, Muskogee, OK

January 28, 2013

State should stick to state gun laws

— Oklahoma legislators should stick to trying to increase gun owners’ rights without foolish attempts to separate us from the federal government.

The Legislature begins its next session Monday with nearly 50 gun rights bills being proposed between the two houses.

The bills are in reaction to President Barack Obama’s attempts to restrict access to some weapons.

Oklahoma has a long history with firearms.

Oklahoma is a hunting state.

There are many supporters of gun rights and gun ownership here.

That’s true.

And legislators should review some of the existing laws regarding guns.

The proposed bills could make it easier for people to carry firearms and to carry them into government meetings, state parks and public schools.

Each of those bills deserve to be judged on their individual merits.

But at least two of the bills go too far already.

One would make Oklahoma-made guns and ammunition exempt from federal legislation.

Another would declare the federal government has no right to regulate firearms in Oklahoma and that any attempt to do so “shall be considered null and void and of no effect to the state.” The bill also would have violators face up to five years in prison.

Oklahoma does not have the right to ignore federal law.

No state does.

Even if it were constitutionally possible, the effects would cripple our state.

Oklahoma could not survive without the return of some of the money our taxpayers send to Washington.

The federal government sways back and forth depending on the makeup of Congress and who sits in the White House.

A Republican president and Congress almost assuredly will sway away from any Obama laws.

Therefore, Oklahoma legislators should stick to effecting change in the gun rights we can control.

Any talk of ignoring federal law by our legislators is a childish waste of time.