How to Avoid Firearm Charges Under Oklahoma’s Permitless Carry Law

Tracy Tiernan - May 14, 2021 - Criminal Defense

In 2019, Oklahoma passed a permitless carry law. The basics of this law make it legal for anyone who is 21 years of age or over as well as those who are active or honorably discharged members of the military who are not banned from owning a firearm to carry a gun in public without needing a permit. 

It is critical to understand that anyone who chooses to carry a firearm in this way does not have the complete freedom to carry the weapon at any time or location that the carrier desires. There are still various restrictions that carriers should follow to avoid being charged with breaking the law. For one, it is a good idea to follow some basic rules if you interact with law enforcement while carrying a firearm regardless of whether or not it is loaded or concealed. 

Who Qualifies for Permitless Carry in Oklahoma?

The permitless carry law applies only to those who are at least 21 years old or those who are 18 years of age and in the military. Some of the important details to understand about this law include:

  • A person is prohibited from carrying concealed or unconcealed handguns when in schools of any type, public sports arenas, private sports arenas, government buildings,  gambling facilities, and private businesses
  • A person must pass a background check to purchase a firearm before they can carry a gun under the permitless law
  • A person must disclose details about all of the firearms in their possession when requested by law enforcement 
  • A convicted felon cannot purchase a firearm nor own one
  • Gun owners can still obtain an Oklahoma license with reciprocity in multiple states. Before carrying a firearm into another state, it is a good idea to review the other state’s firearm laws and to make sure you are in conformance with them. 

How to Interact With Law Enforcement While Carrying

You are not required under Oklahoma law to notify anyone if you are carrying a firearm unless law enforcement asks. While the law grants substantial freedom to firearms, it is still often the best idea to be upfront with law enforcement that you are carrying a firearm or other weapon. Anything that you can do to figuratively disarm the situation means that the law enforcement encounter is likely to go more smoothly.

It is almost always a better idea to include your firearm in a position in your vehicle where you cannot locate it while driving. This way, you will even further deescalate the situation. Some motorists who are pulled over for things like speeding end up discovering that they do not even need to reveal that they are carrying a firearm.

Contact an Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have questions about carrying a firearm in Oklahoma or have been charged with violating  a gun law, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Contact Attorney Tracy Tiernan today to schedule a free case evaluation.