Petitioners Seek to Repeal the Oklahoma Anti-Protest Bill
Oklahoma is one of several states who passed anti-protest legislation over the past year due to all the civil unrest, protests and riots that occurred across the country. Like many states Oklahoma saw it's fair share of protests last Summer, most taking place in the larger metros like OKC and Tulsa area. This prompted Oklahoma legislators to pass new laws with House Bill (HB 1674) the "Anti-Protest Bill."
The new law was passed by both the House and Senate then signed by Governor Kevin Stitt back in April of 2021 and will go into effect on November 1st 2021. The Anti-Protest law lists misdemeanor and felony charges for persons who engage in unlawful acts while protesting or participate in riots. You can read the entire bill by clicking here. One of the most controversial parts of the new law is immunity for motor vehicle operators that may unintentionally hit protestors blocking public roads and highways. See below:
A motor vehicle operator who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual shall not be criminally or civilly liable for the injury or death, if:
1.) The injury or death of the individual occurred while the motor vehicle operator was fleeing from a riot, as defined in Section 1311 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, under a reasonable belief that fleeing was necessary to protect the motor vehicle operator from serious injury or death; and
2.) The motor vehicle operator exercised due care at the time of the death or injury.
This is the primary concern over HB 1674 and why petitioners are out collecting signatures in an attempt to repeal the law. Oklahoma has a veto referendum in our state constitution that gives citizens the right to repeal a state law by bringing the issue to a vote on a state ballot. In order for it to become a state question around 59,300 signatures have to be collected from registered voters. Then it can be presented officially as a state question on the ballot. If the necessary signatures are collected it will move forward as SQ 816.
Time is running out, I believe today (08-25-21) is the last day that signatures can be collected then it has to be turned in. So what are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with the Anti-Protest law, or do you want it repealed? Take the quick poll below and let us know your thoughts.