Gun Rights Activists Hold Rally In Tulsa's Gathering Place

Saturday, October 13th 2018, 10:14 am
By: Amy Slanchik

Oklahoma gun laws are taking center stage Saturday, with groups on both sides responding.

The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association or "OK2A" gathered near John Williams Way and Riverside for what they’re calling a “peaceful, legal event” to show support for the Second Amendment.

OK2A claims that it is illegal for Gathering Place to deny someone legally carrying a firearm in or around the park.  

"The City of Tulsa, The River Park Authority and the Gathering Place have decided that they can ignore state law. And we will not allow that to happen," said OK2A President Don Spencer.

About 30 people came together to rally just outside the park to listen to speakers like State Senator Nathan Dahm. 

"We've already sent them a letter stating, 'OK, here's the law. Here's where you're breaking it. Please bring it into compliance," said Spencer.

Gathering Place offered the following statement: 

In preparation for the opening of the park, we sought input from the Tulsa community on how to ensure Gathering Place is a welcoming and inclusive park for Tulsans and their families. The community responded with their thoughts, including an emphatic response that firearms at the park are not conducive to creating this welcoming environment.  Our community’s desires are no different than elsewhere – parks routinely prohibit firearms and the courts have routinely upheld such prohibitions.  The management of Gathering Place has incorporated the overwhelming community sentiment into our park regulations.  We feel strongly that no physical confrontation should occur at Tulsa’s Gathering Place.  We have, however, made it clear that our policy is lawful and that any entry into Gathering Place with firearms, whether concealed or unconcealed, will constitute an actionable trespass. We thank all our visitors for their understanding and compliance with the enforcement of these regulations.

Across the street from the rally, a couple of other people made their voices heard. 

"We do not want guns in any of our parks. Our children are playing," said Elois Crosby.

The group Moms Demand Action was at the park for a previously planned meeting and say they agree with the Gathering Place.

"As a mother, I wouldn't feel good about taking my child to a public park, or a park where guns are going to be," said Christine Jackson of Mom's Demand Action.

In a news release, the group says it declines to participate in the event, but it will focus instead on training its leaders to help end gun violence.

 OK2A says it does not have any plans to have another rally near the park in the future. The group at the park decided not to open carry saying it would divert from their peaceful intentions of the rally.