You’re finally going to apply for a license to carry, but do you know the process it entails? Did any of 2020’s events change the method gun owners must follow in Oklahoma to get a license to carry?
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic affected many government and state functions in Oklahoma, the state did not require firearms instructors to change anything. However, some instructors instituted new practices on their own, including social distancing, limiting class sizes, and mandatory mask use designed to slow down the rate of infection.
How Do You Get a License to Carry in Oklahoma?
Let’s review the procedure for getting a license to carry in Oklahoma: See 21 O.S. § 1290.1, The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.
According to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, you may request an application packet online from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) or by mail from your local county sheriff’s office. Instructions on how to fill out the form are provided with the application. An applicant will be required to successfully complete a firearms safety and training course from a firearms instructor approved and registered in Oklahoma. The written part of the training may be obtained online from a Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET)-certified provider. The applicant will have to demonstrate competency and qualification to carry and handle a pistol, in person, to an approved instructor.
After receiving a certificate from the firearms instructor, the certificate and application must be submitted to the local county sheriff along with a $100 filing fee, fingerprints (separate $25 fee and performed by the local sheriff’s department), and two passport-sized photos of the applicant.
An Oklahoma license to carry may be renewed anytime within 90 days prior to the expiration date. There is a 90-day grace period on license renewals beginning on the date of expiration. However, any applicant has three years from the expiration of the license to renew. Renewals may be submitted online through the OSBI site, or by completing a physical application packet, similar to the first-time application.
Along with the applicant’s necessary information for renewal, two color passport style photographs and a renewal fee of either $85 or $170 for a five- or ten-year license are required.
Is the License to Carry Also an I.D. Card?
The State of Oklahoma investigates all applicants to verify their identification using fingerprints and photos. Oklahoma also performs the usual background checks to determine whether an applicant is competent to possess or carry a firearm. The license to carry is a conceal carry permit issued by the State of Oklahoma that also operates as a state-issued identification card.
What Issues Must a Gun Owner Be Mindful of as Soon as They Get Their License?
It is important to be aware of where you are carrying because there are many prohibited areas for carrying a handgun, even with a license to carry. A person possessing a license to carry must be mindful of locations like school grounds, government buildings, and other legally prohibited areas listed in 21 O.S. § 1277. A license holder cannot legally enter a business where the primary business is the sale of alcohol. Further, a license to carry holder cannot even enter a business carrying a long gun if any alcohol is sold on the premises, such as a restaurant, grocery store, or convenience store.
What Are Common Mistakes and Penalties That Gun Owners Could Run into After Becoming Licensed?
Sometimes, gun owners accidentally enter a prohibited area like a secured area at the airport or attempt to board an airplane after forgetting they have a gun in their carry-on bag. This common error can lead to big trouble when security discovers the firearm at the security check point.
Additionally, being armed but not educated about how to properly interact with the police after a self-defense incident is a common mistake. Many people make statements that are later used as evidence against them. Using a gun in self-defense sometimes results in charges being filed and could result in a lot of time spent sitting in a courtroom.
For any questions regarding getting a license to carry in Oklahoma, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.