The full Senate has given approval to legislation preventing cities or state government from disarming citizens during a state of emergency. State Sen. Anthony Sykes is the principal author of Senate Bill 1760. Sykes said the bill would prevent what happened in New Orleans just a few years ago.
“After Hurricane Katrina, the City of New Orleans actually began taking guns away from citizens. Instead of focusing on helping citizens who were completely vulnerable and in dire need of assistance, they were disarming people,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “The civil defense procedures and police department were clearly not functioning as they should have. Storm victims were becoming crime victims--they needed to be able to protect themselves.”
Should the governor declare an emergency, SB 1760 would prevent the state or any municipality from prohibiting or suspending the sale, ownership, possession, transportation, carrying, transfer and storage of firearms, ammunition and ammunition accessories that are legal under state law.
Sykes said the legislation was requested by the National Rifle Association.
“As a lifetime member of the NRA, I was very pleased to make sure this important issue was addressed in our statutes,” Sykes said. “If Oklahoma ever faces an event as catastrophic as Katrina, it would be more important than ever for our citizens to be able to protect themselves.”
SB 1760 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.