Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Gov. Henry Vetoes Gun Exemption Bill

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Gov. Henry Vetoes Gun Exemption Bill

Article excerpt

Saying it would give criminals easy access to a wide array of weapons, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed Senate Bill 1685, a measure that would have exempted Oklahoma-made guns and ammunition from federal criminal background checks and other regulatory safeguards.

Henry vetoed the bill Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and have earned an A rating from the NRA (National Rifle Association), but this legislation does nothing to protect an individual's right to bear arms," the governor said. "What it does do is endanger citizens and law enforcement officers. It abolishes common-sense regulations like background checks and gives criminals easy access to a wide array of weapons. This law would harm Oklahomans, not protect them."

Henry said law enforcement officials were concerned about the bill. In House floor debate, state Rep. Paul Roan, D-Tishomingo, called the measure a "bad, bad law" that will make "law enforcement in Oklahoma a very dangerous job."

"It's going to put weapons back on the street that have been made illegal over the years," said Roan, a retired state trooper.

Henry also predicted the law would be challenged in court. He said there would be no way to guarantee that Oklahoma-made guns and ammo would remain in state and said the law would violate the Interstate Commerce Act and would be declared unconstitutional.

"Any state effort to selectively ignore federal laws will certainly draw a legal challenge and result in a costly court battle that the state cannot win," Henry said. "It simply makes no sense to continue to pass unconstitutional measures that run up legal bills and waste taxpayers' money."

In addition to SB 1685, Henry also vetoed Senate Bill 2008, which would have stripped the state attorney general's office of the authority to write ballot titles and transferred that authority to the legislative leadership. …

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