does not want to stand in anyone’s way of being able to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“I encourage the exercise of your Second Amendment rights,” Rhodes said. “I’m a big supporter of the Second Amendment.

“We’re living in a violent society. We’ve got threats abroad and domestically. This is the least I can do for the law abiding residents in Garvin County who are interested in obtaining a handgun carry permit.”

Local resident Ken Herrod, who heard of the Sheriff’s decision from his handgun training class instructor, appreciates the gesture and acknowledges the reality of the challenges law enforcement agencies face. “They can’t be everywhere at once and we need to be able to protect and take care of our property,” Herrod said.

When asked about the financial impact his decision will have on the Sheriff’s office, Rhodes didn’t bat an eye; “I believe the benefit to our safety outweighs the loss of any revenue.” he replied.

That it does, Sheriff. That it does.