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Party of smaller government eager to add more laws to the books in Oklahoma

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 25, 2013

Concern about President Barack Obama's call to tighten gun control in the United States is evident in a bill by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, which says the federal government has no right to regulate firearms in Oklahoma. Dahm calls himself a “strict constitutionalist,” but his bill's chances of withstanding constitutional scrutiny are zero, according to at least one constitutional scholar interviewed by The Associated Press.

Dahm, in his first year at the Capitol, didn't stop there. He wants to let any Oklahoman 21 and older who isn't a felon to be allowed to keep a loaded or unloaded gun in their car or truck for self-defense.

Many other dubious pieces of legislation are pending. Anderson isn't a fan of pit bull terriers — thus his bill that would let municipalities ban any breed of dog. Never mind that a similar effort failed in 2006, or that state law already defines dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs and lays out the punishment for owners who allow those dogs to get loose.

State Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, is recycling “personhood” legislation — providing individual rights and constitutional protection beginning at conception — even though last year the state Supreme Court said unanimously that language in a similar resolution was unconstitutional.

Good bills are in the mix, too, such as those seeking to change the state's workers' compensation system and further bolster public pension systems. Lawmakers need to spend their time focusing on these and other measures that truly seek to improve the state.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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