Guard carrying guns on the job

The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 913 to ensure Oklahoma’s Army and Air National Guard personnel can protect themselves and others while on the job.

The bill, by Sen. Frank Simpson, would allow such authorized veterans to carry loaded or unloaded concealed weapons at Oklahoma Military Department facilities.

“The threats against our brave military men and women don’t stop when they return home from active duty abroad. Our enemies desire to attack us here, and our Guard and military personnel are high-profile targets,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “We’ve seen all too often military personnel attacked at recruiting stations and even military bases and facilities. It makes sense for us to allow our Guard members, who are highly trained in the use of weaponry, to carry firearms so that they can protect themselves and others in emergency situations. I appreciate my Senate colleagues for unanimously supporting this measure.”

There have been eight attacks at military facilities across the nation since 2009. In July 2015, a terrorist killed four Marines and injured several others at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Following that incident, Gov. Fallin issued an executive order in July to allow authorized military personnel to carry concealed weapons. SB 913 will make that executive order permanent in state statute. The Oklahoma National Guard Adjutant General will establish guidelines for the implementation of the legislation.