The Senate on Thursday unanimously voted to override a veto of House Bill 2461, a measure aimed at protecting and strengthening Second Amendment rights in Oklahoma, a news release says.
House Bill 2461, authored by state Rep. Mike Turner and state Sen. Nathan Dahm, requires a sheriff or chief of police to execute any request for documents relating to the purchase of firearms defined by the National Firearms Act (NFA) within 15 days if the purchaser is not prohibited of possessing a firearm.
The bill essentially requires chief law enforcement officers to sign off an applications for tax stamps for NFA items such as silencers, suppressors, short barreled rifles and shotguns and automatic weapons, said Turner.
"The right to keep and possess firearms is sacred to Americans, and especially to Oklahomans," said Turner, R-Edmond. "Oklahomans overwhelmingly oppose gun restrictions, particularly those forced upon us by federal bureaucrats. This bill is about nothing more than protecting our Constitutional rights. When we took our oath of office, we swore to uphold the Constitution, and I intend to do just that for as long as I represent citizens at the state Capitol."
Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the bill last week, which was heavily supported by the National Rifle Association and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Rights Association. Turner noted that, despite the veto, Gov. Fallin has been a consistent and effective conservative leader.
"While on this particular bill we differed, I know Gov. Fallin is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment," said Turner. "I'm thankful for my colleagues in the Senate for their vote."
According to a news release issued February 19 by the NRA, House Bill 2461 "would require that when certification from a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) is a prerequisite by federal law for the transfer of a National Firearms Act (NFA) item – as defined in the NFA – such certification must be provided within fifteen days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the NFA item.
Some CLEOs simply refuse to sign such forms, and nothing in current law prohibits this, even if the applicant's receipt of the NFA item would not be contrary to law and the CLEO has no information that the applicant intends to use the NFA item for an unlawful purpose. HB 2461 would prevent an arbitrary personal bias from determining Oklahoma firearm policy and ensure that qualified, law-abiding Oklahomans would not be denied their ability to legally possess NFA items."
"The Senate protected law-abiding citizens' from having their rights to possess and own firearms denied by arbitrary political decisions," said Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. "If you have the right to lawfully own a firearm, then that right should be absolute. I'm very thankful that my colleagues in the Senate appreciate the importance of protecting our Second Amendment rights."
The House previously voted to override the veto by a vote of 86-3. The measure will now become law on November 1.
Gov. Fallin released the following statement after the vote:
"Last Tuesday I vetoed 15 bills in an attempt to refocus the attention of the Legislature on important issues facing this state that have been left unaddressed. Those issues include: the need to support local communities seeking to build storm shelters in schools; the need to repair our crumbling state Capitol; addressing our unfunded and fiscally unstable pension system; working to reduce the crisis of prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma; and delivering a responsible, balanced budget that funds core areas of government such as education appropriately while delivering targeted pay raises to some state employees.
"Those issues remain unaddressed and time is running out. The Legislature has chosen to override one of my vetoes, which is certainly its legal right and an outcome I knew was possible. The legislation they passed today makes it easier to sell and transfer restricted firearms and accessories like silencers, which is fine. Now that they've accomplished that, I am asking the House and Senate to work with each other and with me to deliver legislation to fund our state government, improve our economy and generally do the things their constituents have put them in office to do. The legislative session is scheduled to end on May 30th. The time for action is now."