Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state where it is legal for an adult to openly carry a firearm for certain “legitimate purposes” without a permit, and for certain other purposes with a permit.

Oklahoma is a state where it is legal for an adult to openly carry a firearm for certain “legitimate purposes” without a permit, and for certain other purposes with a permit, under the Oklahoma Firearms Act and Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. According to Article II, Section 26 of the Oklahoma State Constitution, every citizen has a right “to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereunto legally summoned.”

Oklahoma’s policies do not mean that everyone may have a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. The following sections explain what it means to carry a gun for a “legitimate purpose”, when a permit is needed, who may not have a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.

Open Carrying in Oklahoma

You are not required to possess a permit when openly carrying a rifle, shotgun, or pistol for certain“legitimate purposes” not in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971. Legitimate purposes include, but are not limited to:

  • hunting animals or fowl

  • competition or practice for recognized sporting events or performances for entertainment purposes

  • participation in local, county, or state police activity

  • participation in state or federal military activity

  • open carrying by regularly enrolled members of any organization that is authorized to purchase or receive weapons from the United States or from the State of Oklahoma, if they are at or going to or from their places of assembly or target practices

  • transporting an, unloaded gun between a person’s private residence and a place designated for repairs, sale, hunting animals, a hunting safety course, or other recognized firearms activity or event, and

  • educational or recreational activities or exhibitions.

In many other situations, and when carrying a concealed weapon, you will need to have a permit, according to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

(Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1289.6, 1290.5.)

People Who May Not Carry a Gun

Oklahoma’s laws forbid the following individuals from possessing a firearm:

  • people convicted of committing a felony, or subject to an outstanding felony warrant

  • people convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes involving assault and battery, stalking, domestic abuse, or illegal drug use or possession

  • minors adjudicated as delinquent; and minors in general if not involved in hunting, hunting safety classes, target shooting, or other authorized activities

  • people adjudicated as mentally incompetent or of unsound mind

  • people currently undergoing treatments for a mental illness, condition, or disorder as diagnosed by a licensed physician, which impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life

  • anyone with a misdemeanor criminal record that indicates habitual criminal activity, and

  • anyone who acquires a concealed carry license through fraud (including false or misleading statements on the application).

(Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1273, 1290.10, 1290.12.)

Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun Is Illegal

The following are some of the rules which govern when you may not carry a gun in Oklahoma. They do not apply to peace officers, or to private investigators with a firearms authorization acting within the scope of that investigator’s employment.

  • You may not carry a firearm in an establishment where liquor is consumed. However, if you have a concealed carry permit, you may carry a firearm into a restaurant or other establishment that serves liquor as long as alcohol sales do not constitute the primary purpose of the business. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1272.1.)

  • You may not carry firearms (even with a permit) into any public government building, public meeting, prison or jail, school, sports arena, betting or gambling establishment, or any other place specifically prohibited by law. This does not include adjacent parking lots , parks, or fairgrounds. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1277(A), 1280.1)

  • You may not carry a firearm when under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.9.)

Penalties for Gun Carry Violations

In Oklahoma, a first conviction for unlawfully carrying a gun is a misdemeanor with a fine of at least $100 (and up to $250), up to 30 days in jail, or both. Second and subsequent violations incur a fine of at least $250 (and up to $500), at least 30 days (and up to three months) in jail, or both. Additionally, if the defendant has a concealed handgun permit, the permit will be revoked for six months. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1276.)

Getting Legal Help

The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious. If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Oklahoma, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

Updated June 26, 2018

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