Open Carry Group Hopes To Educate Oklahomans About New Law

Thursday, September 27th 2012, 10:03 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's new open carry law goes into effect in a little over a month.

Anyone who has a permit to carry concealed, will be allowed to carry their gun, in full view.

A group called the Oklahoma Open Carry Association hopes to educate citizens and police officers about how the law works.

The training, background check, all that's required to currently get a concealed permit, will remain the same, but after November 1, your permit will allow you to carry your gun hidden under your clothes or out in the open.

5/15/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Open Carry Law Embraced By Many In Tulsa

Currently, 43 states allow people to carry guns openly in some fashion.

Oklahoma will become the 44th on November 1, and we could soon see people shopping, eating out, and going into businesses carrying a gun in full view.

It might be a shock to some, at first.

"I foresee there might be some, ‘Oh my God, he's got a gun, call the police,' calls, and hopefully law enforcement will handle that appropriately," said Bryan Hull.

Hull created the Oklahoma Open Carry Association and said the law allows officers to ask to see the permit of any person openly carrying a firearm.

He said he disagrees with the argument this law gives free rein to criminals to strap on their weapons in public.

"Criminals don't open carry. Studies by the FBI, in 2006, a huge one said criminals conceal their weapons, they hide them. They don't want to have that attention drawn to them," Hull said.

Hull said he believes there are three advantages to carrying openly: It gives people the opportunity to be a good ambassador for gun right, it makes it easier to access you weapon when necessary, and he said it's a huge deterrent to crime.

7/20/2012 Related Story: Flood Of Applications Delays Oklahoma Concealed Carry Licenses

"Someone who wants to start a criminal attack will be less likely to do so when he sees someone is openly carrying, so I believe there will be fewer incidents of using a defensive firearm," Hull said.

The same places that didn't allow concealed weapons won't allow open carry, either. Those places include government buildings and bars and any private business that posts a sign.

"A lot of businesses have recognized criminals are not deterred by these signs anyway," Hull said.

Hull said he thinks it's a good idea to carry a retention holder that makes it harder for a criminal to take your gun away from you, and it never hurts to get additional training.

He said if you have to leave your gun in your car, there are ways to secure it.

Hull said more than 130,000 Oklahomans currently have a permit to carry concealed, and there are only two restrictions: The gun barrel can't be more than 16 inches long and you can't carry anything bigger than a .45 caliber.