Oklahoma Lawmakers To Hear Bill That Would Block Red Flag Laws

Wednesday, September 4th 2019, 8:04 am
By: Tess Maune

In the wake of three mass shootings in the span of a month, state lawmakers are working to prevent specific kinds of federal gun laws from taking effect in Oklahoma.

Senator Nathan Dahm is moving to block any so-called red flag laws passed by Congress.

The Broken Arrow Republican filed SB 1081 as an emergency filing Tuesday.

Red flag laws are generally meant to prevent people with mental illness or extensive criminal backgrounds -- like repeat domestic violence offenders -- from buying guns. 

Dahm says his bill is meant to protect gun owners in Oklahoma, saying in part: "We don't need new laws that will further infringe on rights. We should be about protecting rights."

17 states have red flag laws in place.  Last year, Democratic Representative Jason Dunnington filed a bill to implement one, but it didn't pass. 

Earlier this summer, Governor Kevin Stitt said he was not looking into calling for a red flag law in Oklahoma, but   instead was waiting on Congress to act. 

In Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he's waiting on the White House.

President Trump has called for red flag laws, but after a recent conversation with the NRA he seemed to walk back his support for new gun laws. So, the future of any federal law is unclear. 

Still, lawmakers will hear Dahm's bill when the legislative session starts in February.