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Bill Would Allow Open Carry

posted 02/12/09 3:16 pm

Oklahoma City - Oklahomans would be allowed to carry a visible rifle, shotgun or pistol without a handgun license under a bill filed by state Rep. Mike Ritze.

"In Oklahoma, carrying a rifle or shotgun in your pickup is an accepted practice and most Oklahomans believe they should have the right to carry their guns openly if they have not been convicted of a crime," by Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. "I hope my fellow lawmakers will approve this bill in committee. It is an affirmation of their belief in our Second Amendment rights."

House Bill 1414 specifies that the firearm would have to be carried in a belt holster, a scabbard or a case designed for carrying firearms that is "wholly or partially visible." Currently, Oklahomans by law may carry an unloaded, visible rifle, shotgun or pistol to hunt, in a class, at a sporting event or in a police or military function without a handgun license.

"I believe House Bill 1414 will make it crystal clear that you can have a hunting rifle in your vehicle under most circumstances," Ritze said.

Ritze noted that he planned to support several gun bills filed by other lawmakers during the 2009 legislative session including a bill that would create lifetime concealed carry licenses.

"Oklahomans oppose most gun restrictions with the exception of preventing convicted felons from purchasing firearms," Ritze said. "The Second Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms, however, and as I was elected to uphold our rights, I will do my best to eliminate gun restrictions I see as unreasonably restrictive."