OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Democratic state representative from Oklahoma City and other advocates for more restrictive gun laws filed a lawsuit Monday challenging a new Oklahoma law that will allow people to carry firearms without a background check or training.
State Rep. Jason Lowe sued in Oklahoma County, arguing the law violates a state constitutional requirement that bills deal with only one subject matter.
"This fight is far from over," Lowe said at a news conference. "We believe this law is dangerous."
Dubbed "constitutional carry" by its supporters, the bill signed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt would allow most adults to carry firearms, concealed or openly, without the currently required background check or training. Exceptions would include anyone in the country illegally or those convicted of certain crimes. Firearms would still be prohibited in certain locations, including public buildings, schools, professional sporting events, casinos and bars. The bill, which was the first Stitt signed into law, is scheduled to take effect Nov. 1.
Lowe and other advocates for tighter gun laws already fell short of gathering enough signatures to send the issue to a vote of the people.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for Lowe and the other plaintiffs argue that the bill deals not just with carrying firearms, but also with self-defense, a campus weapons ban, the transportation of firearms, preemption and other subjects.
"In short, like the numerous acts of the Legislature that have previously been struck down for violating the single-subject rule, HB 2597 addresses 'multiple subjects that are not germane, relative and cognate to a common theme and purpose," the lawsuit states.
Stitt's office declined to comment while the lawsuit is pending.
One of the law's biggest proponents, Don Spencer, executive director of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, said he believes Lowe's attempt is a last-ditch effort to derail the law and that it will ultimately fail.
"We're considering it kind of a Hail Mary attempt, and we're confident the attorney general's office will deal with it appropriately, and constitutional carry will go into effect on Nov. 1, as scheduled," Spencer said.