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Oklahoma Legislature overrides veto of firearms bill

The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday voted 39-0 to complete a Legislative override of Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a firearms bill backed by the National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment rights groups.
by Randy Ellis Modified: May 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm •  Published: May 8, 2014

The state Senate on Thursday voted 39-0 to complete a Legislative override of Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a firearms bill.

It was the first successful override of a Gov. Fallin veto.

“The right to keep and possess firearms is sacred to Americans, and especially to Oklahomans,” said state Rep. Mike Turner, R-Edmond, the House author of the bill. “Oklahomans overwhelmingly oppose gun restrictions, particularly those forced upon us by federal bureaucrats.”

House Bill 2461 was backed by the National Rifle Association and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Rights Association, supporters said.

Turner, who is running for U.S. Congress, was quick to say he wasn’t accusing the governor of being an enemy of gun owners.

“While on this particular bill we differed, I know Governor Fallin is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment,” Turner said.

The governor is both a gun owner and a member of the NRA, said Alex Weintz, her communications director.

The purpose of the bill is to prevent Oklahoma sheriffs and police chiefs from stalling the transfer of federally regulated firearms and accessories like silencers, fully automatic weapons and short-barreled shotguns, said state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, the Senate author of the bill.

The bill places a 15-day deadline on local chief law enforcement officers to act on a transfer request once the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has determined the applicant’s eligibility, Dahm said.

“There have been cases where a sheriff, or whoever that law enforcement officer might be, has just kept it in limbo for perpetuity, so what this does is it sets a time limit,” Dahm said. “Once the ATF signs off on it, you have 15 days to either approve or deny the permit.”

Gov. Fallin, who is normally aligned with gun rights advocates on legislative issues, said in her veto message that the bill “attempts to regulate a federal agency.”

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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