OKLAHOMA CITY — Critics of a law going into effect Nov. 1 to allow people to carry a weapon without a permit or training filed a lawsuit Monday in Oklahoma County District Court.

The action comes after critics failed to get enough signatures to let voters decide to nullify or keep the law.

Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, is one of five of the plaintiffs. He called the law “dangerous.”

Lowe said the law violates the single-subject requirement of the Oklahoma Constitution.

The single-subject rule requires that every bill embrace only one subject.

The suit says the measure addresses far more than one subject, including self-defense, a campus weapons ban, undocumented immigrants, transportation, preemption, disclosure to law enforcement and immunity.

The suit seeks a declaration that the law, House Bill 2597, is unconstitutional. The measure is also known as “constitutional carry” and “permitless carry.”

Plaintiffs have asked the court to issue an order barring the law from taking effect.

“We are excited,” Lowe said. “We are looking forward to challenging this dangerous law.”

Lowe spearheaded the failed attempt to let voters decide the issue.

Gov. Kevin Stitt is named as the defendant.

House Bill 2597 was the first measure he signed after taking office in January.

“The Governor’s Office is reviewing the lawsuit,” said Baylee Lakey, his communications director. “It is the policy of the Governor’s Office to not comment on ongoing litigation.”

A spokesman for Attorney General Mike Hunter, who is charged with defending the law, said the office is reviewing the filing.

“The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association sees this as another Hail Mary attempt to stop constitutional carry,” said Don Spencer, the association’s president. “We do not feel this breaks the single-subject rule and look forward to the Attorney General’s Office defending it.”

Lowe said if the lawsuit fails, critics could seek to get enough signatures again to get the measure before voters.

“Everything is on the table,” Lowe said. “Hopefully we are successful. We believe we have a great case.”

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Barbara Hoberock




Twitter: @bhoberock

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