Residents in Oklahoma may soon be able to carry guns without a permit or license.
If that sounds shocking, know this: People in 12 other states can already do so.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 1212, already approved by the state House, now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican who’s said she supports the Second Amendment. Fallin is now reviewing the measure, her spokesperson told CNN affiliate KFOR.
The legislation applies to gun owners who are at least 21 and to military service members or veterans who are at least 18. It wouldn’t allow anyone to take a gun into places where state law prohibits them.
Already the law in 12 states
The Oklahoma bill is similar to so-called constitutional carry laws in 12 other states — Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming — where residents are free to carry guns without permits or licenses, according to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and the Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence.
Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, the Republican who sponsored the bill, said forcing gun owners to secure permits and licenses infringes upon their Second Amendment rights.
“This is the only right that we require people to preemptively go and do a background check, go through the fingerprinting process, the licensing process, jump through all those hoops in order to exercise their constitutional protective right, and the Second Amendment is the one right that says ‘shall not be infringed,'” Dahm told KFOR.
Opponents offered a variety of arguments, including that the measure would hinder law enforcement officials’ ability to contain criminal suspects, that it would deny the state a critical revenue source and that its vetting process was rushed, KFOR reported.
“Permitless carry is an incredibly dangerous policy that will make it easier for people with violent histories to be armed in public,” said Alyson King, a volunteer with the Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.