Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved a bill Tuesday that will allow Oklahoma residents to openly carry guns if they are in a holster that is fully or partially visible and they are no longer than 16 inches. To receive a license under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, applicants must participate in a firearms safety and …
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved a bill Tuesday that will allow Oklahoma residents to openly carry guns if they are in a holster that is fully or partially visible and they are no longer than 16 inches. To receive a license under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, applicants must participate in 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 in Oklahoma under this law. “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 Tuesday.
Bill Intended to Promote Self-Defense
Current gun laws in Oklahoma allow residents to carry concealed weapons if they pass a criminal background check and undergo training. The new law, which will go into effect on November 1 of this year, increases the rights of permit-holders, allowing them to openly carry guns. The law also allows citizens of Oklahoma to carry firearms, either openly or concealed, without a license if they are on their own property. According to Fallin, the new law “sends a strong message that Oklahoma values the rights of its citizens to defend themselves, their family and their property.”
Gun Owners Permitted to Carry Firearms Openly
With this new gun law, Oklahoma becomes the 25th state with either “permissive open carry” laws, in which no permit is required, or “licensed open carry” laws, in which a permit is required, the governor’s office reports. It joins Utah, Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Minnesota, Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Georgia, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island as a “licensed open carry” state. Under the new legislation, Oklahoma businesses are still permitted to ban firearms from their premises, and the measure also prohibits the carrying of firearms on properties owned or leased by the city, state or federal government, in schools or on college campuses, at corrections facilities, at liquor stores, and at sports arenas during sporting events.
Getting Legal Help for Criminal Offenses in Oklahoma
While many in Oklahoma have embraced the new gun law, there are mixed feelings across the state about the legislation. “Sometimes it may be a hazard,” said Stephen Brewer, a concealed handgun permit-holder in Oklahoma. “If somebody knows you do have a weapon and it’s open, you may be a primary target for a bad person or for a criminal.” Many other Oklahoma residents fear that the new bill will lead to more violence in the state. If you are facing criminal charges for gun possession or another offense in Oklahoma, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today. We have skilled attorneys who can help you understand your charges and the steps you can take to defend yourself against weapons charges in Oklahoma.