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Gov. Mary Fallin signs CareerTech gun bill
The measure requires guns to be kept secured in vehicles on technology center parking lots. Persons must have a concealed-carry permit.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT [email protected] Oklahoman 21 Published: May 26, 2011

Despite objections from the director of the CareerTech system, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Wednesday that allows students, teachers and visitors with a valid concealed-carry permit to store a handgun in their vehicles on the technology center's parking lots.

House Bill 1652 takes effect Nov. 1.

The provisions in the bill are similar to existing law covering colleges and universities.

Gun owners who have concealed-carry permits must leave their handguns secured in their vehicles on college and university parking lots; written permission from the college or university president is required for the gun owner to carry the gun on campus.

A CareerTech administrator would have to give similar written permission before the gun owner could carry the gun on other parts of the campus.

HB 1652 easily won passage in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

It passed the House, 75-5, and the Senate, 35-12. A similar bill last year died in the House.

“I believe, as does our Legislature, that it is reasonable to allow a gun owner with a concealed-weapons permit to leave his or her gun locked in the car while visiting a career technology center,” Fallin said.

“Permit holders already have that right at most locations in Oklahoma.

“This is a logical policy for those who support Second Amendment rights, as I do,” she said.

CareerTech Director Phil Berkenbile said allowing guns on campus will not help provide a safe and secure environment. The CareerTech system provides education and training for adults and high school students, he said.

“I'm disappointed this is being signed into law,” Berkenbile said. “This does nothing to improve education in our state.”

Pat McGregor, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of CareerTech Education, said all 29 CareerTech superintendents are against the measure. The main concern is safety of students on CareerTech's 54 campuses, he said.

During a House committee debate on the bill earlier this month, Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Jenks, argued for changing the bill so that each CareerTech superintendent could decide whether to allow guns on campus. He said he is concerned that many of the students are high school students.

“This bill is about allowing weapons to be brought on what is essentially ... a high school campus,” Jordan said.

Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, who supported the measure, said Oklahomans who have concealed gun permits are authorized by the state to carry the weapons, but commit a crime when they leave their gun inside their vehicle on a CareerTech campus.

“It's reasonable that you should be able to carry that weapon on your property,” he said. “That vehicle is your property.”

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Thats great. Atleast one Pro Gun bill made it someplace this year.
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