Sanctuary City, Second Amendment Bills Advance State House Committee

Tuesday, March 30th 2021, 6:23 pm


The Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee took up two Senate bills dealing with so-called "sanctuary" safe havens: one for undocumented immigrants and the other for guns.  

Senate Bill 631 cleared committee along party lines and bans the enforcement of any law "ordering the buy-back, confiscation or surrender of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition from law-abiding citizens of this state." 

Supporters said that would make Oklahoma a so-called "second amendment sanctuary state." 

“It would prohibit anyone from having it mandated where they have to sell back their guns,” Rep Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, said. “So basically, confiscation by the government but with pay.” 

Bill 572, which also advanced along party lines, aims to ban undocumented immigrant sanctuary cities and requires law enforcement cooperate with ICE. 

“Could you speak to some of the reasons why folks say they need sanctuary?” Rep. Regina Goodwin, D- Tulsa, asked the bill’s author. 

“I haven’t heard any legitimate reasons for sanctuary cities so that wouldn’t be something I’d be able to speak to,” Rep Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, said. 

The bill also bans public policies that "knowingly provides special benefits, privileges or support to an undocumented alien." 

“Political subdivisions, in no way, shape or form are to knowingly support these individuals. Doing so would attract them to those areas,” Stegall said. The bill’s author said it was requested by the county. 

The committee also advanced SB 403 which aims to stop scenes of disruptive protests during public meetings like those that played out at Oklahoma County Commission and Jail Trust meetings last year. The bill’s author, Rep. Robert Manger, R-OKC, said it was requested by Oklahoma County. 

It is already illegal to disrupt a State meeting. The bill extends the statute to include political subdivisions like school boards, county and municipal governments. 

“We would not tolerate that in the capitol, and they don’t want to have to tolerate in a school board meeting or the county commissioner meeting,” Manger said. 

Those bills are now eligible to be heard on the House Floor before they could head to the Governor's Desk.