Gun laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is generally a gun-friendly state, and has mostly less-restrictive gun laws. Being part of the Southern United States and Western United States, Oklahoma is home to a strong gun culture, which is reflected in Oklahoma's gun laws.
On May 15, 2012, Oklahoma State Senate Bill 1733 was signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin, which authorized open and concealed carry of handguns by permit holders. This law took effect November 1, 2012, and made Oklahoma the 25th state of the United States to allow licensed open carry.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Buying, Selling, and Owning Firearms
- 3 Carrying Firearms in Public
- 4 Specific Crimes with Firearms
- 5 Right to Keep and Bear Arms in State Constitution
- 6 See also
- 7 References
|Subject/Law||Long guns||Handguns||Relevant Statutes||Notes|
|State Permit to Purchase?||No||No||-||Private sales legal, no waiting period.|
|"Assault weapon" law?||No||No||–||None|
|Owner license required?||No||No||§21-1273, §21-1276, §21-1283,||None|
|Carry permits issued?||No||Yes||§21-1277, §21-1272, §21-1278, §21-1290.5||Concealed carry of loaded handguns permitted; open carry became lawful with permit as of November 1st, 2012. Unlicensed public carry of unloaded handguns and long arms by persons eligible to possess firearms is allowed under some circumstances.|
|Open carry permitted?||No||Yes||§21-1290||Open carry is permitted with a handgun carry license.|
|State Preemption of local restrictions?||Yes||Yes||§21-1289.24||–|
|NFA weapons restricted?||No||No||§21-1289.18||Short barreled rifles and shotguns are illegal to possess under state law unless registered under the NFA, ownership and possession of automatic firearms is legal under state law.|
Buying, Selling, and Owning Firearms
In Oklahoma (under state law), private sales of firearms are legal. However, knowingly selling a firearm to a person who cannot legally purchase or possess the firearm (such as a convicted felon, minor, or drug addict) is illegal, and punishable by up to 180 days in jail. Under state law, you must be 18 to buy a firearm of any type (handguns or long guns) from a private seller.
Felons, mentally ill persons, drug addicts, and certain juvenile offenders are prohibited from buying or owning firearms. You must be 18 years of age to possess or own firearms, with a few exceptions for special circumstances. When purchasing a firearm from a dealer, you must complete a federal background check. This process (passing the background check) usually only takes a few minutes, but the government has up to three days to complete the background check. After three days, the dealer has the right to proceed or deny the transfer. There is no limit to the number of firearms that a person may buy or own under state law.
Minors and Firearms
Minors may own firearms that are given to them by their parents, relatives, or legal guardians. However, they may not generally possess firearms unsupervised until they are 18 years of age. There are exceptions to this rule, such as when a minor possessing a hunting license (and having passed a hunter's safety course) is hunting, possession of firearm(s) on certain types of private property, and possession of firearm(s) in one's own home.
Owning or possessing a short-barreled shotgun or rifle is illegal and a felony under state law, unless the short barreled firearm is registered under the National Firearms Act. Owning or possessing a fully automatic firearm is not illegal under state law, but is still illegal under federal law unless the automatic firearm is registered under the National Firearms Act. Local and State authorities are not obligated to enforce federal firearms law or notify federal authorities of federal firearms law violations, however they may, or may not, choose to do so.
Carrying Firearms in Public
Carrying a handgun in public circumstances or on public land requires a valid handgun carry permit, issued by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Individuals must pass an extensive background check, meet certain requirements, be at least 21 years of age, and pass a firearms handling and safety course to be issued a permit.
Restrictions on Carrying Handguns
Individuals possessing handgun carry permits may not carry handguns firearms of greater than .45 caliber. Individuals with handgun carry permits may not carry in an establishment whose primary purpose is the serving of alcoholic beverages. Handgun carry permit holders may not consume alcoholic beverages while carrying. Doing so will result in revocation of carry permit and possible criminal charges. Carry with permit is allowed in an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, (such as a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages) as long as that is not the primary purpose of said establishment. Handgun carry permit holders cannot carry into any sports arena during a professional sporting event, in an area or building where pari-mutuel wagering is authorized (such as a casino), cannot carry in schools nor in any government building.
Handgun carry permit holders must have their license on their person while they are carrying.
Penalties for Carrying Without Permit
Carrying a firearm in public, loaded or unloaded, without a permit is generally illegal and a misdemeanor under state law. Penalties for a first time offense are a maximum of 30 days in jail, confiscation of the firearm(s) illegally carried, and a $250 fine. Repeat offenses may be punished by up to 90 days in jail, with an increased fine.
Handgun Carry Reciprocity
Oklahoma recognizes and legally respects all and any out of state handgun carry permits, even if the issuing state does not recognize an Oklahoma carry permit.
Oklahoma §21-1290.26. reads "The State of Oklahoma hereby recognizes any valid concealed or unconcealed carry weapons permit or license issued by another state. Any person entering this state in possession of a firearm authorized for concealed or unconcealed carry upon the authority and license of another state is authorized to continue to carry a concealed or unconcealed firearm and license in this state; provided the license from the other state remains valid. The firearm must either be carried unconcealed and in plain view or fully concealed from detection and view, and upon coming in contact with any peace officer of this state, the person must disclose the fact that he or she is in possession of a concealed or unconcealed firearm pursuant to a valid concealed or unconcealed carry weapons permit or license issued in another state."
Individuals with hunting licenses may open carry loaded long arms and handguns when hunting during hunting season. Outside of this and a few other limited exceptions, Open Carry of handguns in a public setting requires a valid carry permit. Carry of unloaded, cased firearms without a permit is allowed while on foot, just as it is allowed while traveling in a vehicle. Firearms that are not handguns, (long arms) carried by pedestrians generally must be both completely unloaded and cased.
However, any person eligible to legally possess firearms may openly carry unloaded firearms that are not cased specifically "When going to or from the person's private residence or vehicle or a vehicle in which the person is riding as a passenger to a place designated or authorized for firearms repairs or reconditioning, or for firearms trade, sale, or barter, or gunsmith, or hunting animals or fowl, or hunter safety course, or target shooting, or skeet or trap shooting or any recognized firearms activity or event and while in such places". Only under these circumstances may individuals carry unloaded firearms publicly that are not cased.
Generally, when carrying firearms in a motor vehicle, (when traveling on public land or roads) they must be out of reach of the driver, unloaded, and cased. Persons possessing a handgun carry license may carry a loaded handgun inside their vehicle on their person, just as they are permitted to do so on foot. Persons possessing a handgun carry license may transport a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle under their control, and store a loaded handgun in a locked, secure, motor vehicle. They may also transport loaded magazines for both handguns and long guns, however, they cannot legally transport loaded long guns. Firearms being improperly transported in any way may be immediately confiscated by police without compensation.
Carry on Private Property
Open or concealed carry of a firearm on privately owned land or inside a residence (such as a backyard, in your own home, or a large farm) is legal for persons 18 years and older who can legally possess firearms, and no permit is required. However, if a disturbance is caused, such carry could be construed as Disturbing the peace by law enforcement. Additionally, brandishing a firearm without good, legal cause (such as self defense, defense of another, or lawful defense of property) is illegal. Carrying a firearm on private property generally requires the consent/permission of the property owner.
Prohibited Places and Authorized Persons
Carrying of any firearms or weapons in a government building or on school grounds is illegal and a felony, even if the citizen carrying possesses a concealed carry permit. The only exceptions to this law are for licensed government or security personnel, such as state police officers, agents of the federal government, and certain security guards. Security guards of at least 21 years of age may receive a license to possess firearms during the course of their official duties if they meet certain requirements. Security guards are not authorized to carry firearms outside of their official duties. Police officers and qualified retired police officers are allowed to carry a handgun when off-duty, however, they are subject to many of the same restrictions and conditions on carry as a private citizen with a handgun carry license when not performing their official duties.
Concealed Carry On Campus
Concealed carry permit holders are not allowed to carry on college campuses. Doing so will usually result in serious criminal charges, and permanent permit revocation. There is an exception to this rule, but it is very specific, and rarely utilized. In order for a concealed carry permit holder to carry on a college campus in complete legality, they must obtain written permission from the president of the specific college where they wish to carry. The president may issue restrictions or conditions on the permission to carry on campus. Also, a physical copy of the written authorization must be carried by the permit holder while they are carrying concealed on campus. Very few, if any, concealed carry permit holders ever receive authorization to carry a concealed firearm on any college campus in the state, due to these restrictions.
House Bill 1652 would allow licensed students, teachers and visitors to keep their guns in their locked vehicles on CareerTech campuses. HB 1652 alters current legislation, which outlaws weapons on CareerTech campuses. The legislation, by Rep. John Enns, passed the committee 11-4 on 3 March 2011, and passed the full House by a vote of 84-14 on 17 February 2011. The new law took effect on 1 November 2011. http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=462332
Specific Crimes with Firearms
Carrying a firearm while substantially intoxicated by alcohol or another drug is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by several weeks to months in jail. Carrying a firearm in a bar without a permit is a felony. Being in possession of a firearm or imitation firearm while committing a crime of violence is a felony, regardless of whether or not the firearm or imitation firearm is used in the commission of the said crime of violence. Intentionally discharging a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence is a felony.
Carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon with the intent to commit a crime of violence is a felony.
Intentionally discharging a firearm into, or at, any dwelling, or any building used for public or business purposes, is a felony, regardless of whether or not the dwelling or building is occupied.
Intentionally pointing a firearm, loaded or unloaded, at a person, is a misdemeanor usually punished by several months in jail, and may be prosecuted as a felony, with additional penalties, if the purpose of such pointing was to cause fear, emotional distress, or to intimidate.
Discharging a firearm within a municipality (inside city limits) is illegal, even if a firearm is discharged on private property. State-licensed or recognized shooting ranges are exempt from this law.
It is unlawful for any person to "engage in reckless conduct" while possessing a firearm, if such actions create "a situation of unreasonable risk and probability of death or great bodily harm to another" and demonstrate "a conscious disregard for the safety of another person".
It is a felony to possess, use, attempt to use, carry, manufacture, cause to be manufactured, import, advertise for sale, or sell ammunition which has "a core of less than sixty percent (60%) lead" and also "has a fluorocarbon coating, which is capable of penetrating body armor".
The State of Oklahoma preempts almost all local regulation of firearms. Municipalities may not have any laws or ordinances pertaining to firearms that are more restrictive than state law.
Right to Keep and Bear Arms in State Constitution
Section 26 of the bill of rights to the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma states, "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons. "
- NRA/ILA – Firearms Laws for Utah. Retrieved May 21, 2011
- Legal Community Against Violence – Oklahoma State Law Summary. Retrieved May 21, 2011
- Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation – Self-Defense Act / Concealed Weapon License Procedures. Retrieved May 21, 2011