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Legislative Update: Important Changes to Oklahoma Laws

 

Following the 2019 Oklahoma legislative session, several bills dealing with firearm restrictions, gun rights, and medical marijuana were signed into law by Governor Stitt. Find out what has changed and how you can stay on the right side of the law.

All laws went into effect November 1, 2019.

Constitutional Carry

House Bill 2597 enacts a form of permitless carry commonly known as “constitutional carry.” The State of Oklahoma now permits firearm carry by any person at least 21 years of age or who is at least 18 years of age and in the military—concealed or unconcealed—if the person is not otherwise disqualified from possessing or purchasing a firearm.

There is no change to the current licensing law. The state-issued Self-Defense Act handgun license program remains in place for persons who still wish to obtain a license for reciprocity with other states.

Seventeen states currently recognize a person’s right to constitutional carry (open or concealed) without a license or permit. Constitutional carry states: Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, West Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

HB 2597 alters 12 sections of law in the Self-Defense Act and Oklahoma Firearms Act:

  • Who Can Carry? A person 21 years old or older, who can pass a federal background check and who is allowed to legally purchase a firearm and carry a firearm, open or concealed. A person 18 years of age, if they are Active Duty Military or Reserve. (Page 3 & 4)
  • Prohibited Persons: A person can be prohibited from the carrying of firearms because of a previous crime. (Page 4). No felons are allowed to be in legal possession of any firearm. No person with a domestic violence conviction may be in possession of a firearm. Persons adjudicated with mental illness shall not be in legal possession of a firearm. Illegal aliens shall not be in possession of a firearm. (Page 11)
  • Defining Firearms: The term “Handgun” changes to “Firearm.” (Throughout HB 2597)
  • Prohibited Places: The new law does not allow carry into any area that is currently prohibited by law, for a person that does, or does not, have a Self-Defense Handgun License. (Page 5)
  • Prohibited Campus Carry: Unless otherwise specified or exempted by law, no person is allowed to carry on a college or university campus, or any other educational campus. (Page 6 & 7)
  • Peace Officers: Carry of a Firearm (Page 9)
  • Transporting Firearms in Vehicles: 21-year-old persons may legally carry a loaded handgun, with or without a handgun license. Same persons can have a “Magazine loaded” long gun but NOT chamber-loaded. (Page 1 & 15)
  • Licensing: The SDA Handgun Licensing Program remains available for persons. (Page 18)
  • Carry of a Firearm: The carry of a firearm shall not be considered disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, or any similar charge. (Page 17) LEO, supervisor and municipality or agency can all face civil action for violation of a person’s rights. (Page 17) A person may NOT carry a firearm for self-defense in their bare hands, unless a defensive act takes place. They must carry the firearm either by holster, scabbard, sling or case. A person holding or carrying a firearm by hand may be considered brandishing.
  • Law Enforcement Officer Request for ID: A person in possession of a firearm must identify ONLY upon the request of a Law Enforcement Officer. (Page 21) A person SHALL NOT have a firearm removed from them, or be restrained, unless the LEO can articulate a criminal act. (Page 20) This is existing law.
  • Business Owner Rights: Business Owners can control all weapons on their property. (Does not apply to weapons in vehicles.) A person in violation of the business owner’s weapons-policy may either be prohibited entry into the business, or asked to leave after entry into the business. If person refuses to leave and LEO is summoned, the person may be arrested for failure to leave and punished under Section 1276. If the business does not notify customer of the weapons-policy and contacts Law Enforcement, the LEO must give opportunity for patron to leave before any other action can be taken. (Pages 21-23)
  • Immunity: Extends state and municipality immunity for incidents involving license holders and pistols to all firearms incidents. (Page 24)

Concealed Carry on Public Trust Properties

House Bill 2010 authorizes the concealed carry of handguns on public trust properties, primarily directed at zoos and parks owned by public trusts or non profits. Open carry on these properties is specifically prohibited.  (Page 3 & 4)

Definition of “Sawed-Off Shotgun”

Senate Bill 24 alters the definition of “sawed-off shotgun” so that Oklahomans may legally possess firearms such as the Mossberg Shockwave or Remington TAC 14 without obtaining an NFA tax stamp. Now Oklahoma follows the federal definition, and shotguns with a barrel length of less than 18 inches are legal, as long as they have an overall length of 26 inches or more.

Remember, in the eyes of law enforcement, there is no excuse for not knowing Oklahoma’s newest laws. For any questions regarding changes and updates to Oklahoma law, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

All legal services are provided by independent third party program attorneys. U.S. LawShield is not a law firm but a legal services company or similar entity regulated under state law, which provides benefits and coverage for their members. The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of, a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result as a result from use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any Independent Program Attorney, and any individual.

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