The Overview – Handgun License Laws of The State of Oklahoma:
Oklahoma Self Defense Act:
A large portion of the relevant law concerning licensed carry is contained in the statute known as the Oklahoma Self Defense Act. Included in this act is a provision that allows a person with a valid “handgun” license to legally carry their handgun openly to the same extent as they could concealed with the license.
Open or Concealed:
Oklahoma allows handguns to be legally carried, concealed or openly, with a handgun license issued by Oklahoma or by any other State’s lawful authority. If a license holder is in possession of a handgun, they must upon the demand of a police officer produce their license along with another valid state identification.
Further, even with a handgun license, a handgun may not be carried openly or concealed under the following circumstances pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 §§1289.9, 1272.1, 1280.1 & 1277:
May Not Carry:
- If you are intoxicated, under the influence of a hallucinogenic, unlawful drugs, or prescribed drugs if after effects affect mental, emotional, or physical processes such that they result in abnormal behavior.
- Any building owned or leased by a city, town, county, state, or federal government authority for the purpose of conducting business with the public.
- Any building where there is a meeting of elected or appointed officials (includes city, town, county, state, federal, school board, or legislative officials).
- Prison, jail, detention facility, or any facility used to process, hold, or house arrested persons.
- A sports arena during a professional sporting event.
- Any building where pari-mutuel wagering is authorized by law.
- Any public or private school property, or vocational school, school bus, or vehicle used for transportation of students (firearms may be carried in private motor vehicles used for dropping off or picking up students as long as the motor vehicle does not remain unattended on school property).
- Any college, university, or technology center school property (with the exception of parking lots).
- In the premises of any bar, bar area of restaurant, or any other establishment whose primary purpose is to dispense alcoholic beverages.
- Inside the secured area of any airport, however a person may carry any legal firearm into the terminal that is encased for shipment purposes and checked as baggage to be lawfully transported on an aircraft pursuant to airline and TSA regulations.
In Oklahoma, it is generally illegal for a non-license holder to carry a loaded handgun, rifle, or shotgun while not on one’s own premises. Nevertheless, there are several places where both a license holder and non-license holder may possess a firearm legally. These places include:
- Property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person carrying.
- Carried inside of a vehicle, if unloaded and in plain view, in a visible gun case or mounted gun rack, or in a locked exterior compartment or trunk.
- Inside locked motor vehicles on Parking lots, if stored as according to law.
- A premises where for the hunting animals or fowl, or during competition in or practicing in a safety or hunter safety class, target shooting, skeet, trap, or other recognized sporting events.
- During a practice for or performance for entertainment purposes.
- Firearms may be openly carried to or from a private residence and a vehicle, if they are carried unloaded, while headed to the places listed above.
Oklahoma law forbids the licensed carrying of any handgun larger than a .45 caliber.
Select Overview of Oklahoma Justification For the Use of Force & Deadly Force:
Under Oklahoma law, there are several situations where a person is justified in using force or deadly force.
First, a person may use force against another to the degree the person believes that it is reasonably necessary to protect themselves or a third person from another’s unlawful use of force. Deadly force is defined as the degree of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
In Oklahoma, the law gives the presumption that a person held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm and therefore deadly force was necessary, if it is used against an individual who was unlawfully or forcibly in the process of entering or entered into a dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or place of business; or is attempting to forcibly remove another against his or her will from a dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or place of business. Deadly force is also presumed to be justified to prevent the commission or attempted commission of forcible felonies including murder, burglary, carjacking, and home invasion robberies. Further, the definitions of kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault and battery make them appear to be crimes for which deadly force is possibly justifiable as well.
Stand Your Ground:
Oklahoma law stipulates that, under the “Stand your Ground” statute, you may use deadly force to prevent the commission of a forcible felony; however, there is no Oklahoma statute that defines what a forcible felony consists of. The courts have included home invasion robbery, burglary, carjacking, and murder in the list, though case law to the justifiable homicide statute indicates that a felony which includes force against a person can justify a use of deadly force in self defense.
In Oklahoma if a person is present in any place where they have a right to be, they have no duty to retreat and have the right to meet force with force, including deadly force, if they reasonably believe that it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Protection of Property:
Oklahoma law allows a person to use force (but NOT deadly force) in the protection of property, provided that the force is not more than sufficient to prevent or terminate another’s trespass or other unlawful interference with the possession of real or personal property. Deadly force can be used in Oklahoma when the crime against property is escalated to that of a felony; which includes burglary, home invasion robbery, and could possibly include arson.
Protection of Others:
Oklahoma also allows a person to use force to protect the real and personal property of a third party. The use of force (but not deadly force) is permissible if there is a imminent danger of trespass or interference with the property, and the third party is in lawful possession of the property. You may use deadly force, however, only to stop the imminent commission of a forcible felony against their property.
Any of the above information is solely a general legal discussion of the law in Oklahoma and should not be considered as giving legal advice, nor creating an attorney-client relationship. Your situation may be different so contact an attorney regarding your personal circumstances. Please call our office for more information.
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