NORMAN — Gov. Mary Fallin said Saturday she will sign a bill into law that will allow Oklahomans with concealed handgun permits to carry their weapons in the open.
“I'm going to be signing that bill,” Fallin announced to 1,400 delegates at the Oklahoma Republican State Convention, drawing cheers and applause. “I've been waiting a long time.”
Oklahoma will become the 26th state to allow open carrying of handguns, she said.
“We believe it's a responsible piece of legislation that allows licensed gun owners to be able to open carry if they choose,” Fallin, a Republican elected governor in 2010, said afterward. “If they choose not to, they don't have to. It also has sufficient protections in it that will allow businesses, certainly government institutions, and those who don't want guns on their facilities to have those protections, too.”
Fallin said she will sign Senate Bill 1733 this week; the measure won final legislative approval last week in the Senate. The Senate voted 33-10 to pass it and the House of Representatives passed it 85-3 earlier this month.
The measure would take effect Nov. 1.
It would allow anyone possessing a license to carry a firearm under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act to carry the weapon either openly or concealed. It also would allow a property owner to openly carry a handgun on his or her land. No concealed carry permit would be required. Fallin also used the occasion to drum up support from the Republican delegates for a significant cut next year in the state's personal income tax rate.
Deeper tax cut
Fallin also used the occasion to push for a deeper cut in the state's personal income tax. Republican legislative budget negotiators are balking at a significant reduction, she said.
With dozens of members of the Republican-controlled Legislature present, Fallin said Republican volunteers worked hard to get GOP lawmakers in power at the statehouse, many of whom promised to cut or eliminate or personal income tax. For the first time in Oklahoma's history, Republicans control the Legislature and the governor's office.
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We believe it's a responsible piece of legislation that allows licensed gun owners to be able to open carry if they choose. ... It also has sufficient protections in it that will allow businesses, certainly government institutions, and those who don't want guns on their facilities to have those protections, too.”