Oklahoma Adopts Trespassing Law for Pipelines

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma has adopted a law that imposes steep fines or prison time against people convicted of trespassing at a critical infrastructure facility to impede operations.

The Oklahoman reports that the measure went into effect Wednesday after being signed by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Anyone charged under the new law faces a $10,000 fine and up to one year in jail. The penalties can increase to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if the person is successful at damaging, vandalizing or tampering with equipment at facilities like pipelines, chemical plants and railways.

The bill’s author, state Rep. Mark McBride, says the idea for the bill came after the protests along the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Mekasi Camp Horinek, state director for Bold Oklahoma, says the new law is “a fear tactic to try to oppress the First Amendment.”

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