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Charlie T Waite

Oklahoma Lawmakers Ban Enforcement of Red Flag Laws with SB1081

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Oklahoma lawmakers passed a law to block enforcement of Red Flag Laws (RFL) or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) in the state with SB1081. 

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia currently have some form of RFL or ERPO. Unfortunately, this dangerous concept is gaining traction among ill-informed Congressional members, as we've seen in the disastrous Federal Gunpocalypse bill and in supportive commentary by President Trump, among other attempts.

Seeing this problem, and seeking to safeguard Oklahomans from these terrible abrogations of due process, SB1081 was signed into law in Oklahoma. The law completely preempts the field of red flag laws, barring "any agency of this state or any political subdivision in this state...from accepting any grants or funding to implement any statute, rule or executive order, judicial order or judicial findings that would have the effect of forcing an extreme risk protection order against or upon a citizen of this state."

This preemptive effort to safeguard the people of Oklahoma was pursued by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jay Steagall, which the OK legislature did overwhelmingly vote to pass. House votes were 77-14 and Senate votes were 34-9, both with a few Excused or Vacant votes. This does leave Oklahomans with 23 troubling representatives to deal with but the overall vote count is a significant win for protecting liberty. 

At Firearms Policy Coalition, it's no secret that we absolutely oppose red flag or ERPO laws for a number of reasons. Red flag laws are not new – various jurisdictions began enacting them in 1999, and there are eighteen of them in place to date. However, in the wake of recent tragedies, both Republicans and Democrats, like Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal, have been pushing for these at both the state and federal levels.

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