Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris declared his intent Friday to mark the county as a Second Amendment Sanctuary.
Morris joins at least a half-dozen other Oklahoma sheriffs in making a similar declaration for their respective counties as legislators consider several bills filed regarding gun rights. The sheriff said he has always advocated for citizens’ Second Amendment rights and wants to continue that.
“We won’t let anybody come into our county and violate our citizens’ rights,” Morris said.
Morris said he decided to make the announcement after speaking with Logan County Sheriff Damon Devereaux, who declared Logan County earlier this week as the first Second Amendment Sanctuary in Oklahoma.
“It’s just kind of a stand sheriffs are taking with their right and their duty of being sworn to protect the citizens,” Morris said. “It’s stepping up and saying ‘hey, we are going to do this’ and we’re going to let these politicians that are trying to take your rights away know that we’re not going to do it — we’re not going to stand for it.”
Numerous gun control bills have been filed this year in Oklahoma regarding gun rights — including one from District 97 State Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, who wants to repeal last year’s constitutional carry law that was signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.
Lowe unsuccessfully led a petition last year that would have suspended the law and have it go to a vote of the people.
Other bills filed this session include a ban the carrying of assault rifles in cities with more than 100,000 people and a limit on high-capacity magazines.
Legislators have also filed bills that would allow people with permits to carry at public universities and certain people to carry at the State Capitol and other state-owned buildings.
Other sheriffs in the region that have declared their respected county as a Second Amendment Sanctuary as of press time Friday is Haskell County Sheriff Tim Turner and Bryan County Sheriff Johnny Christian.
Morris said he has received positive feedback from county residents since making the announcement on Facebook.
“I think most people in southeastern Oklahoma really take pride in their weapons and protecting themselves and their property,” Morris said. “It’s time we back them and support them and assist them in that.”
Morris said he called the Pittsburg County Board of County Commissioners to be placed on Tuesday’s meeting agenda, but it was too late.
“I’d like to have the commissioners’ support on this,” Morris said. “It was too late to be placed on Tuesday’s agenda. So it’ll be on the agenda the following Monday.”
Morris asked county residents to voice their opinion and contact their county commissioner and to show up to the Feb. 24 meeting.
“I would encourage anybody that has concerns or wants to voice their opinion to be there at the meeting or contact their county commissioner.”
Contact Derrick James at email@example.com