Oklahoma’s new constitutional carry law goes into effect November 1st, but gun control activists are hoping to block implementation in the next few weeks. State Rep. Jason Lowe, joined by four other individuals, has filed a lawsuit in state court alleging that House Bill 2597 violates state law requiring legislation to have a single subject.
The suit says the measure addresses far more than one subject, including self-defense, a campus weapons ban, undocumented immigrants, transportation, preemption, disclosure to law enforcement and immunity.
The suit seeks a declaration that the law, House Bill 2597, is unconstitutional. The measure is also known as “constitutional carry” and “permitless carry.”
Plaintiffs have asked the court to issue an order barring the law from taking effect.
“We are excited,” Lowe said. “We are looking forward to challenging this dangerous law.”
Now, I’m not an attorney, but after looking at the language in the constitutional carry bill, I don’t think Rep. Lowe and his gun-hating cohorts are going to prevail in their challenge. While it’s true the bill mentions self-defense, firearms restrictions in certain locations, possession of a firearm by prohibited persons, and other issues, they’re all directly related to the core purpose of the bill, which allows legal gun owners to carry in the state without having a concealed carry license. Simply put, firearms are the single subject of the bill, and I have a hard time seeing any judge going along with Lowe’s assertion that the law violates the state’s constitution.
“The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association sees this as another Hail Mary attempt to stop constitutional carry,” said Don Spencer, the association’s president. “We do not feel this breaks the single-subject rule and look forward to the Attorney General’s Office defending it.”
Lowe was also behind the recent petition drive to ban constitutional carry, which failed to get enough signatures to be included on the 2020 ballot in the state. The Democrat lawmaker, who represents a portion of Oklahoma City in the state legislature, has called the measure “dangerous” as well as an attack on minorities in the state.
“A 2015 University of Arizona study showed that minorities legally carrying firearms are more likely to be harassed than their white counterparts. By removing the requirement of a permit, minorities will be in more situations where they are being subjected to racial profiling. In my community, this law change isn’t about being able to feel tough while walking around intimidating people with a gun strapped to your shoulder. It’s about increasing the likelihood that I and people who look like me will be victims of senseless killings merely for exercising their Second Amendment right.”
I don’t know what specific study Lowe is referring to, but another study from 2015 found that while minorities were more likely to be stopped by police, there was no evidence that minorities are more likely to be shot by police than white people. This is just shameless fearmongering on the part of Rep. Jason Lowe, who has used every possible argument in an attempt to derail the new law. I suspect his latest attempt will be just as unsuccessful as his previous attempts, and that on November 1st Oklahoma’s new constitutional carry law will go into effect.