Gov. Kevin Stitt wasted no time in signing a bill approved by Oklahoma’s state legislature on Friday that bars cities and towns across the state from adopting red flag firearm seizure ordinances. SB 1081 was one of the last bills to pass the legislature this year, with the final vote to approve the measure coming just hours before the state legislature adjourned. Stitt signed the bill on Saturday, ensuring that red flag laws, or Extreme Risk Protection Orders, can’t be approved by city councils or anti-gun mayors. The bill’s primary sponsors, Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jay Steagall, say they’re hoping to prevent future problems by putting the prohibition into law.
Steagall said this is the nation’s first “anti-red flag” law.
More than a dozen states have enacted “red flag” laws. Oklahoma is not one of them. The U.S. Constitution prevents states from nullifying federal laws.
But both Dahm and Steagall said they were concerned about the possibility of the federal government enacting such a law or offering grants to states or localities to implement “red flag” policies.
When Dahm introduced the bill back in September of 2019, he called it part of a “bolder, stronger strategy to defend the Second Amendment.”
Red flag laws represent a barefaced attempt to seize property from more law-abiding Americans than ever before. In summary, these laws allow an individual’s firearms to be confiscated following nothing more than an anonymous accusation from either a family member or a law enforcement officer, directly violating at least four amendments to the Constitution.
The unconstitutionality of this is absurd, and, unfortunately, they’ve already been passed in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Additionally, several governors (Republican and Democrat) have recently jumped on board.
We cannot keep playing defense while expecting our constitutional rights to survive for very long with politicians who regard them as an inconvenience or even an obstacle to their schemes. Simply standing our ground and waiting for the gun control lobby to strike again has not worked — and it never will. With the passage of SB 1081, it is my hope that lawmakers across the nation will become inspired to champion similar legislation in their own states (and Congress) that not only safeguards the rights of every American but pre-emptively takes a stand against future efforts to dismantle our constitutional rights.
So far, Oklahoma’s the only state to pass legislation banning red flag laws from being implemented at the local level, but Dahm may get his wish that other states will follow suit, particularly if Joe Biden wins election in November and tries to implement his anti-gun agenda. If that happens, I suspect that a dozen or more states might follow Oklahoma’s lead in safeguarding against the abuses of Second and Fourth Amendment rights that inherent in the laws.
The new red flag law ban in Oklahoma preempts any local red flag law, and instead places the power to implement any such laws in the hands of the state legislature. That should end any threat of red flag laws in the state at the moment, but the law could face a court challenge if an anti-gun president or Congress approved grants to localities that adopt such measures in the future.