What do you do when someone sees your partially visible concealed weapon, or the outline of your weapon, and panics? Printing refers to the observation of the outline of a handgun under a person’s garment. Some people in Oklahoma may panic or react negatively when they see a concealed weapon, the outline, or the imprint of a concealed weapon. Depending on the circumstances as to the level of panic or dismay, you may have to deal with the police. Oklahoma allows the open or concealed carry of a pistol after securing a license from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (“OSBI”). When carrying the pistol, it must be substantially concealed and there is no law against the firearm printing or being partly visible.
Inadvertent Display is not illegal
The CCL permit and a state-issued driver’s license or ID must be carried at all times. When Oklahoma passed the law of Open Carry in 2012, printing basically became a non-issue. As long as the handgun is substantially concealed, there is no printing violation. Oklahoma does not punish or sanction an inadvertent display of a handgun. For example, when a person reaches to place something on a shelf, or to obtain goods at a grocery store, the inadvertent display of a handgun is not a criminal offense. If the police are called due to an accidental display of a concealed weapon, the CCL holder must remain calm and be prepared for if and when the police arrive. They will be interested in seeing the licensee’s state identification and concealed carry license.
When the police arrive, the licensee should be sure to advise the police that they are armed and then follow the directions of the police and produce the documents requested. Verbal judo is a concept for de-escalating a hostile situation and maintaining control using words. There are inflammatory words that excite over-reaction and there are soothing words spoken in a tone of quiet assurance that work to de-escalate a panic situation. However, the best thing is to avoid chaos and mayhem by making sure your gun doesn’t print and making sure that your clothes conceal your weapon. That is the best-case scenario.
If you have any questions about these topics, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.