On Tuesday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a number of new bills into state law — most notably, Senate Bill 1081. This important legislation is an anti-red-flag law, which will prevent Oklahoma cities and towns from enacting policies that would allow a court or other entity to restrict gun access to law-abiding citizens.
State Rep. Jay Steagall, who co-authored the legislation, said Oklahoma’s bill is an effort to get ahead of red flag laws created across the country: “We’ve seen 17 other states enact some sort of red flag law — whether it was at the state level, county level or municipality level — that obviously dealt with infringing on due process,” Rep. Steagall said.
And Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, told Tulsa World, “It is needed because the due process has been ignored in taking firearms from otherwise lawful people. All it takes is a mad neighbor or an upset relative to make a claim against a person and have [his or her] firearms taken away from [him or her] without any … due process.”
Spencer and Rep. Steagall are exactly right, and Gov. Stitt should be commended for signing this legislation into law.
Red Flag Laws on the Books
At a time when well-funded anti-gun groups have been pressuring lawmakers around the country to pass these so-called “red flag laws,” violating the Second Amendment and due process rights of Americans, this is a welcome move from the state of Oklahoma and one that other states should follow.
Unfortunately, red flag laws are currently on the books in one form or another in the District of Columbia and 17 states. Those include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. While they vary somewhat by state, most such laws allow family members or other acquaintances to ask a judge to confiscate firearms from someone they believe poses a threat to safety … often without any due process.
The USCCA will continue to stand behind any law-abiding, responsibly armed American who faces an unfounded red flag situation and will oppose legislative efforts that allow for the confiscation of firearms without due process.
As USCCA President Tim Schmidt has said previously, “We must ensure that dangerous persons with mental illnesses do not have access to firearms, but that cannot come at the expense of allowing our government to target law-abiding Americans and confiscate their firearms without due process.”