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May 9, 2014

Senate overrides governor’s veto

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to override Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a House bill dealing with federal gun regulations.

The Senate’s 39-0 vote came a little more than a week after the House voted 86-3 on April 30 to override the veto, and the bill now becomes law without the governor’s signature.

The bill gives state law enforcement authorities 15 days to sign off on applications for items covered by federal firearms regulations such as silencers, suppressors, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and automatic weapons. Supporters of the measure said that some law enforcement officers refused to sign the forms and that nothing in state law prohibited that.

“Oklahomans overwhelmingly oppose gun restrictions, particularly those forced upon us by federal bureaucrats,” said the measure’s author, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Edmond. “This bill is about nothing more than protecting our constitutional rights.”

The veto override is the latest signal of growing tension between the Republican governor and the GOP-controlled Legislature. It is the first veto override since Fallin took office in 2011.

Last week, Fallin vetoed 15 House bills she said were unnecessary or didn’t have a meaningful purpose. She accused the House of failing to take action on some of her key agenda items, including a plan to repair the Capitol building and to overhaul the pension system for state workers.

In a statement, Fallin said those items remain unaddressed, “and time is running out.”

“I am asking the House and Senate to work with each other and with me to deliver legislation to fund our state government, improve our economy and generally do the things their constituents have put them in office to do,” Fallin said. “The legislative session is scheduled to end on May 30th. The time for action is now.”

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