Growing up in Oklahoma, you learn pretty quickly about the rivalry between the Sooner State and its southern neighbor. Texas may be bigger, and it may get more publicity, but doggone it anything that the Lone Star State can do Oklahoma can do better (or at least as well). So, when Texas governor Greg Abbott declared that one of his top legislative priorities this year was to turn the state into a Second Amendment Sanctuary, I had a feeling that Oklahoma legislators might try to get there first.
To be fair, the first Second Amendment Sanctuary bill was introduced in Oklahoma last November, long before Abbott said anything about making Texas a 2A Sanctuary, but I’m sure that Abbott’s endorsement of the idea didn’t hurt the cause in Oklahoma. In fact, it may have helped speed things along, because on Tuesday the Oklahoma State Senate overwhelmingly approved SB 631 by a vote of 38-8.
“This measure builds a wall of protection around our Constitutionally-protected, God-given, blood-bought rights to keep and bear arms,” state Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, said in the news release. “Declaring Oklahoma as a Second Amendment Sanctuary State is an important ‘win’ in our battle to reclaim and protect our individual liberties. I’m thankful for the support of my colleagues approving the bill, as well as the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership for their crucial assistance in getting it passed.”
The legislation, which is also supported by at least 23 county sheriffs in the state, declares that the Oklahoma legislature is the ultimate authority on gun laws within the state’s borders.
Any federal, state, county or municipal act, law, executive order, administrative order, court order, rule, policy or regulation ordering the buy-back, confiscation or surrender of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition from law-abiding citizens of this state shall be considered an infringement on the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Article II, Section 26 of the Constitution of Oklahoma.
It shall be the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies of this state to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and to bear arms within the borders of this state and to protect these rights from the infringement provided under the provisions of this act.
The bill also lays out some specific gun control laws that legislators believe would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of residents, including “any regulation of arms and ammunition, pursuant to the National Firearms Act of 1934, prohibited or regulated on or after the effective date of this act” as well as “regulations or provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968, prohibited or regulated on or after the effective date of this act.”
In other words, any new federal gun control laws would be considered a violation of the rights of Oklahomans, though the bill doesn’t specifically compel local and state law enforcement agencies to not cooperate with federal officials on any new gun control measures.
The measure now heads to the Oklahoma House, where prospects for passage look pretty good at the moment. This bill is a good step forward for gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, and as Democrats begin debate on a pair of new gun control bills, should serve as a reminder to anti-gun politicians in Washington, D.C. that many states won’t be blindly following their demands, even if their gun control bills are signed by Joe Biden.
Now that the Oklahoma State Senate has advanced this measure, will Texas lawmakers follow suit? Lone Star legislators better get a move on if they’re going to get their 2A Sanctuary bill to Gov. Abbott’s desk before Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has a chance to sign his state’s 2A Sanctuary legislation.
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