Justices on Oklahoma’s highest court turned away an initiative petition Tuesday that would have allowed voters to weigh in on whether or not to keep the state’s Constitutional Carry law in place. The state Supreme Court ruled that the wording of the summary of the proposed ballot initiative was insufficient, and anti-gun activists hoping to bring the issue before voters will have to start the process over before they can begin to collect signatures to put the issue before voters.
SQ 809, filed by Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, and supported by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, would have had to collect 95,000 signatures in a 90-day period to qualify for the ballot.
Moms Demand Action and Rep. Lowe have been trying to get the open carry law repealed since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2019. Last year the anti-gun activists first attempted to repeal the law via a voter referendum, but fell far short of the required number of signatures to get on the ballot.
Lowe next tried to get a temporary injunction blocking the law from taking effect in November of 2019, but he state Supreme Court declined to intervene and on November 1st of last year permitless carry became legal across the state of Oklahoma. The gun control advocate wasn’t finished however. In January of this year, Lowe filed legislation to repeal permitless carry, but the bill died in a House committee in February. Lowe knew that his attempt to undo constitutional carry wasn’t likely to succeed in the pro-2A state legislature, so in early February, even before his bill had been killed, Lowe announced plans to once again try to bring his repeal bill before voters once again.
That was Lowe’s latest effort, and his latest defeat. I’d like to think that Lowe has now finally accepted that permitless carry is here to stay in the Sooner State, but something tells me that when the state legislature convenes for the 2021 session, one of the first pieces of legislation that will be filed will be another version of Lowe’s repeal bill.
Lowe may think these repeated efforts prove him to be a tireless fighter in pursuit of some greater justice, but actually they just make him look like an ineffectual and out-of-touch politician who refuses to accept that most Oklahomans don’t object to the law. Still, even if he fails time after time, the effort is likely guaranteed to earn him some campaign cash from Moms Demand Action and other gun control groups, so why not at least go through the motions of trying to get rid of constitutional carry? The money still spends whether you’re successful or not.