The Journal Record
May 11, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin acted on nearly all of the legislative session’s most controversial social bills on Friday evening.
After business hours, her office announced she vetoed Senate Bill 1212, a bill that would end all permitting and license restrictions on guns. Half an hour later, the office announced she signed Senate Bill 1140, which allows state and federally funded adoption agencies to reject parents based on the organization’s religious beliefs.
SB 1212’s supporters nicknamed it the constitutional carry bill, and they argued that it frees the constitutional right to unfettered access to guns as long as residents have no felony convictions and are legal residents. Opponents included large swaths of the business and law enforcement communities, who said the measure would create dangerous situations and harm business recruitment.
The governor defended her position as a proponent of the Second Amendment in the veto announcement. She wrote that the veto was necessary for public safety.
“SB 1212 eliminates the current ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to distinguish between those carrying guns who have been trained and vetted, and those who have not,” her statement read in part.
In her message on SB 1140, she said that Oklahoma’s adoption rates have been on the rise because of public-private partnerships, some of which have been with faith-based organizations, and said the measure simply protects the status quo. Oklahoma’s bill is similar to Virginia’s, which passed six years ago and hasn’t seen a lawsuit, she wrote. Texas passed similar legislation and has seen lawsuits.
She also signed House Bill 2177, which allows government entities to display historical documents on government grounds. Its supporters said that would include the Ten Commandments. Oklahoma has already fought and lost a legal battle over whether it can display those.
She vetoed House Bill 1401, which would have created a trust fund in which officials would place 5 percent of the state’s annual oil and gas gross production tax revenue. That bill passed off each chamber’s floor unanimously. She also vetoed Senate Bill 1221. That measure was originally intended to adjust parole board composition, but a last-minute amendment adjusted life-sentence procedures for minors. Critics said that the measure made assigning life without parole to children 13 to 17 easier.