Oklahoma legislators frequently refuse to submit to screening at the metal detectors stationed near the few entrances to the Oklahoma Capitol.
According to many reliable sources, the reason is that they are concealing firearms and do not want to be cited for the violation. there seems to be an unofficial "wink & a nod" de facto policy at the capitol building. Lawmakers are allowed to walk right through beeping machines and not stop or look back. Security officers are simply ignoring the alarms and pretending nothing just happened.
Last year, several county sheriffs and deputies were outraged that they were barred from the building during special events held in their honor. they arrived in uniform and on behalf of their agency. Never the less, the troopers at the entries told them to leave the firearms outside.
KRMG Radio posted Governor Fallin's concerns.
and we have restrictions on bringing guns into the Capitol," Fallin said.
"It would trouble me if someone broke the policy,
and the policy is that you can't as a legislator bring a firearm into the Capitol."
Nevertheless, officers at the security stations now regularly encounter lawmakers who decline to be screened. During a 30-minute period after a recent lunch break, an Associated Press reporter watched six GOP House members walk through the checkpoints with their briefcases and satchels and set off the alarms.
Members who were asked later wouldn't admit they were armed, but some were coy about why anyone should object if they were.
"If a legislator wants to carry a firearm in the Capitol, I think they have a constitutional protection to do that," said Ralph Shortey, a Republican senator, who said weapons screening violates a constitutional prohibition against interfering with lawmakers during a legislative session.
Republican Rep. Lewis Moore said legislators shouldn't be screened.
"They're supposed to know who the House members are," he said of the guards.
Security officials acknowledge they're reluctant to stop those breezing through if they appear to be lawmakers.
"We do probably err on the side of giving them a little leeway when it comes to screening, but they can't legally carry," said Highway Patrol Capt. John Paul, who oversees the security at the Capitol.
But Rep. Mike Shelton, a Democrat, said the reason for the new allergy to metal detectors is obvious, especially after the latest bill to allow guns inside the Capitol stalled in committee.
Read the full story at KRMG Radio