EDMOND — People want to know what to expect Nov. 1 when the Constitutional Carry/Permitless Carry law takes effect in Oklahoma. More than 400 people showed their interest by attending the recent Constitutional Carry/Permitless Carry forum at the Edmond Downtown Community Center.
Members of the Edmond Community Oriented Policing Leadership Council hosted the forum.
The new law was vetoed in 2018 by then-Gov. Mary Fallin, but was signed into law this year by Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“For most of us there’s not any big change,” said Lt. Jeff Richardson, a 22-year veteran of the Edmond Police Department.
The new law as of Nov. 1 will no longer require a person with a firearm to inform a police officer they are carrying a firearm unless they are asked, Richardson said.
“For Edmond Police officers — do not present your weapon to an officer, just inform them where it is located,” he said.
Gun owners will be able to choose between the Constitutional Carry/Permitless Carry or the current Conceal/Open Carry law, Richardson said.
Current Oklahoma law requires a permit for concealed and open carry handguns. Legislation passed this year will allow Oklahomans 21 years old and older to carry firearms without a permit beginning Nov. 1. For those serving in the military, the age for permitless carry is 18 years and above.
Federal background checks will still apply to purchasing a firearm, Richardson said, and individuals with felonies, domestic violence convictions, and adjudicated mental illness are prohibited from carrying a firearm.
The firearms allowed to be carried won’t change much Nov. 1, but there are a few additions. After Nov. 1, rifles with a barrel length of over 16 inches and shotguns with a barrel(s) over 18 inches may be carried.
Constitutional Carry/Permitless Carry only allows open carry firearms to be carried in a holster, scabbard, case or sling, Richardson explained.
He added that a business owner can request a person to leave their business with open carry, and criminal action can be taken when a person resists leaving the business.
“For everybody involved take a deep breath, he said.
Firearms cannot be taken to a university event or a sporting event in the law that already exists. Firearms cannot leave the interior of a vehicle when inside a school parking lot. He said individuals who are carrying need to pay attention to any signs restricting firearms allowed in a building.
“You can carry a pistol loaded inside of a car,” Richardson said. “But long guns and shotguns and all of that can be magazine-loaded but not chamber-loaded.”
Any person coming into the state of Oklahoma has the ability to open carry a firearm, he added.
Richardson suggested those who are seeking more information about the Constitutional Carry/Permitless Carry law contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.