Officials in Oklahoma contend a state law allowing employees to have guns in locked vehicles where they work promotes public safety, according to TulsaWorld.com.
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Attorney General Drew Edmondson told the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week that, contrary to the ruling by a judge in Tulsa, the law does not conflict with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The governor and attorney general made those arguments in asking the Denver-based court to overturn a ruling by U.S. District Judge Terence Kern in Tulsa’s federal court.
Kern ruled Oct. 4 that OSHA preempts the law, which was adopted in two stages in 2004 and 2005. He issued an injunction barring enforcement of the law.
ConocoPhillips and other large employers in Oklahoma that have policies against guns in their workplaces challenged the law.
Henry and Edmondson, in 22 pages of arguments, told the appellate judges the law promotes “the safety and health of Oklahoma citizens.”
The state officials said OSHA has declined to set a national policy banning guns from workplaces. The governor and attorney general contend OSHA “should be interpreted in a manner that prevents the interference with the states’ exercise of police power to protect their citizens.”
ConocoPhillips has a month to respond to the arguments of Henry and Edmondson.
The appeals court will not issue its decision until later this year or next year, according to TulsaWorld.com.
The governor and attorney general are defendants in a lawsuit challenging the law. The officials contend the state gun law can co-exist with OSHA.
“OSHA rules do not stand for the proposition that law-abiding citizens cannot carry guns,” they contend.