Oklahoma lawmakers eye limits on foreign land owners
(KTEN) — The Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 212 on Wednesday, which would prevent non-U.S. citizens from directly or indirectly owning land in the State of Oklahoma unless authorized by law.
In December, KTEN reported the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics had shut down more than 200 illegal marijuana grows in the last two-and-a-half years. Most recently, five busts took place in Pontotoc County.
"It's not an excuse to allow foreign nationals to buy up one of our most valuable resources, especially when they are cartels and from communist governments," said Sen. David Bullard (R-District 6), the author of Senate Bill 212.
The legislation, which will next be considered in the Oklahoma House, says any deed recorded with a county clerk will require an affidavit attesting that the land is lawfully being obtained in compliance with Oklahoma law.
"I know as clerks we're concerned about who's going to prepare that affidavit," said Murray County Clerk Jill Hall. "We will do as we're told, but we like more instruction, and we don't want to be the police of who purchases property."
If Senate Bill 212 becomes law, the Oklahoma Attorney General would create separate affidavits for entities that would comply with the legislation.
According to a press release from the Oklahoma Senate, businesses engaging in regulated interstate commerce complying with federal law would be exempt from the prohibition.