Senator Gene Stipe has become the second Oklahoma State Senator ever to receive the National Rifle Association's "Defender of Freedom" award for his "long-standing record as a defender of the Second Amendment." The special award was presented to Stipe in a ceremony last Friday.
"Senator Stipe has been a long time supporter of the right to keep and bear arms and we look forward to his continued support on behalf of Oklahoma's gun owners," said Tanya K. Metaksa, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action.
"We are indebted to Senator Stipe for his hard work to secure Second Amendment rights for all law-abiding citizens in Oklahoma."
Stipe was instrumental in the passage of the "Oklahoma Self-Defense Act," a measure that allows Oklahomans, who have completed a handgun safety course and a background check, to carry a concealed weapon.
"Oklahomans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I have always fought to uphold that right and I will continue to use my position in the State Senate to protect that right in the years to come," said Stipe, D-McAlester.
Stipe received the award at a joint meeting of the Oklahoma Sportsmen's Association and the Pittsburg County Coonhunters Association.
"The men and women at this meeting are representative of the responsible, law-abiding gun owners you will find throughout Southeastern Oklahoma," he said. "It is for these honest and reliable Oklahomans that I support the Second Amendment."
The NRA established the "Defender of Freedom" award in 1995 to recognize state legislators and governors who recognize the failures of gun control and ardently support the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens.