Update: Oklahoma Senate Bill 1185 on Expanded Gun Rights Dies in Committee

Hopes for expanded gun rights in Oklahoma were dashed when a proposed measure that would have allowed a person to point a firearm against another in self-defense without it being a felony, as well as expanding rights of persons visiting the State to carry concealed or unconcealed, died in committee last week.

Oklahoma State Representative David Derby
Oklahoma State Representative David Derby

As previously reported, when it was first introduce, Senate Bill 1185 sought to modify reciprocal agreements to allow persons visiting Oklahoma to carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon if they were in possession of a firearm authorized for concealed carry upon the authority of a state that is a non-permit carry state and the person is in compliance with the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

The House approved the measure after making amendments and sent it on to the Senate for consideration on April 25.

However, the Senate rejected the House amendments on April 27 and requested a conference committee be appointed to work out the differences, and on May 5, the House granted the Conference and named the Conference Committee on Public Safety to hear the matter.

The Conference Committee drafted a substitute measure that would expand the scope of SB 1185 and encompass portions of other important gun-related measures that are currently languishing in the legislature, House Bill 2834, a bill that removes the felony penalty for pointing a firearm if done in self-defense, and House Bill 2427 that clarifies definitions under the Oklahoma Firearms Act and the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles predicted, “The amended bill received opposition, especially from local district attorneys and may not make it out of committee as amended.”

“Trent Baggett, a council for one district attorney,” adds Robles, “is questioning the felony pointing provisions of the amended bill.”

Roble’s prediction was right. The bill died in committee.

But what ultimately doomed the bill, according to Robles, was that “the House author of the bill, Rep. David Derby, decided to kill the bill because the Senate failed to hear a different bill of his, so he chose kill this compromised version of his original bill on the last day of this legislative session.”

“Since bills are not carried over from one session to the next in Oklahoma,” he added, “any attempt to change the current laws will require a new bill be introduced next session in 2017 and it will have to go through the whole review and approval process again.”

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