Rep. Ritze leads cheers for High Court’s pro-gun decision

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 06-Jul-2010

State Rep. Mike Ritze has applauded last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of McDonald vs. Chicago. The “pro-gun” ruling by a divided 5-4 Court found that the Second Amendment does protect an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Supporters of a controversial Chicago gun law at the center of the case had argued the language of the Second Amendment referred merely to “militias” in the Eighteenth Century, or the right of states to form National Guard units.

However, many who advance doctrines of original intent or original meaning in constitutional jurisprudence have contended the second of the original ten amendments, known popularly as the Bill of Rights, explicitly provides for a right to keep weapons for personal use.

In one of its final decisions of the 2009-10 term, the Supreme Court agreed with originalists.

“This is a step in the right direction,” said Ritze, a Broken Arrow Republican. “The court has made clear that citizens have a right to self-defense that cannot be regulated away. In light of this ruling, I hope we will move forward with ‘Open Carry’ legislation next Session.”

This year the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 3354, which would have allowed those with concealed-carry permits to openly carry weapons; however the “open carry” bill was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry.

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Ritze said, “I co-authored this bill and fully support this initiative to allow citizens to openly carry, so I was very disturbed when the governor vetoed it.”

Ritze concluded, “This legislation was similar to what 44 other states already have in law. Oklahoma needs to fall in line with the rest of the country. With the Supreme Court ruling, there should be no more excuses for restricting citizens’ full right to bear arms.”

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.