02/21/2013 01:46 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2013

Oklahoma Lawmakers Push Ban On Gun Bans As Good For Economy

Several Oklahoma lawmakers are touting proposed legislation to prohibit enforcement of federal gun laws as a way to expand the state's economy.

The bill, which passed the state House Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, would prohibit the enforcement of all federal gun laws in relation to firearms that are manufactured in Oklahoma and stay within the state, koco.com reports. State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw), the bill's co-author, told koco.com that the bill would not only protect the state's Second Amendment rights on gun enforcement, but also help to grow the local economy.

"Additionally, I have joined Reps. Sean Roberts, Dustin Roberts, John Enns, Dan Kirby and R.C. Pruitt in signing and we sent a letter requesting numerous gun manufacturers come to Oklahoma," Bennett told koco.com. "We have sent them a copy of HB2021 as well as touted our pro-Second Amendment laws we have in this state, as well as the citizens' support, to ask these companies in other states to move out of their anti-gun states and move here to Oklahoma. Most recently we sent a letter to MagPul Industries in Boulder, Colo. We are courting these companies to relocate to Oklahoma and create hundreds if not thousands of jobs."

The other lawmakers identified as signing the letter consist of four Republicans and one Democrat.

Bennett's argument might resonate with a gun rights advocate who testified before the New Jersey Assembly's Law and Public Safety Committee last week during a hearing on 23 proposed gun control laws. Ryan McBeth, a Democratic member of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, asserted that he is having trouble filling computer programming jobs because gun owners from other states do not want to move to New Jersey due to existing gun laws in the state.

The Oklahoma bill is also similar to legislation pending in Kansas, which would prohibit the enforcement of federal gun laws on guns manufactured in that state. The Kansas bill, which is co-sponsored by four Democrats, includes a provision that would prohibit doctors other than psychiatrists from asking about gun ownership. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises its members to inquire about guns in the home as part of routine child safety questions, but not to report what they learn to federal officials.

Other states are pushing prohibitions on federal gun bans regardless of the origin of the gun.

In addition to Bennett's proposal, Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow teachers to be cross-trained as reserve police officers in order to carry guns during the school day. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has not indicated her position on that legislation, but has asked for permission to carry her own gun in her purse when she is out in public.


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