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Senate approves measure allowing municipal employees to carry firearms

The Senate approved a measure on Tuesday to give municipalities local control to adopt policies allowing their employees to carry concealed firearms.

Senate Bill 644, authored by Sen. Blake Cowboy Stephens, R-Tahlequah, would allow certain employees to carry a concealed firearm on municipal property if the employee has a valid handgun license. The employee must carry the firearm on his or her person or store it in a locked and secured location with permission of the governing body.

“This measure is about personal choice, freedom and protection. We must give our city employees the ability to protect themselves from intruders if they so choose,” Stephens said. “With political divisiveness at an all-time high, no municipal employee should go to work and feel unsafe. We’re simply allowing municipalities the local control to set their own rules on this matter.”

Under the measure, any employee authorized to carry and acting in a reasonable and prudent manner would be immune from civil and criminal liability for any injury resulting from the carrying, accidental or intentional discharge or a handgun on municipal property. The municipality would also be immune from civil and criminal liability.

The legislation was drafted in conjunction with the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and the Oklahoma Municipal League. It now heads to the House of Representatives where Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, will carry the measure.