January 25, 2023
SHOT Show Rewind: Oklahoma Gov. Stitt Takes on ‘Woke’ Banking
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt won reelection to a second term last November and a major plank of his platform was taking on “woke” banks and financial businesses pushing Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) boardroom policies that discriminate against Oklahomans.
Gov. Stitt brought that message and his track record of success back to Las Vegas for SHOT Show® 2023 in hopes of recruiting more firearm industry businesses to relocate into the Sooner State.
“Oklahoma’s the right place to be located regardless of industry,” Gov. Stitt told NSSF’s Darren LaSorte, kicking off his pitch. “But for the firearm industry specifically, we’re a pro-Second Amendment state. These industries are getting attacked in other markets and other states, but we support them in Oklahoma.”
‘Woke’ Bank Brushback
A major issue facing the firearm and ammunition industry is discrimination policies coming down from “woke” boardrooms and restricting a lawful and Constitutionally-protected industry. Gov. Stitt pushed back on the ESG front by signing into law last year a bill to divest from any financial company that boycotts the fossil fuel industry from doing business in Oklahoma. Now he has the same banking businesses in his sights if they discriminate against the firearm industry, in the form of the Oklahoma Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act.
“It’s important that we don’t put our Constitutional rights in the attic just because somebody in Washington, D.C., tells us to,” Gov. Stitt said. “We did this same thing with the oil and gas industry. We’re not going to let big banks, processing companies, payroll companies discriminate against our assets. If you’re a firearm manufacturing business in Oklahoma, we’re going to protect you. We’re confident we’ll get that [FIND Act] across the finish line.”
That would be welcomed news to an industry with a large footprint in Oklahoma. According to the NSSF 2022 Economic Impact Report, the Sooner State is home to more than 2,700 firearm-industry related jobs, that pay nearly $115.3 million in wages and have a total economic impact of over $414.6 million last year.
Pride on the Wall
One more success Gov. Stitt boasted was his first success as governor – signing into law Constitutional Carry in Oklahoma.
“The only bill I have hanging on the wall in my home office is my Constitutional Carry bill. The first bill I ever signed and it’s one I’m very proud of,” the governor said.
He spoke about the fearmongering that came with the debate and how one side simply tries to scare the public by warning Oklahoma would “become the OK Corral.”
“No – I don’t have any regrets. Crime has actually gone down in Oklahoma, violent and nonviolent. In Oklahoma we still believe in the Constitution, we believe in freedom and in personal responsibility and what you might think you don’t want to do doesn’t mean you have the right in Oklahoma to tell us we can’t do that.”
The governor pointed to the Oklahoma’s low recidivism rates, his accomplishments on criminal justice reforms and his guaranteeing Constitutional rights for Oklahomans.
“We have armed citizens and we are a law and order state,” Gov. Stitt stated.
Record Year for Hunting
Media reports from Oklahoma have already proclaimed the 2022-2023 hunting season a success. Gov. Stitt is known to be an avid hunter and made sure to discuss his support for America’s greatest pastime and some of his best recent memories.
“First off, I think I went duck hunting twelve days in a row over Christmas with my 12-year old son. He’s eaten up with it, so it’s great to spend time with him,” Gov. Stitt beamed. “I got a black bear in southeast Oklahoma with my bow, so that was my first bear to ever get and was really cool.”
To wrap up his conversation on SHOT Show TV, Gov. Stitt recalled how People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticized his pro-hunting, pro-meat tendencies by purchasing a giant billboard against him. He had an even better response.
“I told my staff they don’t know Oklahomans very well. Go get the biggest smoker you can find, set it up underneath the billboard. I got the Cattlemen’s Association to donate hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks. I got on the radio and invited all of Oklahoma City to come over. That was my most fun day as governor.”
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