A Gov. Mary Fallin veto will keep SB 1212 from becoming law. Fallin vetoed the measure, which would have allowed permit-free carrying of firearms in Oklahoma, today.
Fallin released a statement explaining her veto at 5:55 p.m.
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.
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.
SB 1212 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.
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.
Other bills befall Fallin veto
Fallin vetoed four bills the night of Thursday, May 3, hours after the Legislature adjourned sine die. Each bill is linked to the governor’s veto message for it.
The Fallin veto of SB 1190 and HB 2661 each drew criticism from affected parties.
Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister released a statement the following morning about SB 1190.
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“It is deeply troubling that the governor would veto a bill that ensured the validity of the Reading Sufficiency Act. Her veto of SB 1190 threatens to severely undermine high standards and create confusion at a time when educators desperately need stability,” she said. “I am particularly alarmed because these were changes recommended by the Oklahoma Technical Advisory Committee of assessment experts, as well as a committee of Oklahoma veteran educators with direct involvement in the process. The recommendation was then unanimously adopted by the Commission on Educational Quality and Accountability, which was chaired by Gov. Fallin’s then-Secretary of Education and included her appointed commissioners.”
The Cherokee Nation criticized Fallin for vetoing HB 2661.
“This is a slap in the face to the 38 federally recognized tribal governments in Oklahoma,” said Rep. Chuck Hoskin (D-Vinita). “As Indian people, we have an undeniable impact here in Oklahoma. Tribes make significant contributions, both financially and culturally, to our home state.”
In her veto message on HB 2661, Fallin said:
I believe combining a new Native American Day designation with the current Columbus Day holiday could be viewed as an intentional attempt to diminish the long-standing support of November being proclaimed annually as Native American Heritage Month in Oklahoma, and the third Monday in November as “Oklahoma Native American Day” as defined in 25 O.S. 2011, Section 90.12.
Three other bills vetoed Friday
HB 1401 would have created a savings fund intended to mitigate spikes and dips in the state’s gross production tax receipts on oil and gas drilling. It would have implemented language providing a statutory framework in the instance that State Question 800 passes in November. That state question, outlined in SJR 35, would create the “Vision Fund” using 5 percent of annual GPT revenues, a portion of which would then be available for appropriation annually.
“Gov. Fallin’s veto is both surprising and confusing in a lot of respects. With constitutional changes like we would have if State Question 800 passes, we would need to make statutory changes as well,” bill author Rep. John Michael Montgomery (R-Lawton) said Friday evening. “The objective of these changes is to mitigate the ebb and flow of our oil and gas industry and the impact it has on our revenue.”
Fallin sent the following veto statement about HB 1401 to House of Representatives members:
(Update: This story was updated at 6:08 p.m. Friday, May 11, to adjust the headline. It was updated again at 7:55 p.m. to include information about other bills vetoed Friday.)