Re­ject per­mit­less carry

State can honor Sec­ond Amend­ment and limit gun pos­ses­sion

Tulsa World - - Opinion -

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.

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