Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday vetoed a bill supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that would have allowed state residents to carry a firearm without a permit or training.
"I believe the firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal," Fallin said in announcing her veto of Senate Bill 1212, which would have removed the requirement for Oklahoma residents to complete a training course and demonstrate competency with a firearm before carrying in public.
The governor argued that the bill would have taken away the ability of the state's law enforcement personnel to distinguish between someone trained to use a firearm and someone who is not.
“Oklahoma is a state that respects the Second Amendment. As governor, I have signed both concealed-carry and open-carry legislation. I support the right to bear arms and own a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun," Fallin said in her statement.
"Senate Bill 1212 eliminates the training requirements for persons carrying a firearms in Oklahoma. It reduces the level of the background check necessary to carry a gun," she continued. “SB 1212 eliminates the current ability of Oklahoma law enforcement to distinguish between those carrying guns who have been trained and vetted, and those who have not."
The bill was supported by the NRA and several GOP candidates in the state, Fox News reported.
Gun rights advocates in the state reacted with disappointment after Fallin's announcement, calling it a blemish on her conservative legacy.
"She had a great opportunity to defend our liberty and leave a wonderful legacy and she chose not to," said Oklahoma Second Amendment Association president Don Spencer, whose organization wrote the bill, according to Tulsaworld.com.
Spencer added that he was "disappointed that Oklahoma rights were not respected."