The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 31, 2012

Gun law changes take effect Nov. 1

OKLA. CITY — Someone using the handle “bronathan” posted a question on a Web page dedicated to Senate Bill 1733, an open carry bill.

The author of the post wrote that he and his family relocated to Oklahoma more than nine months ago. After relocating, he notified Texas about it so he could change over his concealed carry license to out of state now that he is a resident here.

His question: Will my Texas permit allow me to open carry or will I need to have an Oklahoma license to open carry?

A fellow poster supplied what appeared to be a pretty good answer: Language in SB 1733, which will become law on Nov. 1, includes reciprocal agreement authority. In it, Oklahoma recognizes any valid concealed or unconcealed carry weapons permit or license issued by another state.

Senate Bill 1733, sponsored by Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, and Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Dacoma, is an omnibus firearm bill containing significant changes to Oklahoma gun laws, including allowing concealed open carry permit holders the choice of open carrying, according to the National Rifle Association.

Oklahoma became the 25th state with either “permissive open carry” laws (no permit required) or “licensed open carry” (permit required).

Oklahoma joined Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts as a “licensed open carry” state.

Gov. Mary Fallin’s office said the bill permits those who are licensed or already have been licensed to carry a firearm under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act to openly carry a weapon or conceal it. It also allows property owners to openly carry a firearm on their property without a concealed carry permit for the purpose of self defense.

“Senate Bill 1733 sends a strong message that Oklahoma values the rights of its citizens to defend themselves, their family and their property,” Fallin said via the news release. “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.”

Sykes said a majority of Oklahomans support the Second Amendment and believe law-abiding citizens should be able to protect themselves.

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.

Other firearm legislation filed this session included SB 1743, the “Landowner’s Hunting Freedom Act,” SB 1420, which sought to legalize the use of laser scoping devices in specific circumstances and SB 1760, an “Emergency Powers” bill, which seeks to fill the current gap in the language of the state riot control statute to prevent the banning of ownership, possession or transportation of firearms and ammunition during declared states of emergency.

SB 875, signed by the governor, limits the liability of owners, employees and customers from injuries that occur at gun ranges, gun shops and gun clubs.

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