Broken Arrow lawmaker's bill would defy federal gun laws
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Friday, January 18, 2013
1/18/13 at 5:36 AM
Follow the gun debate: Read complete coverage of the issue.
A freshman state senator from Broken Arrow has filed legislation challenging the federal government's authority to regulate weapons in any way.
Sen. Nathan Dahm's Senate Bill 548 says that "the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms free from infringement; that federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations, bans, or registration requirements regarding firearms constitute an infringement on the individual right, are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers, and are hereby declared to be invalid in the State of Oklahoma, shall not be recognized by this state, are specially rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state."
Dahm said he believes that the U.S. Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing any restrictions on guns in any way.
"The Constitution says, 'The right to bear arms shall not be infringed,' " he said.
The precise meaning of the 2nd Amendment - which says in full that "a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" - is hotly debated. Dahm said it should be up to states to decide which federal gun laws it will enforce.
The bill also makes trying to enforce a federal law deemed unacceptable by the state a felony punishable by as much as five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Dahm said the bill was requested in December, long before the gun control measures proposed Wednesday by President Barack Obama, but that he "tweaked" it in anticipation of Obama's response to the Dec. 14 shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Conn.
Dahm said Obama's program of legislation and executive orders is "not about curbing gun violence, it is about controlling guns."
Dahm introduced two other gun-related bills. One, SB 401 contradicts a federal law banning guns within 1,000 feet of a school. Dahm's bill would allow "a person who has not been convicted of a violent felony crime and who is lawfully able to own or possess a firearm under the Oklahoma Constitution" to carry firearms inside the gun-free zone.
Dahm said the bill's primary intent is preventing people from being prosecuted for inadvertently violating the federal law.
SB 552 would allow nonfelons 21 or older to carry pistols in their vehicles for protection.
Several other gun-related bills have been filed ahead of Thursday's deadline for this session, including a House bill with 15 sponsors that declares any guns or ammunition manufactured in the state for use in the state exempt from federal regulation.
The measure is similar to one adopted by Montana in 2009. That law is widely seen as a challenge to federal authority on firearms.
A federal district judge rejected a challenge to that law on technical grounds without addressing the core issue. The matter is on appeal with the Ninth Circuit.
Original Print Headline: Bill would defy federal gun laws
Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365