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Gov. Kevin Stitt signs 'anti-red-flag' policy prohibiting courts, other entities from restricting gun access

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Governor Kevin Stitt

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on the OU sideline before the Red River Showdown Oct. 12, 2019, at the Cotton Bowl.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation this week preventing Oklahoma municipalities from implementing policies that would allow courts or other entities to restrict gun access to people deemed an imminent danger to themselves or others. 

The Oklahoman reported that Senate Bill 1081 was authored by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, and Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, and was one of the last measures advanced by Oklahoma’s legislature before it adjourned Friday. 

Although similar bills have appeared in state legislatures before, Steagall said his bill would create the nation’s first law prohibiting so-called “red-flag” policies, according to The Oklahoman. 

Although Oklahoma's permitless carry law went into effect Nov. 1, 2019, OU’s firearm policy — which prohibits firearms on all campuses — has remained unchanged. Despite this, though, a possible gunman was spotted on South Greek in October, 2019, causing Greek houses in the vicinity to go into lockdown. 

In an Oct. 23, 2019, press release, OU Police Department Chief Liz Woollen said students should continue calling 911 to report individuals carrying firearms on campus. Woollen said in areas adjacent to campus, like Greek Row and Campus Corner, the police should be called if the person is acting in a threatening manner.

According to The Oklahoman, Steagall said “red-flag” policies violate the Second Amendment and the right to due process. Both Steagall and Dahm said they were concerned about the federal government enacting a “red-flag” policy or offering grants to state or local governments to implement such policies.

“I find it impossible for any red-flag law to respect due process or the presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” Dahm said in a statement, according to The Oklahoman. “I have taken the oath to protect our Constitution seven times throughout my 22 years of service and nine deployments in the military — an oath that I take very seriously. I will not stand idly by and let this freedom be stripped from us.”

Ari Fife is the OU Daily summer editor-in-chief and a sophomore journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as a senior news reporter and was an SGA beat reporter.

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