The Oklahoma chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Gov. Stitt signed HB 1081, which would prevent Oklahoma cities and municipalities from enacting red flag ordinances:
“Instead of keeping their focus on public safety, Gov. Stitt and Oklahoma lawmakers decided to cater yet again to gun extremists at the very last minute,” said Kay Malan, a volunteer with the Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The risk of gun violence – including gun-related domestic violence and gun suicide – has persisted during this pandemic. But rather than take steps to meet these risks, lawmakers quietly passed a policy intended to score points with extremists opposed to life-saving extreme risk laws.”
“Governor Stitt just signed a law preventing cities from enacting red flag policies ‘for which the primary purpose is to reduce the risk of firearm-related death or injury,’” said Taylor King, a volunteer with Oklahoma Students Demand Action. “That’s straight from the text of the bill, word-for-word. It’s clear that Governor Stitt would rather score political points with gun extremists than do anything to keep us safe from gun violence.”
HB 1081 would prohibit cities and municipalities across Oklahoma from passing red flag ordinances, which empower loved ones or law enforcement to intervene in order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms. Red flag policies can help prevent mass shootings, which are often carried out by people who have shown clear warning signs, and they have also been shown to reduce gun suicides. These laws have been repeatedly upheld when challenged in court, including just last week in Colorado.
Although red flag laws have been proven to save lives, no locality in Oklahoma has passed a red flag ordinance, and state law already completely preempts local governments from passing red flag ordinances or from regulating firearms in nearly any other way.