The Senate Public Safety Committee has given its approval to a measure to increase the penalties for firearm thefts in Oklahoma. Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, is the author of Senate Bill 859, which was approved by the panel on Thursday.
Weaver is a former head of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBNDD) and is a commissioner with a national law enforcement organization aimed at improving public safety, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). He said the theft of firearms is a particular public safety concern for law enforcement. He believes tougher penalties would help curtail such thefts.
“I promise you, anyone who would break into your home or vehicle to steal a gun is very likely going to be using that firearm to commit additional crimes, from robbery to murder,” Weaver said. “In visiting with Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley about firearm theft, he told me in 2022 alone, there were 655 guns stolen from vehicles.”
SB 859 would increase the maximum prison term from two years to five years and increase the maximum fine from $1,000 to $2,500 for the theft of a firearm.
“I will always fight for the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms to protect themselves and their families. We’re not talking about law-abiding citizens here – we’re talking about criminals who will use these stolen firearms to commit even more crimes,” Weaver said. “It’s a serious crime, and it should carry tougher penalties.”
Weaver’s bill will next be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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