Second Amendment Sanctuary bill approved by committee

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Feb. 25—A bill to declare Oklahoma a Second Amendment Sanctuary state will head to the Senate.

District 7 State Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, authored Senate Bill 631 as "state preemption of federal infringement of Second Amendment rights." The Senate's Committee on Public Safety approved with a 9-2 vote to move the bill forward.

If the Senate votes to approve, the bill would immediately become law.

Hamilton represents Pittsburg, Latimer and Haskell counties, and portions of Hughes and Okfuskee counties — all of which are among 31 of Oklahoma's 77 counties to file Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.

The bill calls the U.S. Constitution the supreme law of the land and emphasizes unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence, which is not a legally-binding document like the Constitution.

"The State Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation by the federal government, any agency of this state or any political subdivision in this state to infringe upon the rights of a citizen of the State of Oklahoma the unalienable right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed to them by the Second amendment of the United States," Hamilton's bill states.

The Second Amendment was ratified in the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, 1791 and states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Legal and academic experts have varying interpretations. One interpretation is that it creates individual constitutional rights for citizens to own guns. Another is that the Framers wanted to restrict Congress from outlawing a state's right to form militias.

The Supreme Court affirmed in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 that rights to bear arms lie with individuals, but not without limitations.

Hamilton said in a press release his bill is supported by the following county sheriffs:

—Damon Devereaux, Logan County

—Michael Burgetski, Cimarron County

—Jason Chennault, Cherokee County

—Rodney Derryberry, LeFlore County

—William Ingram, Tillman County

—Joe Janz, Kiowa County

—Roger LeVick, Jackson County

—Wayne McKinney, Stephens County

—Chris Morris, Pittsburg County

—Tim Turner, Haskell County

—Jeremie Wilson, Jefferson County

—Adam Woodruff, Latimer County.

Contact Adrian O'Hanlon III at

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