One Oklahoma legislator has modified a bill to potentially allow concealed guns at the Tulsa State Fair. Representative Justin Humphrey recently rewrote House Bill 4138, which initially did not pass.
Representative Humphrey, chairman of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, made changes to the gun legislation that would allow a concealed gun at the State Fairs in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
While some people oppose the bill allowing concealed guns at the fair, several Oklahoma businesses support it. Both the Tulsa Regional and Greater Oklahoma City Chambers of Commerce noted they “oppose legislation that would negate the rights of businesses, property owners and event hosts from prohibiting firearms.”
Tulsa sheriff supports the bill
However, Tulsa County Commission Chairwoman Karen Keith opposes the bill allowing concealed guns at the Tulsa State Fair. “In my opinion this legislation appears to allow unknown attendees to conceal handguns, which would introduce more risk into an already safe environment and risk loss of business,” Chairwoman Keith wrote.
Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado, who is in charge of security at the Tulsa State Fair, supports the bill allowing concealed guns. He noted he has arrested attendees in previous years for illegally bringing in a gun.
However, Sheriff Regalado also claimed that those arrested for having guns at the fair were mostly gang members. He also stated his deputies would be on the lookout for “bad guys” with guns.
Oklahoma ranks high for gun-related deaths
Other Oklahoma lawmakers support wielding guns at the Tulsa State Fair as well. According to Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R) of the Second District, “The right to bear arms is a constitutional right and one that I take very seriously. The Second Amendment in our Constitution clearly states, ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’“
Meanwhile, Oklahoma ranks 10th in gun-related deaths in the United States. Including suicides, nearly 700 people die by guns in Oklahoma in the average year.
However, Oklahoma’s homicide rate is lower than the national average. Yet, from 2009 to 2018, Oklahoma’s rate of gun homicide rose 18%, making the decision to allow guns at the Tulsa State Fair a dangerous one.