New Gun Laws Take Effect in Oklahoma

November has finally arrived, and along with it comes crisp fall air, ever shorter daylight hours, and new gun laws.

As we reported last spring, the Governor signed several pro-gun bills that went into effect on November 1st.

We turned to U.S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles to explain the new laws.

U. S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles
U. S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles

Here is what Robles has to say:

“State lawmakers passed several pieces of legislation this past session that expanded and clarified gun rights in Oklahoma.

“One new law clarifies the statute used by cities to ban the carrying of weapons on fairgrounds property during state fairs.

“The Tulsa and Oklahoma Fairgrounds buildings will be gun-free areas during the state fairs. However, there will be no criminal penalty for those with a concealed carry license for possessing a gun inside fairgrounds buildings. The gun-carrying individual may be denied entrance or asked to leave if the conceal carry weapon is discovered. If he refuses to leave and the police are summoned, he can be issued a citation for an amount not to exceed $250.

“Note that this new law does not apply to any other county fair or fairgrounds.

“In addition to closing a loophole, the new law dramatically reforms much of the prohibited places section of the Self Defense Act.

“As of November 1st, it will no longer be a misdemeanor crime to carry into many public buildings. The penalty is lowered to a trespass violation with a maximum fine of $250. This excludes courthouses, courtrooms, jails and prisons, and public schools.

“The law also provides that guns are now permitted at any publicly owned or operated sports arena or venue during a professional sporting event if allowed by the event holder, as well as any place where gambling is permitted, again if allowed by the property owner.
“Removed from prohibited places where carrying guns is unlawful are public parking lots, including those places where gambling is authorized.

“However, if the event holder prohibits firearms, the law decriminalizes carrying into professional sporting events held at public venues. Private venues have been removed completely from the old law, so the decision to allow carry is up to the management of the private venue.

“Specifically, 21 OK Stat § 21-1290.22 is amended as follows:

“D. No person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship or business entity shall be permitted to establish any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person from carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm on property within the specific exclusion provided for in paragraph 4 of subsection B of Section 1277 of this title; provided that carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm may be prohibited in the following places:

1. The portion of a public property structure or building during an event authorized by the city, town, county, state or federal governmental authority owning or controlling such building or structure;
2. Any public property sports field, including any adjacent seating or adjacent area set aside for viewing a sporting event, where an elementary or secondary school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or an International Olympic Committee or organization or any committee subordinate to the International Olympic Committee event is being held;
3. The fairgrounds during the Oklahoma State Fair or the Tulsa State Fair; and
4. The portion of a public property structure or building that is leased or under contract to a business or not-for-profit entity or group for offices.

“The law also strengthens legal protections for businesses that allow employees to carry a firearm while at work as well as property owners that permit guns.

“Specifically, 21 OK Stat § 21-1290.22 is amended as follows:

“F. A person, property owner, tenant, employer, holder of an event permit, place of worship or business entity that does not prohibit persons from carrying a concealed or unconcealed weapon pursuant to subsection D of this section shall be immune from any liability arising from the carrying of a concealed or unconcealed weapon on the property.

“Students, teachers and visitors with a valid concealed-carry permit will be able to bring handguns to a CareerTech campus — as long as they keep them in their locked vehicles. Most high school students still will be unable to bring a gun in their vehicles because persons must be at least 21 years old to get a concealed carry permit.

“Another new law that went into effect provides that anyone with a misdemeanor drug conviction will be able to apply for a handgun carry license as long as they served out their sentences more than ten years ago. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will issue gun licenses to those people who meet the new criteria under the provisions of the new law.”

“Make certain you are aware of the changes to the gun laws that are now in effect,” Robles adds.

Stay up to date on gun laws by attending a U.S. Law Shield seminar in your area. To find one near you, go to www.gunlawseminar.com and register.