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OKLAHOMA CITY — Car dealerships would be able sell vehicles on Sunday under a measure that advanced from a Senate panel on Friday.

Senate Bill 693, by Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, would repeal the state prohibition that bars auto dealers from Sunday sales.

Pugh said the measure was a constituent request from a small used car dealer in his district.

Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, said he has several used car dealerships in his district and none of them requested this bill.

“This prohibition seems to be one sensible way we can slow down some things on Sunday and say let’s not sell cars,” Rader said.

Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, said he is not convinced that allowing Sunday sales will increase sales. Some dealers will feel like they have to compete, which requires additional overhead and increased expenses.

Pugh asked members to consider consistency, adding that no other business has that prohibition.

“We sell marijuana on Sundays,” Pugh said. “We sell alcohol on Sundays.”

The state should not prevent a small business owner from selling cars on Sunday because larger dealerships don’t like it, Pugh said.

Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, questioned why the measure had an emergency clause on it, meaning it would become effective upon the governor’s signature.

“If I told you that you couldn’t operate your business at certain times you wanted to and turn a profit, my guess is it would be an emergency to you,” Pugh said.

The bill passed the Senate Public Safety Committee by a vote of 7-4 and heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

The panel also passed Senate Bill 644, by Sen. Blake Stephens, R-Tahlequah, that would let municipalities vote to let employees carry concealed weapons during the course of business. Those employees would be required to have a valid handgun license.

Stephens said counties already have that power.

The bill passed by a vote of 10-1 and heads to the full Senate for consideration.

The panel also passed Senate Bill 186 that would create a pathway for those convicted of a felony to obtain the right to carry a weapon.

According to a bill summary, the measure restores the right to a person who was convicted of a non-violent felony to carry a firearm five years after the sentence is completed if no additional charges are pending.

The measure, by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, passed by a vote of 11-0 and heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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