Advancing practical solutions to protect businesses and safeguard Second Amendment rights
Oklahoma City is fortunate to host sporting events, horse shows and other public events each year, and these events bring millions of dollars to Oklahoma City’s economy. Whether the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Women’s College World Series softball, the world-renowned horse shows at State Fair Park or the regattas at the Oklahoma River, large-scale events play a critical role in our visitor economy.
These events represent many of the diverse opportunities that enhance Oklahoma City residents’ lives and the city’s cultural offerings, however, there has been a push recently to enact legislation that could severely limit Oklahoma City’s ability to attract and host large-scale, public events.
Since 2015, hundreds of bills have been filed at the state and federal levels of government to expand gun laws. These bills pose significant risks to the rights of business and property owners in Oklahoma City, and particularly to the tourism and visitor side of our local economy.
Many public event contracts prohibit the personal possession of weapons at the events. Enacting state laws that expand where and when guns can be carried would be harmful to businesses, endanger public safety and negatively impact a large portion of our economy.
The Chamber supports the Second Amendment, and realizes its member companies include gun ranges and many individuals who are proud gun owners. We maintain that any legislation filed related to the Second Amendment or gun rights must provide protection for event hosts and also protect employers who currently have the right to prohibit guns from being brought into their businesses.
The Chamber currently leads “Oklahomans for Property and Business Owners’ Rights” – a group comprised of 45 businesses, associations, educational institutions and law enforcement organizations that was formed to oppose gun measures that would endanger business owners’ rights, jeopardize public safety, or allow guns to be carried on college campuses.
We will continue to caution against enacting legislation that would severely limit a business owners’ right or event organizers right to enforce their preferences regarding guns on the premises of their property or event location.