Oklahoma Gun Owners Will No Longer Need a License to Open Carry
The new bill will go into effect on November 1, 2019.
Oklahoma lawmakers overwhelming voted 40-6 for what they're calling the 'constitutional carry' bill. Oklahoma residents will be able to openly carry firearms without a background check or training starting later this year.
The new bill will allow most residents 21 and older to carry concealed or unconcealed firearms without a license. Exceptions would include anyone in the country illegally or those convicted of certain crimes. Firearms would still be prohibited in certain locations, including public buildings, schools, professional sporting events, casinos and bars.
As with any new bill anywhere, it has its supporters and detractors. One of those supporters is Don Spencer, who said "I just don't like asking government for permission to exercise a constitutional right. It's that simple." The detractors have come from some local law enforcement and business owners.
"We already have reasonable licensing and background checks," said Drew Diamond, a 22-year law enforcement veteran and former police chief of Tulsa. "From a policing standpoint, it seems like we're taking all that away and moving backward for no good reason. It seems senseless to me."
Oklahoma will be joining fourteen other states that have some version of this law on the books.