A bill making Oklahoma a Second Amendment Sanctuary state is headed to the governor’s desk, but not without some fireworks. 2nd Amendment Association president Don Spencer is offering up a mea culpa after calling for one of the top-ranked Republicans in the state Senate to be voted out of office over an amendment to the state’s Second Amendment Sanctuary legislation.
Spencer says he was frustrated by an amendment offered by Sen. Greg Treat, but says that was no excuse for demanding that Treat be tossed out of office because of it.
The disagreement was over HB 1236, which has 76 Republican authors.
The measure would have allowed the state to not comply with executive orders that are deemed unconstitutional.
“SB 1236 had a multiple of protections in it, from second amendment to oil and gas and all types of things that are protected against federal overreach,” Spencer said.
It passed the House 79-18.
Once in the Senate earlier this week, Treat made an amendment.
“It adds a duty to the AG of the state of Oklahoma to monitor executive actions of the federal government and to determine if the actions are in violation of the 10th amendment to the United States constitution,” Treat said on the Senate floor.
It ultimately gives the AG money to challenge federal actions of that nature in court.
Spencer says the bill was fine as is, and worries that Treat’s amendment will weaken the measure, which passed the state Senate on a vote of 33-14 and is now before Gov. Kevin Stitt.
The Second Amendment advocate isn’t alone in his concerns. In fact, the Oklahoma State House has now drafted new legislation that tweaks the bill sent to the governor by allowing the state legislature to mount legal challenges to any federal executive actions or legislation if the state’s Attorney General declines to do so.
I think that’s a good step, honestly, because it provides a backstop in the case of an anti-gun AG who might be willing and ready to go along with any unconstitutional gun control measures approved in D.C. Whether or not the new House bill can make it to the governor’s desk before the end of this session remains to be seen, but even if it can’t be adopted this year the legislature should make the additional protection a top priority next session.
As for Treat’s amendment, I don’t view it as an attempt to water down or weaken the Second Amendment Sanctuary language. I can see the argument that the amendment actually improves the bill by providing a route through which the state can challenge any unconstitutional laws, and it makes sense that the primary responsibility would be placed with the Attorney General.
While I can understand Spencer’s frustration, I’m also glad to see him recognize that it does gun owners little good to target ostensible allies who might not march in lockstep with 2A organizations 100% of the time. When it comes to politics, you can’t let perfect be the enemy of good. However, this isn’t the first time that Spencer has been a bit hyperbolic when it comes to the Republican-controlled legislature. Last fall, Spencer seemed convinced that the Second Amendment Sanctuary language wouldn’t get to Gov. Stitt’s desk at all.
“The Republicans have killed it in the state Senate each time,” said Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, in an interview with Personal Defense World. “The Republicans are the problem of why you cannot get pro-Second Amendment legislation done in the state of Oklahoma. We have a supermajority in the Senate, a supermajority in the House and we have the Governor’s office, so there is no one else to blame.”
Oklahoma adopted Constitutional Carry back in 2019, so it’s silly to claim that pro-Second Amendment legislation “can’t get done” in the state. Spencer’s claim looks even more dubious given the fact that both the House and Senate did approve Second Amendment Sanctuary language this year, even if it included the amendment that Spencer doesn’t like.
Honestly, the bigger issue in Oklahoma is the higher education lobby and the state’s Chamber of Commerce; which have thwarted attempts to pass campus carry legislation and tried to derail Constitutional Carry a couple of years ago. If Spencer is looking for groups that are hindering the full exercise of the right to keep and bear arms in the Sooner State, I’d start there.