An Oklahoma County judge on Wednesday afternoon denied an attempt by opponents of Oklahoma’s new permitless carry law to stop the legislation from taking effect on Friday. The last minute legal maneuver was the latest attempt to block the law by State Rep. Jason Lowe, who claimed that the bill authorizing permitless carry violates a state law requiring legislation to deal with a single subject. It’s an argument without merit, and Judge Don Andrews declined to issue an injunction that would stop the law from taking effect.
The lawsuit was Rep. Jason Lowe’s second attempt to block permitless carry from taking effect. Lowe said he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, also partnered with several other local groups to circulate a referendum petition to halt the new law from taking effect until it was put to Oklahomans in a statewide vote. The coalition fell more than 20,000 signatures short of its goal.
Lowe can appeal all he wants, but take a look at the language of House Bill 2597 for yourself. The bill may touch on things like transportation, undocumented immigrants and disclosure to law enforcement, as Lowe claims, but only in relation to permitless carry itself. The state representative is grandstanding more than he’s presenting a cogent legal argument, and I suspect the state court of appeals will quickly uphold Judge Andrews’ decision.
Oklahoma’s Attorney General has weighed in on the judge’s decision as well.
“We are pleased Judge Andrews ruled in our favor and did not grant a preliminary injunction, which will allow this law to go into effect on Nov. 1. My office is proud to defend the constitutional carry law against a political attack by plaintiffs who were unable to succeed at the legislature, unable to persuade voters in the referendum process and now seeking to overturn a duly enacted law with meritless claims and scare tactics.”
Just as gun owners and Second Amendment supporters use the courts to go after laws that are unconstitutional, gun control groups are more than willing to litigate to try to get their way. In Florida, gun control advocates sued over armed school staff, while anti-gun mayors like Bill Peduto are passing local gun ordinances in order to provoke a court fight over firearms preemption law. Most of these legal challenges aren’t using arguments that attack the Second Amendment directly, but they all have the intent of weakening the right to keep and bear arms.
I lived in Oklahoma for 25 years, and who knows, I may live there again depending on how Virginia’s elections shake out (I’m kidding, kind of). I’ll have much more to say about the state’s adoption of permitless carry on Friday when the law takes effect, but I’m thrilled that Judge Andrews ruled the way he did and that legal gun owners across the Sooner state will soon be able to legally carry their firearm without a governmental permission slip. As for Rep. Lowe, the Attorney General noted the lawmaker has lost in the legislature, at the ballot box, and in the courtroom. I think it’s time for Lowe to find a new hobby; one that doesn’t involve trying to infringe on the rights of Oklahoma residents.