In 2002, the Weyerhaeuser paper mill in Valliant, Oklahoma, faced a drug problem. Managers at the mill in the small town, just north of the Texas line, brought contraband-sniffing dogs into the parking lot to identify suspect cars. The dogs pointed out a number of vehicles. When the cars were opened, the contraband inside was not drugs. It was guns. A dozen employees lost their job.
The firing triggered an uproar in Oklahoma. Weyerhaeuser had banned guns from its facilities; everybody understood that. The employees had obeyed that rule when they left their guns in their cars. If Weyerhaeuser now insisted that the ban applied to the parking lot, too, what were the employees supposed to do? Leave their guns at home and travel defenseless?
The Oklahoma legislature intervened. By unanimous vote in the state assembly—and a vote of 92–4 in the state senate—Oklahoma revised its firearms law to forbid businesses from policing their parking lots as Weyerhaeuser had done. The next year, the state amended the law again, this time to pound home the point even more emphatically:
No person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity shall maintain, establish, or enforce any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person, except a convicted felon, from transporting and storing firearms in a locked motor vehicle, or from transporting and storing firearms locked in or locked to a motor vehicle on any property set aside for any motor vehicle.
Every parking lot in the state of Oklahoma must now open itself to firearms, no matter the wishes of the property owner.