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Gun Bills Pass House Committee (Mar 02, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY - The state House Public Safety Committee Wednesday approved legislation that calls for a public referendum on whether to allow Oklahomans to openly carry a holstered firearm.

The committee voted 17-0 for the legislation, authored by Rep. Sue Tibbs.

"It would allow the citizens of Oklahoma to carry a weapon, whether it was concealed or not concealed, if they had gone through the concealed weapon program with the OSBI," said Tibbs.

Tibbs says she wants a public vote on the issue because of the large number of Oklahoman’s the law would affect.

Committee members also voted 9-8 on a measure by Rep. Randy Terrill of Moore that would permit college faculty members and administrators to carry firearms. Terrill said colleges can still adopt local rules to ban them.

Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson says college presidents oppose the bill and believe it would make their campuses more dangerous.

But a few Oklahoma college students plan to wear empty gun holsters to show support for the proposal in April. Adrienne O'Reilly of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus says the group wants people to see that concealed-carry license holders are like anyone else.

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