ARDMORE, OK - One Oklahoma Lawmaker has proposed a new gun bill that has many residents up in arms. An Oklahoma City Senator who fought in the War in Iraq says Americans should be able to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms without any training or certification.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 129 authored by Republican Senator Steve Russell of Oklahoma City would allow folks 18 and over with to openly carry hand guns without any training requirements. Folks we talked to say being able to openly carry a weapon with no training is a bad idea.
"I don't think people should have it out in the open. It would be too easy to use. I'm not anti-gun, a gun activist, I believe in weapons, but only to defend yourself. That law was also made back in the 1800s when we had to bare arms for hunting purposes and protection. It needs to be updated," says Trooper Ken Duncan of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol say the new law differs from the other pending open carry handgun bill, HB 1736, in that there is no training required.
"It's going to open it up to anyone without ant training being able to carry a gun where the first one is still going to require them to go through the concealed carry classes, and the training and get the license to do so," says State Senator Frank Simpson.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 36 to 8 and was sent on to the House of Representatives for consideration. Senator Frank Simpson, who voted in favor of the bill, says it still has a long way to go and changes may have to be made before the bill would become law.
"There are elements of the bill as it is currently worded that many of us don't agree with, but our intent was to keep the bill alive so that we would have a process in place to still amend and make changes to the bill when it comes back to the Senate," Simpson said.
If the bill passes and becomes law folks would still not be able to carry weapons into some private businesses, certain public places or onto school campuses. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, who will consider it before sending back to the Senate.