Mary Fallin is the Governor of Oklahoma. She is a Republican who has held the office since January 2011. She claims to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and gun rights of the American people but her latest action says otherwise. Perhaps, her past life as a Democrat, prior to 1978 is catching up with her?
Fallin obtained her first elected office at the age or 36, becoming a Representative in the Oklahoma legislature in 1990. In January 1995, she became the state’s Lieutenant Governor and held that position until winning a seat in the US House in the 2006 election. After four years in the US House, Fallin ran for governor of Oklahoma and won.
Fallin has taken strong conservative stands on issues such as allowing lethal injection as the form of execution for felons sentenced to death and she has supported the displaying of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol in Oklahoma City. She has also taken a strong stand against abortion signing 20 anti-abortion bills into law during her terms in office and she has been criticized for ending the spousal benefits for same-sex partners of state-owned National Guard facilities.
When it comes to Second Amendment issues and gun rights, Fallin has been a strong supporter. In in 2014, she vetoed a bill that would require sheriffs and police chiefs to approve applications for tax stamps for certain firearms and firearm accessories.
In 2015, she vetoed another gun control bill that would have allowed the restriction of carrying concealed carry weapons in fairgrounds, parks and other recreational areas.
In 2018, the Oklahoma legislature passed a constitutional carry bill that would have allowed Oklahoma citizens to legally carry concealed weapons without first receiving special training or obtaining concealed carry permit. The bill was backed by the NRA and passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. Many expected Fallin to sign the bill into law but she won’t.
In announcing that she would not sign the constitutional carry bill into law, Fallin stated:
“I believe the firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal.”
That’s not what she told voters 4 years ago when she ran for re-election. In her campaign then, she said she would support and sign a constitutional carry bill. One can’t help but wonder if her refusal to sign the bill may have been for economic reasons due to the state’s current struggles and signing the bill would result in the loss of permit application fees?
A GOP political strategist, Trebor Worthen, reacted to Fallin’s refusal to sign the bill, saying:
“Republican voters believe in the Second Amendment and they believe they should be able to exercise that right with as little interference from the government as possible. Especially in more rural areas.”
Chris Cox, NRA Executive Director for Legislative Affairs also reacted to Fallin’s decision:
“Make no mistake, this temporary setback will be rectified when Oklahoma residents elect a new and genuinely pro-Second Amendment governor.”
Due to term limits in Oklahoma, Fallin cannot run again, meaning that the governorship is wide open. Since it is generally known that the majority of Oklahoma voters are Republicans and they support the Second Amendment rights, chances are that the state will have a new Republican as governor come January 2019 and that person had better be willing to sign a constitutional carry bill into law, or his/her political career will be short lived.