Oklahoma Needs An Open Carry Law for Guns

In a previous post I advised that it would be nice if people could openly carry a firearm.  There are contradictory opinions.   According to some Tulsa folks, they agree that it is time that the Oklahoma Legislature sanction the open carrying of firearms.

Open carry gun law bill called crime deterrent

BY WAYNE GREENE – Tulsa World    Comment on this article 0

Published: January 23, 2012
 TULSA — Scott Hannaford’s holster is empty, but he doesn’t want to keep it that way.

The Tulsan is committed to extending Second Amendment rights, including passage of an open carry law in Oklahoma.

photo - Scott  Hannaford sits last week  with his  holster  and gun magazines in Tulsa.  Photo by  JAMES GIBBARD,  Tulsa World

Scott Hannaford sits last week with his holster and gun magazines in Tulsa. Photo by JAMES GIBBARD, Tulsa World

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at a glance

PROPOSED OPEN CARRY LAW

Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, has proposed Senate Bill 1092, which would allow Oklahomans who are at least 21 years old to openly carry loaded or unloaded shotguns, rifles or pistol, if they have taken gun safety instructions from the National Rifle Association or other authorized instructors and carry a card verifying their training. The guns must be carried in a holster that is wholly or partially visible or in a scabbard or case designed for carrying guns. Under the proposal, guns could not be carried into government buildings, to government meetings, to prisons or jails, to elementary or secondary schools, to professional sports events, to pari-mutuel betting facilities or anyplace where guns are specifically prohibited by law. To make his point, he wears an empty holster when he walks through his daily life — anywhere it would be legal to carry a gun if the state Legislature were to pass a pending open carry law this year.

He wears it to stores and on the streets, and, yes, it draws a lot of strange looks, Hannaford said.  “It’s a great conversation starter,” he said.  Some people joke that he’s lost something, but Hannaford said he’s had a lot of good open discussions about what he believes and why he believes it.  In his efforts, Hannaford also is active in OK2A, a local gun rights group; writes on the opencarrry.org forum and carries on email conversations with people for and against gun rights.

His best argument for open carry is deterrence.  Criminals won’t be willing to victimize armed citizens. Police are good, but they can’t be everywhere, and openly armed citizens will naturally stop crimes from occurring, Hannaford said.

Oklahoma is one of only seven states without some sort of open carry law, according to opencarry.org

Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, has proposed a straightforward open carry law for consideration by the Legislature this year.

LAST YEAR’S CONTROVERSY

Open carry law was the centerpieces of one of the most dramatic and controversial moments in the Legislature last year.

House Bill 1647 would have allowed people “in fear of bodily harm” to carry guns.

The bill had been bottled up in a House committee, but its author, Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, was able to use parliamentary procedure to force the bill onto the House floor as the deadline for its consideration came near.

In a confusing, late-night flurry of floor action, Bennett ended up mistakenly accepting an amendment that essentially crippled his own bill, which then passed, although some of those voting for the measure said they didn’t realize what was going on.

The action essentially sidelined the issue for the rest of the legislative year.

‘WHATEVER IT TAKES’ Hannaford said he has hopes that this year the issue will be decided differently.  Oklahoma is largely rural state, and most of the people are comfortable with guns and are ready to extend gun rights, he said.  If the law passes, Hannaford said he won’t hesitate to fill his holster and then use that gun when necessary.  If it comes down to defending his life or those of his loved ones or even strangers, Hannaford said he’s willing to step forward.  “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to reduce crime and help those around me,” he said.

He can be emailed at ok2a2oc@yahoo.com.

 

Read more: http://newsok.com/article/3642669#ixzz1l5I7iKFy

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