The Norman Transcript

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February 21, 2013

Bill would exempt guns from fed rules

OKLAHOMA CITY — Guns and ammunition manufactured and kept in Oklahoma would not be subject to federal laws or regulations under a bill that a House panel approved Wednesday.

The so-called Firearms Freedom Act was one of two gun bills that the House Public Safety Committee passed. Another bill that sailed through the committee would allow private schools to develop their own rules and regulations on whether teachers and school visitors could be armed.

Both measures now proceed to the House Calendar Committee, which will determine whether the bills will be scheduled for a vote in the full House.

Rep. Sean Roberts, who sponsored the Firearms Freedom Act, said Oklahoma would join eight other states that already have passed similar measures. He said bills currently are pending in more than two dozen other states.

“Right now there are many federal regulations that are being proposed, and as far as the federal government’s role based on the Constitution, we have the right in our state to regulate our own products that don’t involve interstate commerce,” said Roberts, R-Hominy. “Basically, anything made in Oklahoma and stamped ‘Made in Oklahoma,’ it would allow us not to be regulated under the federal guidelines.”

The bill passed on a 13-0 vote. It states that any firearm, accessory or ammunition that is manufactured in Oklahoma and remains within the borders of the state “is not subject to federal law, federal taxation or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.”

The measure specifically excludes fully automatic weapons or those designed to fire rocket-propelled grenades or other explosive projectiles, and Roberts said certain kinds of ammunition already are banned in a separate area of state statutes.

The bill also specifically prohibits firearms covered under the act from being sold to convicted felons or anyone who has been adjudicated legally incompetent or committed to a mental health institution.

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