Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday vetoed the “Constitutional Carry” bill that, if passed, would have enabled handgun owners in the state to carry without first obtaining a permit.
The NRA had supported the bill's passage and had urged Fallin to sign it.
While Oklahoma “is a state that respects the Second Amendment,” Fallin said in a statement, she chose to veto the bill, also known as Senate Bill 1212, because “the firearms requirement we current have in state law are few and reasonable.”
“Oklahoma is a state that respects the Second Amendment. As governor, I have signed both concealed-carry and open-carry legislation. I support the right to bear arms and own a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun,” the statement read.
“Oklahomans believe that law-abiding individuals should be able to defend themselves. I believe the firearms requirement we current have in state law are few and reasonable. Senate Bill 1212 eliminates the training requirements for persons carrying a firearms in Oklahoma. It reduces the level of the background check necessary to carry a gun,” it continued.
Fallin added that the bill “eliminates the current ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to distinguish between those carrying guns who have been trained and vetted, and those who have not,” echoing an argument that many lawmakers who opposed the mandate, such as Democratic state Rep. Shane Stone, made while the bill was debated.
The mandate is “anti-safety and anti-law enforcement” and “too far out there,” Stone previously told Fox News.
“Again, I believe the firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal, and serve to reassure our citizens that people who are carrying handguns in this state are qualified to do so,” Fallin’s statement ended.
The bill passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives in a 59-28 vote in late April. It passed the state’s Senate on May 2 in a 33-9 vote. At the time, some lawmakers expected Fallin to pass the legislation, while the bill’s author, Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, was wary that Fallin would choose to veto Constitutional Carry because “she had vetoed other gun legislation in the past,” he told Fox News at the time.
Some 11 other states have passed similar legislation, which, if implemented in Oklahoma, would have “eliminated the requirement to complete a short firearms safety and training course from a certified instructor and demonstrate competency with a pistol before carrying a gun in public,” according to the governor’s office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.