This weekend is the last big push for signing a referendum for State Question 803 which would stop the law for the open carrying of a gun from going into effect on Nov. 1. The referendum petition calls for Oklahomans to vote on the issue in 2020.
All petition signatures need to be turned in by Monday to meet the Aug. 29 deadline with the Secretary of State. About 59,000 signatures are needed to put SQ 803 on the ballot.
Oklahoma is set to become the 32nd state allowing the open carrying of a handgun without any license or permit. Fifteen states require some form of license or permit in order to openly carry a handgun, according to Gifford's Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
House Bill 2597 was signed into law this year to allow public open carrying of a gun without a permit, training, or background checks.
Being able to walk openly holding a gun in a park is wrong, said Dana Shadid, a supporter of SQ 803. HB2597 does not allow municipalities from regulating open carry in city parks, Shadid continued.
“To me that’s just the furthest extreme you can go when you’re trying to have reasonable gun control,” Shadid said.
There are some nuances in the law limiting open carry depending if its a city park or a park held in public trust, said Liz Wilson, Edmond legislative lead for Moms Demand Action.
“We have had such a phenomenal reaction from all over the state,” Wilson said. “We are really hopeful, and Rep. Jason Lowe and those assisting him are just starting to do the count.”
Wilson has collected more than 200 signatures. She visited the University of Central Oklahoma campus this week to find that many students were not aware of changes in the law.
For signing locations and times, visit the Facebook page: Oklahoma Veto Referendum — VETO Permitless Carry https://www.facebook.com/NoOn803/.