Oklahoma Open Carry Law Embraced By Many In Tulsa

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 10:03 pm
By: News On 6

It's official: Oklahoma will be an open carry state starting in November.

Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1733 into a law Tuesday afternoon, making it legal for Oklahomans to get a handgun license and carry their guns unconcealed.

But the bill has triggered a lot of mixed feelings.

Oklahoma is now the 44th state to allow "open carry." Although it seems kind of cut and dry, there are some special requirements to be able to carry your gun freely.

05/14/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Impact Team: What It's Like In An Open Carry State

Stephen Brewer has a concealed handgun license. He says it's good that Oklahomans will now have the option to carry openly, but he'd rather stick to the traditional approach and keep his gun hidden.

"Sometimes it may be a hazard, Brewer said. "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."

There are some stipulations to the law, however, your gun must be in a holster that is either fully or partially visible and also it cannot be any longer than 16 inches.

Oklahomans who plan to carry guns openly must also have a handgun license and an Oklahoma ID on them at all times.

As a convenience store clerk, Daniel Ayodele says he's afraid some unlicensed people might try to take advantage of the new law.

"It will not be wise to do that because when you carry a gun, you can use that to harass people," Ayodele said.

He also feels the state is taking one step backwards by signing this bill into a law.

"That would not be right because it looks like we would be getting back in the old days of the cowboys," he said.

News On 6 found many are for this change.

"I like the law. I think it's a great law," John Danchertsen said. "I think ultimately we'll be safer."

"I think it's okay, especially with everything that's happening and all the home invasions and everything," Lisa Brannin said. "I can certainly understand why someone would want to. I think it's fine."

"Personally, it wouldn't bother me as long as it's in their holster," Mont McNeil said.

This law goes into effect November 1, 2012.

Even with this law, it is still illegal to carry a gun on any government property, schools, and colleges or at a sports arena. Also, you cannot carry your gun while under the influence of alcohol.