The Payne County, Oklahoma Budget Board voted to restore county employees’ Second Amendment rights last month. The board made it clear that county employees can exercise Second Amendment rights inside county buildings if they have a valid carry permit and sign a waiver. The waiver states they understand a few limitations and they won’t draw the firearm except in valid defense of self or others.
Reding said the Budget Board, a body consisting of all elected county officers, voted during its May 14 meeting to implement the gun policy along with language for a waiver that employees who want to carry a gun while on the job must sign.
The forms would be turned in to the employee’s supervisor but, it hasn’t been determined where they will be stored, he said.
The document, which was provided to the News Press by Reding’s office, says employees understand that carrying or discharging a firearm is not part of their job, that any employee who removes a weapon from a holster except for the act of self-defense shall be considered for termination, agrees that firearms safety is to be observed at all times and states that employees understand they are not allowed to carry firearms into the courthouse or any other buildings specifically prohibited by law.
A particularly interesting part of the waiver is an instruction to county employees that if they are involved in an act of self-defense, they will not make a statement until they have been advised by an attorney. They will also be required to participate in drills.
Employees could be required to participate in drills and must provide a copy of their current, valid handgun license and a copy of each renewal within 30 days of renewing.
They must agree not to make a statement until they have been advised by an attorney in the event they are involved in an “an act of self-defense.”
Not making a statement to police until you have an attorney is good advise, frequently given by self defense trainers and lawyers. It’s significant that such action is now required by a county government in Oklahoma.
Logan County, Oklahoma restored Second Amendment rights to employees in 2015. It’s a trend that’s moving across the U.S.A. to restore rights that had been infringed by personnel policies in local and state governments. Government workers shouldn’t be required to give up fundamental constitutional rights while on the job. There are some exceptions, of course. Prison guards should not, generally, carry guns when among the prison population.
Bowling Green, Kentucky restored the ability to exercise Second Amendment rights to public employees at work earlier this year. Counties in Georgia and Virginia did the same in 2016. Local government employees have also had rights restored in Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas.
Oklahoma has gradually been restoring Second Amendment rights since the passage of the state’s shall issue carry permit bill in 1995. In 2018, the legislature voted overwhelmingly to make Oklahoma a constitutional carry state, but lame duck governor Mary Fallin vetoed the legislation after the legislature adjourned.
I expect constitutional carry will become law in Oklahoma in the next few years.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.