(A pro-gun Internet community of over 24,000 registered members)
For Immediate Release - May 8, 2010
OpenCarry.org urges Governor Henry to sign bill to make Oklahoma 44th open carry state
Even after bill is signed, Oklahoma handgun carry laws will remain far more strict than most states
Despite nearly 12,000 petition signatures at http://www.petitiononline.com/oc4ok/petition.htmlsupporting open carry reform in Oklahoma, and veto proof majoritiesin both houses of the legislature, Governor Brad Henry has not yet committed to signing HB 3354 to make Oklahoma the 44th open carry state. Reports today's Tulsa World, Governor "Henry said he hasn't had time to review the measure and is unsure whether he will sign it."
OpenCarry.org joins the thousands of Oklahoma open carry petition signers in urging Governor Henry to sign HB 3354. As Oklahoma open carry petition founder Russ Cook reminded petition signers in an alert earlier today, most states require no permit to open carry at age 18, even for legal aliens. See maps at http://www.opencarry.org/opencarry.html& http://www.opencarry.org/age.html.
"even after the Governor signs HB 3354, Oklahoma will continue to have some of the most strict handgun carry controls in the United States because the bill only legalizes open carry for persons who are (1) US citizens, (2)over 21 years of age, and, (3) also already holding the Oklahoma Conceal Carry Permit. These are the same trustworthy Oklahomanscarrying handguns in public throughout Oklahoma every day."
After all Cook says, this is just a "modest reform bill" merely letting conceal carry permit holders take their jackets off. Like HB 3354 sponsor Rep. Rex Duncan (R - Sand Springs) told the Tulsa World,
"Nothing in this bill changes the locations you can carry or are prohibited from carrying . . .[t]hat is not what this bill is about. This is relaxing the dress code."
Rank in file police know that the real danger to them and others come from criminals concealing guns, and NOT from law abiding permit holders. Like Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan recently told the Tulsa World, his
"department does not have a stance on the bill, but has had no trouble with . . . concealed-carry [permit holders] . . . I've been impressed."
Ultimately Mr. Cook expects Governor Henry to sign the bill once he and his staff take the timeto study it, understand how modest the bill actually is, and realize that open carry is already legal in 43 states, from Pittsburgh to Seattle.
But if Governor Henry does veto the bill, Cook expects the House to easily override his veto, and the Senate to do the same or at least come close. We have access to the still rising 11,000+ petition signer email list, and, adds Cook wryly,
"gun owners in Oklahoma have elephant memories. Should the Governor veto the bill,any Senator who changes theirvote tosustain a veto will likely have some company in their next party primary."
OpenCarry.org co-founder: John Pierce: John@OpenCarry.org
Oklahoma open carry petition founder: Russ Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org
**Open carry petition signer alert**Date: Sat, 08 May 2010 12:03:10 -0500
From: Russ Cook <email@example.com>
Subject: Oklahoma Open Carry HB3354 in danger of veto
SUBJECT: Urge Governor Henry to sign the open carry bill!
You're receiving this email because you support the Petition for Open Carry in Oklahoma at http://www.petitiononline.com/oc4ok/petition.html.
Governor Henry appears to be wavering on whether to sign HB 3354 which would legalize open carry for those holding the Oklahoma license to conceal a handgun. See
The Governor has been told that YOU, one of over 11,000 Oklahoma citizens who have signed the open carry petition,might presentsome sort of danger to our state law enforcement officers if you take your jacket off while lawfully carrying a properly holstered handgun.
This hypothesis has no basis in fact - 43 states allow open carry, most without any need for a license, and no state has experienced threats to police officers by open carriers. In fact, all rank and file police officers in the field know that the true threat to them comes from criminals concealing guns.
Your IMMEDIATE action is need to help persuade Governor Henry to do the right thing and sign HB 3354 - URGENT - we literally only have hours or days to make this happen!
ACTION ITEM: Call AND email Governor Henry TODAY andlet him know we want this bill signed!
1. SUGGESTED PHONE MESSAGE - call (405) 521-2342 TODAY and leave a BRIEF voice mail or message with staff - example: "Governor Henry, Please sign HB 3354 to make Oklahoma the 44th state to allow open carry. My name is ____ and I live in ____ here in Oklahoma. Thank you."
2. SUGGESTED EMAIL MESSAGE - go to http://www.ok.gov/governor/message.phpTODAY and fill in your contact info.
Suggested Topic: Please sign Please sign HB 3354 to make Oklahoma the 44th state to allow open carry
Dear Governor Henry:
Please sign HB 3354 to make Oklahoma the 44th state to allow open carry!
Open carry is a valuable individual right and has not endangered police officers in the 44 states that allow it, including in America's great cities, from Atlanta, to Richmond, to Pittsburgh, to Toledo, to Seattle, and beyond.
In fact, police officers in Georgia have recently reported that open carry deterred a violent armed robbery. See http://www.examiner.com/x-5619-Atlan...ry-in-Kennesaw
Moreover, rank and file Oklahoma police officers in the field already know what a recent FBI study concluded - that even in open carry states, violent criminals always CONCEAL their guns and don't ever wear holsters. See Anthony Pinizzotto, et al., Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers, FBI (2006) (finding that violent criminals carefully "conceal" their guns and "eschew holsters"), summarized at http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home...html?serial=62.
As you know, in most states, no permit is required to open carry at age 18, see maps at http://www.opencarry.org/opencarry.html& http://www.opencarry.org/age.html, and this usually includes both US citizens and legal resident aliens alike.
But even after you sign HB 3354, Oklahoma will continue to have some of the most strict handgun carry controls in the United States because the bill only legalizes open carry for persons who are (1) US citizens, (2)over 21 years of age, and, (3) also already holding the Oklahoma Conceal Carry Permit. These are the same trustworthy Oklahomanscarrying handguns in public throughout Oklahoma every day.
Over 11,000 Oklahomans have signed the open carry petition. I join them in urging you to sign HB 3354.
This issue is very important to me and many other people. Please let me know what you are going to do.