Piers Morgan & OK Senator debate over gun rights

Piers Morgan & OK Senator debate over gun rights

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Imagine people being allowed to walk around Oklahoma, carrying guns without a license. If one state representative gets his way, it could happen. He's trying to pass a bill that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms without a license.

State Senator Nathan Dahm says the second amendment gives us all the right to bear arms, but he says Oklahoma laws are infringing on those rights. So, he wrote a new one. It's called "The Piers Morgan Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms Without Infringement Act"-- making a poke at Piers Morgan, who has often been called an "anti-gun crusader." "A lot of times, people will name bills almost the exact opposite of its intent. We have the Patriot Act that was passed by Republicans- one of the most unpatriotic acts ever passed in American history. What better name to come up with-- somebody that is very for even stricter gun control to actually loosen our gun control measures in Oklahoma," says Sen. Dahm.

Morgan responded to a Fox 25 tweet about the proposed law-- calling it "UNBELIEVABLE" and challenging Sen. Dahm to defend it on Morgan's National show. Morgan tweeted: "Hi Senator @NathanDahm - come on my show and debate your new 'Piers Morgan Act'. If you have the guts." Senator Dahm accepted the offer, tweeting-- "@piersmorgan Received the email invite from your producer. Working out the details but it looks like Monday evening. We can discuss it then." Morgan responded, "It's on."

"Senate Bill 1473 simply says Oklahomans can carry firearms in all the places currently allowed by law, but they will no longer be required to obtain a license to do so," says Sen. Dahm. It allows for a person 18 or older to open carry loaded or unloaded shotguns, rifles and pistols without a license for hunting, target shooting or other such events. It would also be allowed for events related to military or law enforcement functions, and for practice or performance for entertainment purposes, and for lawful self-defense purposes.

"I love the Oklahoma carry law the way it is set now. It's a good law," says Miles Hall, President and Founder of H&H Shooting Sports. Though he supports the current law, he says he's for any law that will protect victims. "You know, sometimes I think we get so worried about the perpetrators of crime, we forget about the rest of us out here who are the potential victims of crime," says Hall.

"Some of our most vulnerable citizens are left without the means to protect themselves outside of their home. That, I think is a tragedy," says Doug Friesen, a gun law attorney in the Metro. Friesen says our current laws hurt Oklahomans who don't have the money to pay for classes and licensing. "It effects many of our lowest social economic groups, which quite frankly probably live in areas where they need it the most," he says. He says the same about elderly Oklahomans who live on a fixed income. "Human predators are just like animal predators. They seek out the weakest, the ones least able to defend themselves," says Friesen.

But, how safe would this new law be? "I'm not concerned about it. They said the same thing about when we passed open carry. There was going to be a wild west, there was going to be blood in the streets and we haven't seen that happen," says Sen. Dahm.

Friesen admits there would be safety concerns. He says education and training is a necessity. "I think that anybody that is carrying a gun for their own protection or anybody else's, needs to have the proper education and training. There are conflicting problems here, so I guess it's like taking the lesser of two evils. Statistics are universal that anytime you put more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens, you are going to have a drop in crime, whether there's training or not," says Friesen.

Hall agrees-- safety is key. "We have a basic philosophy here. We assume intelligence, but not knowledge, and our purpose is to transmit as much knowledge as we can so that people can safely handle the guns that they have," he says.

How likely is the bill to pass? "I think, as with any bill, they get started with grand ideas and then they sort of work them through that. I admire him for trying to put it together," says Hall. If the law were to pass, it would inevitably cut-down on customers from Hall's business, where he offers licensing classes. "There certainly is an economic impact that goes with such things, but ultimately I'm all about taking care of the people," he says.

To view the bill, click here.

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