Gun control struggles for momentum in Oklahoma after Tulsa shooting
In the wake of several mass shootings, Oklahoma has yet to pass legislation related to gun safety. Many legislators across the nation have come up with new, bipartisan proposals to curb gun violence. However, in Oklahoma the lack of bipartisanship plays a large role in the failure to implement policy.
After four people were killed in the Saint Francis Hospital shooting in Tulsa on June 1, House Democrats called for increased public safety measures and gun regulation. However, the opposing parties could not have been further apart. Republican State Rep. Justin Humphrey said there is “absolutely no appetite” among Republicans, who control the state House and Senate, to increase restrictions for law-abiding gun owners.
Humphrey went as far as to say he was angered that Democrats would lessen the focus on the problems of society and instead focus on stripping rights from law-abiding citizens. He claimed the majority of the Republican Party would protect the freedoms of their citizens.
The only bill that came close to becoming law was Senate Bill 1366, which would have required gun owners to store their firearms either pointed up or pointed down. The author claims that the bill was requested by law enforcement agencies and was aimed toward preventing members of the public from pointing guns at law enforcement officials. Originally it got past the Senate and passed a House committee unanimously, but never reached the House floor for a vote.
“Nothing would change, the gun market in the United States is too big,” said Madison Winter, a transfer student from Texas to UCO. Winter also said she had grown “used to the violence” and believed systematic change was the best solution.
“Things needed to change, but taking away the right to protect yourself isn’t it,” said Ted Huffman.
House Democrats have remained determined that a bipartisan bill fitting for both sides would soon come to the floor.