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Thread: Is open carry really completely legal in Oklahoma today?

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    Is open carry really completely legal in Oklahoma today?

    Hi everyone, I'm a new forum member trying to understand our complicated Oklahoma law that seems to contradict itself again and again. I don't see where open carry, without a permit is prohibited anywhere except a motor vehicle, if a "legitimate purpose" for open carry is self-defense.

    Title 21, Section 1289.6 "CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH FIREARMS MAY BE CARRIED" in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act says, "A person SHALL BE PERMITTED to CARRY LOADED or unloaded shotguns, rifles and pistols, OPEN and not concealed, and WITHOUT a handgun license as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Sections 1 through 26 of this act, pursuant to the following conditions: 6. For FOR ANY LEGITIMATE PURPOSE not in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971, Sections 1289.1 through 1289.17 of this title or any legislative enactment regarding the use, ownership and control of firearms."

    A call to someone at OSBI who identified herself as an attorney, said that open carry is prohibited under Section 1272 "UNLAWFUL CARRY", which says;

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry upon or about his or her person, or in a purse or other container belonging to the person, any pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle whether loaded or unloaded or any dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, switchblade knife, spring-type knife, sword cane, knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife, blackjack, loaded cane, billy, hand chain, metal knuckles, or any other offensive weapon, whether such weapon be concealed or unconcealed, except this section shall not prohibit:

    2. The carrying or use of weapons in a manner otherwise permitted by statute or authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act;

    Paragraph 2 under Section 1272 permits the carrying of weapons as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, which carries me right back to Title 21, Section 1289.6, paragraph 6 allowing open carry of a loaded pistol, without a license, for ANY LEGITIMATE PURPOSE.

    Not that Section 26 of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma means anything anymore when it says, "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall NEVER be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

    Maybe I'm missing something, because it seems pretty clear to me that except in prohibited places and motor vehicles, open carry of a loaded pistol is completely legal without any permit, for FOR ANY LEGITIMATE PURPOSE not in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971, Sections 1289.1 through 1289.17.

    Is unlicensed, open firearms carry actually legal in the State of Oklahoma, or not? Can someone refer me to the law that specifically prohibits openly carrying in Oklahoma?

    I've attached the Oklahoma statutes cited. I welcome the input of everyone. If I'm misunderstanding anything, please feel free to show me my error.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by flybeech; 01-18-2012 at 11:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flybeech View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm a new forum member trying to understand our complicated Oklahoma law that seems to contradict itself again and again. I don't see where open carry, without a permit is prohibited anywhere except a motor vehicle, if a "legitimate purpose" for open carry is self-defense.

    Title 21, Section 1289.6 "CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH FIREARMS MAY BE CARRIED" in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act says, "A person SHALL BE PERMITTED to CARRY LOADED or unloaded shotguns, rifles and pistols, OPEN and not concealed, and WITHOUT a handgun license as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Sections 1 through 26 of this act, pursuant to the following conditions: 6. For FOR ANY LEGITIMATE PURPOSE not in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971, Sections 1289.1 through 1289.17 of this title or any legislative enactment regarding the use, ownership and control of firearms."

    A call to someone at OSBI who identified herself as an attorney, said that open carry is prohibited under Section 1272 "UNLAWFUL CARRY", which says;

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry upon or about his or her person, or in a purse or other container belonging to the person, any pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle whether loaded or unloaded or any dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, switchblade knife, spring-type knife, sword cane, knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife, blackjack, loaded cane, billy, hand chain, metal knuckles, or any other offensive weapon, whether such weapon be concealed or unconcealed, except this section shall not prohibit:

    2. The carrying or use of weapons in a manner otherwise permitted by statute or authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act;

    Paragraph 2 under Section 1272 permits the carrying of weapons as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, which carries me right back to Title 21, Section 1289.6, paragraph 6 allowing open carry of a loaded pistol, without a license, for ANY LEGITIMATE PURPOSE.

    Not that Section 26 of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma means anything anymore when it says, "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall NEVER be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

    Maybe I'm missing something, because it seems pretty clear to me that except in prohibited places and motor vehicles, open carry of a loaded pistol is completely legal without any permit, for FOR ANY LEGITIMATE PURPOSE not in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971, Sections 1289.1 through 1289.17.

    Is unlicensed, open firearms carry actually legal in the State of Oklahoma, or not? Can someone refer me to the law that specifically prohibits openly carrying in Oklahoma?
    I argued somewhat the same way in another thread....and kept getting beat back...so, one day I took the time to look at OK case law as concerns any carry....ugly! Past court cases, back to the 20's are not good for OC (or any carry for that matter) The problem is the difference between recognizing a individual right to carry, v a collective right.

    Now, since the last two US Supreme court rulings, and some other federal and state court rulings, things may have changed...but you know what, OC at your own peril...and be ready (and financially able to) take it to the OK supreme court. Just my humble opinion.

    Funny thing: Idaho has almost exactly the same wording in their state (2a) constitution as Ok does...and ID is a Gold Star OC state...difference? State Supreme Court rulings.
    Last edited by hermannr; 01-18-2012 at 12:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    I argued somewhat the same way in another thread....and kept getting beat back...so, one day I took the time to look at OK case law as concerns any carry....ugly! Past court cases, back to the 20's are not good for OC (or any carry for that matter) The problem is the difference between recognizing a individual right to carry, v a collective right.

    Now, since the last two US Supreme court rulings, and some other federal and state court rulings, things may have changed...but you know what, OC at your own peril...and be ready (and financially able to) take it to the OK supreme court. Just my humble opinion.

    Funny thing: Idaho has almost exactly the same wording in their state (2a) constitution as Ok does...and ID is a Gold Star OC state...difference? State Supreme Court rulings.
    I've called no less than six police departments, no less than 6 county district attorneys, the OSBI and the Attorney General's office and their responses were it is illegal to open carry in Oklahoma, but not one could say what law is violated, but the 'offender' is going to jail.

    Unless I am shown otherwise, I maintain that unlicensed, open carry of a loaded pistol, except by prohibited personnel and in a motor vehicle or prohibited place is already legal, under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act and the Bill of Rights of the State of Oklahoma. Can anyone show me the error of my belief? What am I missing? Where is the law that says I can't, or has our failure to exercise a right made open carry in the State of Oklahoma a de-facto unwritten law?
    Last edited by flybeech; 01-18-2012 at 04:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flybeech View Post
    I've called no less than six police departments, no less than 6 county district attorneys, the OSBI and the Attorney General's office and their responses were it is illegal to open carry in Oklahoma, but not one could say what law is violated, but the 'offender' is going to jail.

    Unless I am shown otherwise, I maintain that unlicensed, open carry of a loaded pistol, except by prohibited personnel and in a motor vehicle or prohibited place is already legal, under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act and the Bill of Rights of the State of Oklahoma. Can anyone show me the error of my belief? What am I missing? Where is the law that says I can't, or has our failure to exercise a right made open carry in the State of Oklahoma a de-facto unwritten law?
    "You may be the rap, but you won't beat the ride" is the issue. As hermannr said, be prepared for the costly and lengthy court fight that will proceed should you OC.

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    Has anyone been convicted of OC after January 1995?

    I haven't figured out how to read case law yet and I understand there may be some actual OC convictions of otherwise law-abiding Oklahomans way back in the day, but has anyone been convicted of OC in Oklahoma after enactment of the SDA in January 1995?

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    Hej Flybeech (I like the bonanza) anyway:

    1272: A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry upon or about his or her person, or in a purse or other container belonging to the person, any pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle whether loaded or unloaded or any dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, switchblade knife, spring-type knife, sword cane, knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife, blackjack, loaded cane, billy, hand chain, metal knuckles, or any other offensive weapon, whether such weapon be concealed or unconcealed, except this section shall not prohibit:

    The big difference between this law, and most other states similar laws is the word "concealed". It does not exist in the OK statute 1272. To fix the whole OC problem in OK,(without having to go to court) all you need is to add that one word as the 10th word right after the word "carry". Without the word "concealed" in 1272, IMHO, that law is on it's face unconstitutional (OK state constitution)

    Why you are correct in you assumptions, but will have to go through a long ourt battle to get there, is in OK constitution Article 2 section 28 I believe. It states the legislature has the power to regulate carry, but the people have the right to carry. Banning carry (first paragraph of 1272) is not regulating carry. As this section states the people have the RIGHT to carry for self defence, the legislature cannot just legislate that right away by banning all carry, and then making exceptions.

    I wish I had links for the court cases involved, but I don't you can find the references again.. you can find them on Google. Anyway, As I said, I agree you are correct in your understanding..but you will end up going all the way to the supreme court of OK, and even then, you cannot guarantee the outcome, because of precident (previously decided cases)
    Last edited by hermannr; 01-19-2012 at 01:20 AM.

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    Beating a dead horse....

    As I've said in some other threads you have posted in, 1289.6 is not part of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

    Title 21 Section 1290.1 Short Title
    Sections 1 through 26 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the "Oklahoma Self-Defense Act"
    Hence 1289.6 is not included here.

    Title 21 Section 1290.3 Authority to Issue License
    The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is herby authorized to license an eligible person to carry a concealed handgun as provided by the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Sections 1 through 26 of this act.
    Only deals with concealed weapons

    Title 21 Section 1290.4 Unlawful Carry
    As provided by Section 1272 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, it is unlawful for any person to carry a concealed handgun in the state, except as hearby authorized by the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Sections 1 through 25 of this act, or as may otherwise be provided by law.
    Says it is illegal to carry concealed unless you jump through the hoops in this section. No mention of OC, but this entire section only deals with concealed.

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    hrdware: I still disagree with you that it "only" deals with CC. In 1290.22 it uses the word "any"...and it means "any".

    IMHO:1290:22 recognizes the right of a private individual to control carry on his/her own property/business. While I agree that most other states have it written in a clearer fashion so there is no equivication, 1290.22 still says, private property rights are not to be violated by this act. (I am sure this was added because of the funky 1920 court case.)

    finally found teh case reference list, go to the individual law, the cases are at the bottom:

    http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCI...elf-DefenseAct
    Last edited by hermannr; 01-19-2012 at 01:12 PM.

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    hermanner: We have batted this back and forth more than enough for me, so I am just going to agree to disagree with you on this.

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    Sounds fine to me hrdware. Our opinions mean squat until the OK supreme court agrees with one of us...

    However, I'm sure glad I don't live in OK anymore. WA and ID (the states I am in most) both have guaranteed unfettered, unlicensed OC. You guys could absolutely have the same if you would just add the word "concealed" to 1272.

    Rather than work on getting an OC exemption, work to get the word added, "carry concealed" rather than just "carry". IMHO: the excuse would be to align the wording of 1272 with the state constitution.

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    Angry I'm a total noob, so forgive me for starting another open carry thread on opencarry

    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    hermanner: We have batted this back and forth more than enough for me, so I am just going to agree to disagree with you on this.
    I really didn't mean to bring trouble to everyone in opencarry.org, by bringing yet another thread about open carry, when it has already been back and forth and just beating a dead horse. From now on, I'll be more careful not to question the authority of the state on matters that have already been settled, even though there appears to be nothing in the law other than ancient court cases that actually prohibits open carry.

    Now, I'm just a mere aircraft mechanic, not a lawyer and certainly not the expert in this matter as the other members of this forum, but I'm still troubled with the way the statute is written which to me, allows open carry for any lawful person with any legitimate reason. It is becoming clear that while the law seems to allow it, some court cases vaguely deny the right. No where is "any legitimate reason" defined and we allow law enforcement to decide what "any legitimate reason" is, on the spot and without any written definition.

    21-1289.6 says "A person shall be permitted to carry loaded and unloaded shotguns, rifles and pistols, open and not concealed and without a handgun license as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act for any legitimate purpose. 21-1272 says "It shall be unlawful for any person to carry...except this section shall not prohibit the carrying or use of weapons in a manner otherwise permitted by statute or authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act..."

    If anti-liberty people can take our rights incrementally and in baby steps, why can't we push back in the same incremental way? If open carry events were organized to do things for example, parking a mile away from a gun show with everyone walking to the gun show openly carrying, I would jump at the chance to participate. Is walking to a gun show with your gun illegal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flybeech View Post
    I really didn't mean to bring trouble to everyone in opencarry.org, by bringing yet another thread about open carry, when it has already been back and forth and just beating a dead horse. From now on, I'll be more careful not to question the authority of the state on matters that have already been settled, even though there appears to be nothing in the law other than ancient court cases that actually prohibits open carry.

    Now, I'm just a mere aircraft mechanic, not a lawyer and certainly not the expert in this matter as the other members of this forum, but I'm still troubled with the way the statute is written which to me, allows open carry for any lawful person with any legitimate reason. It is becoming clear that while the law seems to allow it, some court cases vaguely deny the right. No where is "any legitimate reason" defined and we allow law enforcement to decide what "any legitimate reason" is, on the spot and without any written definition.

    21-1289.6 says "A person shall be permitted to carry loaded and unloaded shotguns, rifles and pistols, open and not concealed and without a handgun license as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act for any legitimate purpose. 21-1272 says "It shall be unlawful for any person to carry...except this section shall not prohibit the carrying or use of weapons in a manner otherwise permitted by statute or authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act..."

    If anti-liberty people can take our rights incrementally and in baby steps, why can't we push back in the same incremental way? If open carry events were organized to do things for example, parking a mile away from a gun show with everyone walking to the gun show openly carrying, I would jump at the chance to participate. Is walking to a gun show with your gun illegal?
    I think you misunderstand what I was saying. By beating a dead horse, I meant I had responded to the same statements by you in 2 other threads. New threads are always welcome, we just try and not have the same conversation in every thread.

    The problem is that the law does seem to allow it, but case law sets precedent that "just because something bad might happen" is not a legitimate reason. We all agree that this case law is bad and should be overturned or legislated. The cops aren't the ones deciding it is legal or not, they are arresting people because the case law says it is illegal. There are only 2 ways to push back, one is to work within the system, the other is to be a test case. Being a test case takes time and money, and even if you can beat the wrap, you won't beat the ride.

    You can already open carry to a gun show with an unloaded gun...no question about that. The question comes in to carrying a loaded gun.

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    This reminds me of Michigan, except they didn't roll over.

    There are striking similarities of what we face in Oklahoma as what Michiganders faced, where OC was legal, but de facto illegal and Michiganders pressed the issue and won an opinion from their AG. I've been everywhere on the web and saved piles of statutes and case law. Since there is nothing that forbids OC and 1289.6 actually seems to allow OC under the "legitimate purpose" exception, the one thing most people seem to reference is Pierce v State in 1929. 64 years later, the SDA was passed which seeps to permit open carry under 1289.6 for "any legitimate purpose". To me, self defense is the only legitimate purpose I can imagine, which was what SDA was all about, in addition to collecting personal information, submission to investigation, fingerprints and of course, FEES.

    Have any otherwise lawful Oklahomans been convicted of openly carrying a firearm since 1995 and if so, what law were they convicted of violating?

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