4 years ago
The measure, Senate Bill 1733, allows those who are licensed to carry a firearm under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act to openly carry a weapon or conceal it.
It also allows a property owner to openly carry a handgun on his or her land. No concealed carry permit would be required.
To receive a license under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, applicants must take a firearms safety and training course and submit to a background check by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Those convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors may not receive a handgun license.
The measure takes effect Nov. 1.
Oklahoma is the 25th state with either “permissive open carry” laws, or no permit required, or “licensed open carry,” which requires a permit. Oklahoma now joins Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts as a “licensed open carry” state.
“As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a gun owner myself, I’m happy to sign this bill into law and grant law-abiding citizens the ability to openly carry firearms,” Fallin said. “Senate Bill 1733 sends a strong message that Oklahoma values the rights of its citizens to defend themselves, their family and their property. It does so in a responsible way, by requiring those citizens who choose to ‘open carry’ to undergo both firearms training and a background check.”
As I have discussed, I both conceal and open carry, and still prefer the way it is in my home state of North Carolina. I must have a concealed handgun permit to conceal, and open carry is legal without a permit (and we have no “stop and identify” statute). However, this qualifier to open carry in Oklahoma is minor, and doesn’t trouble me. In North Carolina as in every state, a background check is necessary for purchase of a gun anyway, and the only additional requirement to open carry in this case is the day-long class. Every gun owner should take such a class whether s/he carries or not.
As with those of us who already recognize these civil rights, Oklahomans will find that women and children don’t run in fear, screaming for their lives once they see a weapon. And the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police smile and wave at me when they observe me. Your state won’t turn into the Wild, Wild West, and the only real requirement is that the Police departments be properly educated on the new law so that they can recognize these rights. On rare occasions, dispatchers might have to inform callers that it is legal to open carry.
So with those stipulations, Oklahoma is hereby welcomed to the club as a “free” state.
Related: The Open Carry Debate