Gun-control advocates seek to overturn permitless carry law

Rep. Jason Lowe

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gun-control advocates once again are asking voters to stymie a controversial law that allows Oklahomans to carry guns without licensing or training.

State Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, said he and other opponents of constitutional carry filed another ballot initiative Monday.

Their state question again seeks the repeal of the permitless carry law that allows anyone at least 21 years old without a felony conviction to carry firearms with no permitting, licensing or training.

Lowe said supporters must gather 95,000 signatures in 90 days to get the measure before voters. Lowe said the aim is to get it on November’s ballot.

He said he’s fielded concerns from Oklahomans of all political affiliations since Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the measure into law last year.

“(They’re) indicating that they feel this law is dangerous, that it’s a ticking time bomb,” Lowe said.

Last year, gun-control advocates, including Lowe, led another ballot initiative that sought to give voters a say on whether to accept or reject the legislation. That effort failed to garner enough signatures.

Lowe also unsuccessfully sued Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt in a last-ditch effort to halt the Nov. 1 implementation.

Lowe said he expects the third time will be the charm.

Since the law took effect, Lowe said there have been shootings at Oklahoma City’s Penn Square Mall, an individual has walked into a restaurant armed with an assault rifle and a young child discovered a firearm inside a bathroom.

“I feel like the momentum is there,” Lowe said. “Everyone is ready and fired up to get this done.”

Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, which championed the permitless carry measure, said he’s not surprised that there’s such an “aggressive effort” to try to take away the constitutional right.

“We just find it amusing that a legislator that has never owned, fired or even held in their hand a firearm, (would) work so hard to make sure peaceful, law-abiding citizens cannot carry a firearm,” Spencer said.

He said there are always “idiot” people who will commit crimes regardless of the law, he said.

“For the most part, I don’t think you’re going to see anything different than what you’re seeing before,” Spencer said.

Spencer said it’ll take a year to get the state’s crime statistics.

Those ultimately will provide a good measure of how well the law is working, he said.

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