Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tibbs: Voters Should Decide Open Carry Issue

Oklahoma voters could decide whether or not to authorize the open carry of firearms under legislation approved by a House committee today.

House Bill 1796, by Rep. Sue Tibbs, calls for an election to determine if state law should be changed to allow citizens to openly carry firearms.

“The call to debate ‘open carry’ laws has grown for several years, and I believe it is time we tackle this issue decisively,” said Tibbs, R-Tulsa. “This is an issue that divides even staunch supporters of the Second Amendment, so I believe an issue of this magnitude should be determined directly by the citizens of Oklahoma at the polls.”

Tibbs, who holds a concealed carry license, is chair of the House Public Safety Committee.

Under her bill, Oklahomans with a valid handgun license (which would be the equivalent of the current concealed carry license) would have the right to carry a weapon openly without concealing it. Those with the license would have to undergo background checks and firearms training before being licensed.

House Bill 1796 passed out of the House Public Safety Committee on a 17-0 vote today. It will next go to the House floor.

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