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BY CHRIS CASTEEL Washington Bureau ccasteel@opubco.com Published: November 20, 2011
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Oklahoma delegation

supports guns bill

All five U.S. House members from Oklahoma voted last week for a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in most states if they have a permit to do so in their own state.

The bill, a top priority of the National Rifle Association, passed 272 to 154 and now goes to the Senate.

In debate on the House floor, Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, said, “Just as one state recognizes a driver's license issued by another state, I believe states should recognize conceal-and-carry licenses issued by another.”

Some states already have reciprocity agreements to recognize out-of-state permits, but others don't, said Boren, a member of the NRA board of directors.

“The result is a piecemeal system where a law-abiding citizen may be required to give up his or her weapon at a state line.”

Under the bill, states could continue to have their own licensing systems, and federal standards would not be created. Only Illinois and the District of Columbia do not allow people to carry concealed weapons, and permits from other states would not be valid there.

Also, states' individual prohibitions on where concealed weapons could be carried would apply to all permit holders.

Opponents argued that the bill would undermine the strong standards some states have for issuing permits.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, said, “My state has concealed weapons laws … but there are other states that do not come up to our standard, and we don't want them coming into our state and telling us what to do.”

But Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, said, “This legislation will help ensure that Americans' Second Amendment rights are respected across state lines.”

Lankford seeking public disclosure on grants

Five years ago, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, with help from then-Sen. Barack Obama, pushed a bill through Congress requiring all federal spending information to be posted online. That online database, usaspending.gov, allows people to get basic information about federal contracts, grants and other payments.

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