Oklahoma Representatives Overwhelmingly Pass Bill to Allow Guns on Public Buses

Mar 20, 2017

Oklahoma House members approved a bill Monday to allow some people to carry guns on public buses. Transit agencies, like Tulsa Transit, would not be allowed to prohibit guns if the bill becomes law.
Credit Tulsa Transit

On a 75–8 vote Monday, state lawmakers passed a bill to allow some Oklahomans to carry a gun while riding public transit.

"This is a request bill from the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. It's also endorsed by the NRA," said Rep. Greg Babinec. "House Bill 1721, the Bus Passenger Safety Act, allows any person with an SDA to carry on a bus."

Babinec was referring to the state's self defense act license required to carry a gun in public.

Oklahoma City Rep. Forrest Bennett said he has some expertise on the matter.

"I take the bus every morning, and in the years that I have spent taking the bus, there has never been a situation where I would feel safer having someone in that close of an area with a weapon," Bennett said.

Firing a gun on a bus or in a bus terminal is still illegal unless done in self-defense or in defense of another person.

The bill does not allow individual public transit companies to prohibit weapons if they wish.

"Have you discussed this with EMBARK of Oklahoma City or the Tulsa bus proprietors or anybody? And, if so, what's their opinion on this?" Bennett asked Babinec.

"Thank you for your question, and no, I have not spoken with them," Babinec said.

Babinec said HB1721 helps people with an SDA license who can’t take their gun to work just because they ride the bus.