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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.

Mike Stewart / AP Images

Killing another person can have legal consequences even when the shooter says it was self-defense.

The state Legislature is moving to guard Oklahomans in places of worship from prosecution if they use deadly force to defend themselves during religious services.

The Senate on Thursday followed the House in passing House Bill 2632, which extends protections provided under the state’s "stand your ground law to places of worship.

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.

Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

Across the country, criminals are arming themselves in unexpected ways. In Florida, they’re stealing guns from unlocked cars and gun stores. In other places, they’re getting them from the police themselves, as cash-strapped departments sell their used weapons to buy new ones. On this episode of Reveal, we learn where criminals get their guns and what cars can teach us about gun safety.

Families struggling to cope with the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, have taken a number of steps to pay tribute to their lost loved ones — starting charities in kids’ names, speaking out about gun violence and simply spreading kindness.

Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general, gestures as he speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 8, 2013.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma attorney general has issued an opinion that out-of-state handgun licenses obtained by Oklahomans online are as valid as Oklahoma-issued handgun licenses, even if the other state has more lenient requirements.

The opinion, released Friday, states that Oklahoma residents with a “non-resident” handgun license from another state, such as Virginia, and Utah, are as valid as Oklahoma's concealed handgun license.

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, left, talks to House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, before Gov. Mary Fallin delivered her State of the State address, February 1, 2016.
J. Pat Carter / AP

Shortly after noon Friday, the Oklahoma Senate adjourned sine die. At the same time, members of the House entered the third hour of questions on the $6.8 billion budget bill to fund state government for the 2017 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The 2011 Norman Music Festival
Rob Bennett / Flickr

It's springtime in Oklahoma, festival season is getting underway, and two of the Metro's biggest kicked off this week.

The eighth Norman Music Festival opened Thursday night - with one of the most controversial lead-ups in recent memory.

A loophole in Oklahoma law allows individuals to obtain a valid handgun license without ever firing a practice shot or picking up a gun.

Scores of Oklahomans have avoided the state’s requirement to take live firearm training with a licensed instructor in order to obtain a license to carry a concealed or visible handgun. The applicants instead apply for a license in a state such as Virginia that requires the applicant only to take an online quiz and pass a background check, which Oklahoma also requires. Oklahoma recognizes licenses granted in other states.

Emily Allen / Flickr.com

A recently filed bill would allow state gun owners to own firearms made and kept in Oklahoma without registering them with the federal government.

SB0010 was filed by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid. It would create the Firearms Manufacturer Relocation to Oklahoma Act, which would exempt guns made and sold in the state from any federal law, taxation or regulation under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

The bill also states that certain materials imported into the state for the manufacturing of firearms or firearm accessories to not make those firearms subject to federal regulation.

Anderson said the purpose of his bill is to appeal to gun makers nationally and attract their businesses into the local economy.

“The primary goal is to say, ‘Come to Oklahoma,’” Anderson said. “Oklahoma’s a gun friendly state and we’d love to have their businesses and employees here in Oklahoma.”

Emily Allen / Flickr.com

The State Regents for Higher Education will again consider the issue of concealed carry on campus, according to Chancellor Glen D. Johnson.

Johnson said Wednesday the regents expect a “fairly active interim,”  and will consider a joint interim study authored by Rep. John Enns, R-Waukomis, and Sens. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie and Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, about concealed carry on college and university campuses.

katsrcool / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Senate has voted to override Gov. Mary Fallin's veto of a House bill dealing with federal gun regulations.

The Senate voted 39-0 Thursday to override. The House voted 86-3 on April 30 for the veto override and the bill now becomes law without the governor's signature.

The bill requires law enforcement authorities to certify within 15 days that a firearm applicant is eligible to receive it under federal regulations.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to override a veto by Gov. Mary Fallin of a House bill dealing with federal regulations over firearms.

The move is the latest signal of the growing tension between the Republican governor and the GOP-controlled House.

It's an hour before suppertime, and the line outside Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., is wrapped around the building. The people are waiting for more than a Bible sermon; there's a raffle tonight. Twenty-five guns are up for grabs.

There's nothing new about gun raffles in Kentucky, even at a church. Last year, there were 50 events like this one in the state. The Kentucky Baptist Convention says it's a surefire way to get new people through church doors.

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.

As parents send their kids off to school this fall, many are wondering what's been done since last year to make sure they're safe.

Many schools have embraced new security measures since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, from uniformed police on hallway patrol to shatterproof laminated windows.

'How Could This Have Happened?'

Bob Gay of Newtown, Conn., has a tattoo on his arm of his daughter Josephine's footprints as a baby and the number "2560," for the number of days she was alive.

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

A Democratic lawmaker from Oklahoma City says he intends to convene an interim study in the fall to conduct a review of the state's so-called "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law and open carry laws.

Rep. Mike Shelton said Wednesday he wants to bring together members from law enforcement, the mental health community and others to examine if Oklahoma firearms laws "best suit our needs and our situation."

Based on Florida's law, Oklahoma's "Stand Your Ground" law essentially allows law abiding citizens who are attacked in public to use deadly force if they feel threatened.

A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it's not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the rifle, which is so effective that some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public.

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