Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill Monday that would have hindered the ability of businesses to ban guns at events held at parks, recreational areas and fairgrounds.
Sen. Jack Fry, R-Midwest City, author of Senate Bill 41, said he was not sure whether he would launch a veto override attempt.
“It would be futile to attempt it if there weren’t enough votes to begin with,” Fry said.
The bill passed the Senate, 39-7, and passed the House, 88-4. But that was before concerns arose in the business community that the bill could jeopardize events that pump millions of dollars into the economy.
Roy Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said events that could have been imperiled included the NCAA basketball tournament, Women’s College World Series softball and horse shows at the State Fair Park. Businesses that run such events often contractually require that guns be prohibited.
“To some, the stipulations outlined in this bill may sound good on paper, but they have many unintended consequences that will hurt Oklahoma’s visitor and events industries,” he said.
In her veto statement, Fallin said she is a supporter of Second Amendment gun rights but felt it wouldn’t be proper to pass this bill because it addresses an issue now being litigated.
“Our constitution clearly prohibits the Legislature from passing legislation that would ‘take away a cause of action, or destroy an existing defense’ to a suit that has already commenced,” Fallin said.
This state cracks me. It doesn't bother our politicians that Oklahoma has one of the highest gun death rates in the country. We don't care that guns are dangerous, deadly weapons. No, the only time we're for gun control is when it brings NCAA events to town and lets our business community profit on the hard work and effort of "amateur" athletes.
The veto upset Kevin "Fantastic Sam's" Calvey. Remember him? He's the guy who threatened to set himself on fire...
Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City, a co-author of the bill, said some of the business concerns were overblown.
“It’s pretty clear under existing law that any structure or building under lease by a government entity, that you can’t carry guns in there anyway,” he said.
He said the bill would have supported those who legally carry guns.
“Oklahoma City already has a significant problem with crime, and law-abiding citizens have the right, constitutionally and morally, to defend themselves against these bad people,” he said.
“So disarming the public is not a wise strategy for deterring crime or being able to promote economic development or anything else.”
Yeah, Oklahoma City has a significant problem with crime, so let's make it legal to bring guns to the parks, Thunder games, and best of all, the Great State Fair of Oklahoma. Uhm, I don't feel safe going to the fair as it is. I don't think letting the fair folk pack heat will change things.