Backlash Rolls In Over Oklahoma 'Constitutional Carry' Gun Bill
OKLAHOMA CITY - Backlash is starting to roll in over a gun bill that passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
If some state lawmakers get their way, any Oklahoman without a felony conviction could carry a handgun without a license.
The bill passed the house and now goes to the Senate.
If this bill is signed into law, that would mean no background checks would be needed to carry a gun. Some believe that will increase gun violence in the community.
"Nothing that this legislature does shocks or surprises me anymore," said said House District 77 Candidate and Booker T. Washington Teacher John Waldron.
Waldron said he still can't believe the constitutional carry bill passed through the Oklahoma House.
"Why should we go back to the Wild West here in Oklahoma when we can have responsible gun laws that can protect everybody's rights and don't increase the danger," Waldron said.
If this bill is signed into law, it will allow anyone over the age of 21 without a felony conviction to carry a handgun without a permit.
Gun shop owner Eric Fuson said he supports this idea.
"I think that was the original intent of the second amendment to protect people's rights to be able to protect themselves with a firearm. That's one of those things I think that's just a natural right of those people who can legally own one," said Fuson.
He said requiring a gun license only impacts law-abiding citizens, arguing criminals don't follow the laws.
"If their intent as a convicted felon was to carry a firearm they're going to carry it with or without this law," said Fuson.
If signed, this bill would make Oklahoma the 14th state to not require a permit to carry a handgun.
Waldron believes such a change would put people at even higher risk of being victims of gun violence.
"I do support the second amendment of course but we should have responsible gun laws and I think this one verges a little bit," he said.
The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce says the bill strips property and business owners' rights to regulate who can carry weapons in their buildings, and it could force large gun-free conventions to leave the state.
The NRA is hitting back saying the Chamber and businesses are misrepresenting the bill.
In a statement the gun makers lobby ignores business concerns saying in part, "Constitutional carry would give the most vulnerable among us the ability to protect themselves in a time of crisis."