Reject permitless carry
State can honor Second Amendment and limit gun possession
Legislation to remove most training and licensing requirements from state gun possession laws sailed through a House committee last week.
Another “constitutional carry” bill is pending in the state Senate, and Gov. Kevin Stitt has indicated philosophical support for the idea.
Last year, Gov. Mary Fallin — a Second Amendment supporter — vetoed similar legislation, arguing appropriately that the state's handful of limitations on gun possession are “few and reasonable.”
Current state law requires those seeking a concealed-carry permit to receive minimal training, pass a criminal background check and pay a licensing fee. The proposals would allow open and concealed weapons to be carried without those limitations.
Frankly, we wish concealedcarry training was more meaningful, but making sure people carrying guns in public have at least a modicum of knowledge about the law serves an important purpose. The licensing requirement is more essential because it weeds out people who are legally prohibited from carrying guns. Will they carry guns anyway illegally? In many cases, yes, but the permitting process will stop some and slow down others.
At a recent event, Stitt said he “conceptually” supports permitless carrying of weapons. He said the idea reflects his belief in the Second Amendment, but he added that he thinks businesses need to have the right to ban firearms on their property.
We agree with him on that last point but point out that it is, in fact, a limitation on the Second Amendment.
Here's the point: All rights have legal boundaries. Your right to free speech doesn't give you freedom to commit slander or to cause panic in a public place.
In a similar way, we think the state can honor the Second Amendment and maintain its existing limitations on open and concealed transportation of guns.
The licensing requirement is more essential because it weeds out people who are legally prohibited from carrying guns. Will they carry guns anyway illegally? In many cases, yes, but the permitting process will stop some and slow down others.