The state House on Wednesday voted 86-3 to override Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a firearms bill.
Wednesday’s vote is the first time either legislative chamber has mustered enough votes to override a veto during Fallin’s administration, the governor’s press secretary said.
House Bill 2461 will go to the state Senate where a two-thirds vote would be required to complete the veto override. The bill initially passed the Senate by a vote of 46-0 on April 22.
Wednesday’s House vote came one day after Fallin vetoed 15 House bills, including this one, while criticizing the House for failing to act on important issues, such as Capitol repairs, while passing flawed bills and bills that are irrelevant to most Oklahomans.
House author Mike Turner, R-Edmond, said his bill is designed to prevent sheriffs and police chiefs from stalling the transfer of federally regulated firearms like silencers and short-barreled rifles if the applicant is not prohibited by law from possessing the items.
Under Turner’s bill, chief law enforcement officers would have 15 days to comply with proper certification requests.
In Fallin’s veto message, she said House Bill 2461 was an attempt to “regulate a federal agency.”
“House Bill 2461 requires the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to provide, within 15 days, certification required by federal regulation of the transfer or manufacture of firearms,” the governor wrote. “The ATF is not required to follow the requirements of this bill. This bill serves no significant interest of the citizens of the State of Oklahoma.”
Turner, who is running for U.S. Congress, said he believes “Second Amendment Rights are sacred in Oklahoma, and there’s no negotiation.”
Turner said sheriffs and police chiefs have been designated to handle transfers of these federally regulated firearm items, so he doesn’t believe his bill is an attempt to regulate a federal agency.
House Speaker Jeff Hickman issued a news release Wednesday stating the House “made the difficult and serious decision to override a governor’s veto.”
“The decision to take action was made with careful consideration, and members ultimately voted to again protect Oklahomans’ Second Amendment rights,” Hickman said, adding he expects the House now will “focus on the very important issues which remain before us prior to the end of the legislative session.”