Bill increasing court safety heads to the governor

Staff Writer

Legislation allowing permitted elected officials to carry firearms inside a courthouse passed Tuesday out of the Oklahoma Senate with a vote of 38 to 6.

House Bill 1104 would allow elected officials of a county, who are in possession of a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, when acting in the performance of their duties as an elected official to carry a concealed firearm within the courthouses of the county in which he or she was elected.

“A lot of our rural towns lack proper courthouse security, including metal detectors. Only a few cities have secure parking, so treasurers and other elected officials walk unprotected from their cars to the courthouse,” said Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “Unfortunately, we’re living in a country where threats against public officials are increasingly common. This legislation clears the way to make sure there’s a level of protection in case the worst happens.”

Elected officials who opt to carry their handgun inside the courthouse have to possess a concealed carry permit. Guns will not be permitted inside a courtroom.

“I want to thank Sen. Nathan Dahm for his work on this measure in the Senate. The broad bipartisan support in both chambers shows that lawmakers are committed to furthering safety measures at all levels of government,” Cleveland said.

The National Rifle Association has endorsed the measure.

House Bill 1104 now proceeds to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.

Cleveland represents House District 20, which includes parts of Cleveland, Garvin, McClain and Pottawatomie counties.