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Moms Demand Action-OK's Annual Advocacy Day is February 26

Tulsans can travel to OKC to speak out against proposed permitless carry legislation

As parents, we go above and beyond to make sure our children grow up in a healthy and safe environment. That’s why volunteers with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are committed to fighting for common-sense gun legislation that protects our families by keeping guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories.

The 2019 Oklahoma legislative session began on February 4. Among the laws that will be considered are proposed bills that would allow the permitless carry of handguns in public without getting a permit, passing a background check or completing gun safety training. These permitless carry bills lower the bar for who may carry hidden handguns in public and could potentially allow violent criminals and people with no safety training to legally carry in crowded town centers and on city streets. Passage of these dangerous bills would threaten the safety of our communities and children.

The impact of permitless carry legislation on gun violence is staggering. States that have passed permitless carry legislation have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence. Since Arizona enacted permitless carry legislation in 2010, the annual total of aggravated assaults committed with a firearm in the state increased by 39 percent by 2017. After Missouri passed a permitless carry bill in January 2017, the city of St. Louis experienced a nearly 25 percent increase in the rate of aggravated assaults with a gun in 2017 compared to 2016. Missouri now has the among the highest gun homicide rates in the nation.

Our children are often caught in the crossfire and are paying the price for these lax gun laws. Firearms were the second leading cause of death for American children and teens and the first leading cause of death for Black children and teens. Sadly, approximately 4.6 million children live in a household with at least one gun that is stored both loaded and unlocked. We know that strong laws help to keep us safe, and we want to be a state that protects its communities with common-sense gun violence prevention legislation.

Our children also suffer the consequences of gun violence in other ways. This generation of children is growing up with the harsh reality of regular lockdown drills, which can be traumatizing. As the mother of a young child, I was incensed when my son came home from a day of Pre-K at a public school last year and told me that they had to hide in the bathroom with their teacher from “a bad guy.” Like so many young children, he did not understand the drill and thought that he was in serious danger. Unfortunately, these drills have become so commonplace that as a parent, I was not notified.

The Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement that mobilizes moms, families and everyday Oklahomans to advocate for stronger gun laws. Our common-sense, middle-ground solutions to the escalating problem of gun violence in America are straightforward. We strongly oppose permitless carry legislation, and we are not alone. We are joined by Oklahoma businesses, law enforcement, colleges and universities across the state. In fact, a similar permitless carry bill was vetoed by Governor Mary Fallin last year. In her veto statement, she stated that the “firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal, and serve to reassure our citizens that people who are carrying handguns in this state are qualified to do so.”

We hope that Governor Stitt and our lawmakers will agree, as we do, and that this dangerous legislation will not become the law of the land.   

The Oklahoma chapter of Moms Demand Action is heading to the Capitol for our annual advocacy day on Tuesday, February 26th to make our voices heard on this issue.

To join us, RSVP using the following links:

RSVP here: https://every.tw/2R3vkBg

RSVP here to ride the bus from Tulsa: https://south-moms.ngpvanhost.com/ngpvanforms/51784

To get more information about how to get involved in Oklahoma, you can visit our Facebook page at “Moms Demand Action – OK” or text “READY” to 64433. We hope to see you at a monthly meeting or event soon.

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