Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekly Column: March 7-11

Cockroft Column: Second Amendment Rights
By Rep. Josh Cockroft
When I ran for this office, I promised to stand for our Second Amendment rights. To me, the United States Constitution couldn’t be clearer on the intent of our nation’s Founding Fathers to protect us from a government that would infringe on our right to self defense.
The pro-gun movement has widespread support in Oklahoma, yet there are still those who do not adequately value those rights and who wrongly assume that legal gun ownership leads to violence. In fact, most criminals manage to gain access to a firearm no matter how tough gun regulations are where they live.
I was proud to support the committee passage of several pieces of gun legislation. I think that they will find the support they need to pass on the House floor and in the Senate and will fight to ensure they do so.
The most important piece of legislation we have before us is House Bill 1796, which would put open carry to a vote of the people. If passed, voters would have the opportunity to decide whether or not people with a valid handgun license would be able to carry their handguns in plain view. The process to obtain the license would be the same as for the current concealed carry permit.
I was disappointed that House Bill 1796 has not yet been heard on the House floor. This is a result of politicians not wanting to put a vote of this significance on their record. I say, put it on the floor and let’s vote on it. I’m not scared to cast my vote. 
House Bill 1652 would allow Oklahomans with a concealed carry license to store a weapon in their vehicle on technology center property. I consider a vehicle to be private property, so this is a no-brainer.
House Bill 2087 would allow college faculty members to carry a firearm on campus. The current language in the bill requires permission from the university, meaning that the bill is watered down a bit. I’ll keep you informed as to any changes to the bill and whether or not it is heard on the House floor.
Finally, House Bill 1255 would give U.S. attorneys the right to carry protection with them anywhere in Oklahoma. This is again, a no-brainer to me, as these individuals are often targets.
I truly believe that gun rights deter violence and that self defense is a basic human right. I would strongly urge voters to support open carry, if we are able to get it on the ballot.
If you have questions or need information, please contact my office at or (405) 557-7349. Rep. Cockroft is on Facebook and on Twitter, votecockroft27. Video footage of the House Chamber is also available at

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