“They (federal government) cannot come in here and tell our citizens in Oklahoma that they cannot buy this,” Bennett said.
The Republican-controlled Legislature passed two similar bills three years ago; both were vetoed by then-Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat. He said the measures did nothing to protect an individual's right to bear arms and they could make the state a haven for domestic and international offenders seeking to elude federal gun safeguards as well as result in a costly legal challenge.
The so-called firearm freedoms measure was first enacted in Montana and subsequently approved in several other states. About two dozen others are considering it.
A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin said it's too early in the process to comment on specific legislation. The Republican governor is a gun owner, a member of the National Rifle Association and a strong supporter of gun rights, said Alex Weintz, Fallin's communications director.
Bennett said he is optimistic Fallin will sign HB 2021.
“Elected officials, they sway with whichever way society's going at that time, and society in the state of Oklahoma is very gun-friendly,” he said. “They want their gun rights.”