Senate sustains governor’s gun bill veto

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 05-May-2010

The state Senate today (Wednesday, May 5) sustained Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of the Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act, Senate Bill 1685. Although 28 Senators voted to override the governor, 16 Democrats stood against the override, assuring the bill’s rejection.

The Democrats backing the governor’s veto included Tom Adelson of Tulsa, Roger Ballenger of Okmulgee, Randy Bass of Lawton, Johnnie Crutchfield of Ardmore, Mary Easley of Tulsa, Judy Eason McIntyre of Tulsa, Earl Garrison of Muskogee, Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City, Charlie Laster of Shawnee, Debbe Leftwich of Oklahoma City, Richard Lerblance of Hartshorne, Andrew Rice of Oklahoma City, John Sparks of Norman, Joe Sweeden of Pawhuska, Jim Wilson of Tahlequah, and Charles Wyrick of Fairland.

Five Democrats voted for the override: Sean Burrage of Claremore, Ken Corn of Poteau, Jerry Ellis of Valliant, Tom Ivester of Elk City and Susan Paddock of Ada.

Twenty-three Republicans voted for the override: Cliff Aldridge of Midwest City, Don Barrington of Lawton, Brian Bingman of Sapulpa, Cliff Branan of Oklahoma City, Randy Brogdon of Owasso (author of the proposal), Bill Brown of Broken Arrow, Harry Coates of Seminole, Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City, Brian Crain of Tulsa, John Ford of Bartlesville, James Halligan of Stillwater, Mike Johnson of Kingfisher, Clark Jolley of Edmond, Ron Justice of Chickasha, Todd Lamb of Edmond, Bryce Marlatt of Woodward, Mike Mazzei of Tulsa, David Myers of Ponca City, Dan Newberry of Tulsa, Jonathan Nichols of Norman, Mike Schulz of Altus, Gary Stanislawski of Tulsa and Anthony Sykes of Moore.

Not voting on the override were Democrat Jay Paul Gumm of Durant, and Republicans Patrick Anderson of Enid, Jim Reynolds of Oklahoma City and Steve Russell of Oklahoma City.

Following the Senate’s vote to sustain the governor’s veto, state Democratic Party Chair Todd Goodman said, in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK:

“I applaud the Senators who today stood up to support Gov. Henry’s veto of the so-called ‘Firearms Freedom Act.’ … This bill would have endangered the lives of law-abiding Oklahomans, including first responders charged with enforcing the law. Gov. Henry and the Senate did the right thing for all Oklahomans.”

In an interview with CapitolBeatOK on Monday (May 3), Sen. Brogdon had said he was optimistic that Henry’s veto would be overridden.

“My belief is we’ve got plenty of Second Amendment supporters to put this law into force over the governor’s veto,” he said then. Brogdon’s optimism seemed well-placed, as his bill garnered only three opposition votes in the first go-round.

In his veto message, Governor Henry said,
“As a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and the holder of an A rating from the National Rifle Association, I have consistently supported and approved legislation that preserves and strengthens an individual’s constitutional right to bear arms. Senate Bill 1685 does nothing to enhance 2nd Amendment protections and its unintended consequences are more likely to produce benefits for criminals in Oklahoma and potentially disastrous results for the state’s law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens.

“By exempting Oklahoma-manufactured guns and ammunitions from federal law, SB 1685 would enable criminals to obtain a wide array of weaponry, including fully automatic machine guns, without undergoing a simple criminal background check or meeting other basic federal requirements.”