March 01, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
Recent progress on Second Amendment legislation in Oklahoma shows how important a single election can be to the right to keep and bear arms.
On Wednesday, SB 631, known as the Second Amendment Sanctuary Act, was approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee by a 9-2 vote. Authored by state Sen. Warren Hamilton, the measure would designate Oklahoma as a Second Amendment Sanctuary State, preempting any future federal legislation from infringing on the Second Amendment-protected rights of state citizens. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
“SB 631 re-affirms our recognition of the self-evident truth that in America, power resides with the people and re-affirms our oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the author said. “It will serve as a wall of protection around our God-given, Constitutionally-protected, right to keep and bear arms.”
Interestingly, not only is the legislation favored by Oklahoma gun owners, but many of the state’s county sheriffs are also throwing their support behind the measure. Currently 14 sheriffs have voiced their support of the bill.
SB 631 is just one of several pro-Second Amendment measures that have a good chance of passage in the Sooner State legislature this year. And that’s where the election mentioned earlier comes into play.
In recent years, sanctuary state legislation and other measures designed to protect the right to keep and bears arms have been proposed repeatedly. Yet, most were never considered in committee because the Republican leadership in the legislature opposed them, according to Don Spencer, head of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.
Spencer said to ensure the bills had no chance of passage, Republican leaders would assign them to committees where they knew the committee head would never let the measure be heard. In large part, that was State Sen. Wayne Shaw’s Public Safety Committee, where pro-2A bills frequently met their death without being considered..
However, a concerted effort by OK2A and Sooner State gun owners resulted in Shaw being ousted in last year’s Republican primary by a more Second Amendment-friendly lawmaker. That single election result led to that same bill-killing committee approving the sanctuary measure 9-2, rather than just pocketing it.
It seems elections have consequences, indeed, and sometimes they are good ones.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.