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gun control

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned onThursday night, ending its yearly session three weeks before the constitutional deadline on May 25.  

After two special sessions left over from last year’s budget woes, a teacher protest that lasted almost two weeks and more than a year of struggling to find funds for state services, lawmakers passed a $7.6 billion dollar state budget in April, the largest in state history.  Here’s a few more of state lawmakers’ accomplishments this year.

 

Teacher Pay Raise:

Rod Waddington / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry firearms in public without getting permission from the state is on Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

State senators gave Senate Bill 1212 their final approval late Wednesday night on a measure that allows gun owners to carry their firearms openly or hidden from view without a permit, passing state background checks or paying the related fees. They also won’t have to take 16 hours of firearms safety training currently required before carrying a gun in public.

Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

The victims number in the hundreds across Oklahoma every year, each one a casualty of the state’s epidemic of suicide by firearms.

The youngest last year was a 12-year-old Spiro boy.  The oldest was a 97-year-old Bartlesville man.  Both died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, state data show.

A customer enters a Citibank, Thursday, March 16, 2017 in New York.
Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

National banking giant Citibank announced on March 21 that it would require retail clients to no longer sell firearms to customers under the age of 21. The bank is also requiring clients to no longer sell bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. The bank also condemned gun violence and what the financial institution considers a lack of action by lawmakers.

The training centers on three points. McBride says people need to plan for a “fight or flight” response during shootings and other deadly emergencies. “They’ve got to be able to either get out or fight and not just stand there and freeze,” he said.  Next,
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gunshots ring through the chapel of First United Methodist Church. An instructional video simulating shooting rampages plays on a projector screen hanging above the pulpit between two banners that read “Good Shepherd” and “Lion of Judah.”

Amber Ross / AP Images

Oklahoma lawmakers enacted legislation in 2015 that lets school employees, including teachers, carry guns on campus. Okay Public Schools, near Tahlequah, appears to be the only district in the state that uses the law to arm its staff.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

Every year, Oklahoma state lawmakers propose legislation to make carrying guns easier and push back on attempts to constrain gun ownership.

Yet nationally, firearms and momentum for stricter gun control continue to be high-profile issues that draw widespread attention after each mass shooting, whether in Nevada, Texas or Florida.

President Obama speaks Jan. 5, 2016 during a White House announcement of new executive actions to try to reduce gun violence.
The White House / Twitter

All seven members of Oklahoma’s Congress delegation criticized President Obama’s executive action to try to reduce gun violence.

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla. 5) says the president doesn’t have the right to prohibit the public from protecting their lives, liberty, and property, and said in a social media post Congress will stand in the way of an executive who doesn’t uphold the constitution.

normanmusicfestival.com

A decision by organizers of a popular music festival in Norman to ban weapons during an upcoming three-day concert has prompted a lawsuit by a gun rights group whose members want to carry their firearms at the outdoor concert.

The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Cleveland County seeking to stop the ban from taking effect during the festival next weekend in the city's downtown area. The association claims the city has no right to prohibit people from carrying concealed or even openly displayed firearms on city property.

Emily Allen / Flickr.com

Oklahoma and twenty other states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and a limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

Blind Noman / Flickr.com

A Norman high school was locked down briefly after police got into a foot chase with a student suspected of selling marijuana.

Norman Public Schools spokeswoman Shelly Hickman says Norman North High School was placed on lockdown for about 45 minutes Monday afternoon while police took the male student into custody.

Hickman says police and school administrators were interviewing the student Monday afternoon when the student got up and ran from the room.

The school was briefly placed on lockdown while police chased the student and then detained him.

Scott Beale / Flickr.com

The author of an interim study concerning guns on college and university campuses urged higher education officials Wednesday to work with him in finding a middle ground or face the likelihood that weapons would be allowed with few restrictions.

Scott Beale / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says a new state law could affect people who are applying for gun licenses this year.

The agency said Tuesday that the law going into effect Nov. 1 modifies the state's Self-Defense Act, making certificates expire after three years. Previously, the certificates did not expire.

OSBI says residents who have completed a gun safety training course should begin the application process for a license as soon as possible.

Matteo Paciotti / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma City city council has approved a liquor license for a new gun range expected to open this spring.

KOKH reports that councilors approved the liquor license for Wilshire Gun Range on Tuesday.

The 40,000-square-foot establishment includes 24 firearm lanes, 10 archery lanes and a cafe where food and alcohol will be served.

Wilshire Gun co-owner Jeff Swanson says customers' driver's licenses will be flagged once they order a drink, preventing them from drinking alcohol before entering the shooting facilities.

Emily Allen / Flickr.com

Legislation that authorizes persons with concealed handgun licenses to store their handgun in a locked vehicle on school parking lots has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

The bill is among eight bills that Fallin signed into law Friday.

For gun control advocates hoping to see federal gun laws tighten after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., 2013 was a disheartening year. A narrow provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate.

For gun rights activists, the death of that legislation proved once more their single-issue intensity and decades-long grass-roots organizing were enough to prevail. Those are also valuable lessons for their opponents.

A 'Voice' For Lost Children

John Morse was president of the Colorado Senate until September, when he became the first elected official recalled in the state's history.

Three months later, he's climbing the rotunda steps of the gold-domed Capitol building — his office for seven years. He hasn't been here since October. Gazing up at the dome, he says, "This is one of my favorite things to do. That's my version of smelling the roses."

Morse's political career ended over the gun bills he pushed through these chambers eight months ago. But he says he would do it all again.

jczart / Flickr.com

A 19-year-old has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for planning an attack at Bartlesville High School that was never carried out.

The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise reports Sammie Eaglebear Chavez was sentenced Tuesday by Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp.

He was convicted in September of planning a mass shooting and bombing, though no attack was carried out. The jury recommended the 30-month sentence.

State Rep. Mike Shelton (D-Oklahoma City)
Oklahoma House

A Democratic state representative from northeast Oklahoma City says he's canceled plans for a study of the state's gun laws because several gun rights groups declined to participate.

State Rep. Mike Shelton says he planned to host an interim legislative study on Tuesday to look at both the state's open carry law, which allows licensed adults to openly display a handgun, and the "Stand Your Ground" law that allows the use of deadly force.

"I don't know why he did what he did and I'll never be able to ask him why," Cathleen Alexis, mother of the man who authorities say killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, said in a statement she read to the media at midday Wednesday.

CNN has audio of her comments, in which she also says that "Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad."

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