With Open Carry Now Legal, Oklahoma Businesses Have Decision To Make
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahomans can openly carry guns in public when a new law goes into effect Thursday.
Now, businesses must choose whether to allow guns in their stores.
The open carry law only applies to license holders, guns must be holstered and businesses can refuse to allow guns.
That won't be a problem at any QuikTrip stores.
"We operate in a lot of states that allow open carry and we've never had a problem. So at this point, if a customer has open carry, that's fine. They can enter a QuikTrip," said QT's Mike Thornbrugh.
The corporation says it would rather know someone is carrying a gun than be surprised.
"I think the unknown makes people wonder more than what they actually see," Thornbrugh said.
QuikTrip employees are still banned from carrying weapons.
Other high traffic areas, like Woodland Hills Mall, will not allow guns.
Management says weapons violate mall policy.
"This policy is intended first and foremost to maintain a safe, secure and comfortable environment at our malls, which has always been our top priority," said Woodland Hills Mall representative Jodi Koch.
When it comes to restaurants, Mazzio's says their policy is all about the customer.
Mazzio's said their policy is to respect the law and allow customers to carry openly inside the store, if they want. However, they say they are going to carefully monitor the situation, listen to customer feedback about experiences inside and outside the store, and they will change that policy if they feel it is best.
Over the past year, handgun permit applications have increased by about 40 percent.
Right now, 142,000 Oklahomans have their handgun permit.
Guns are still prohibited in the same places they were before the change, like in government buildings, schools, sporting arenas and bars.
You can carry your gun onto a designated parking lot, no matter the business's policy.