ARDMORE, OK -- Oklahoma lawmakers are considering changing the current gun laws. Members of the House Public Safety Committee conducted an interim study about expanding citizens' gun rights yesterday. Lawmakers along with other state leaders sat down to discuss possible ways to change current gun rights, and they explored many ideas.
Under current Oklahoma law licensed gun owners can carry a firearm as long as its concealed, but some lawmakers want to make some changes to the law. State Representative Pat Ownbey says one issue they are considering is "open-carry."
"What we're trying to do this year is examine what might be the best bill, and put it together. Whether it's an open-carry bill let's make sure all those things are in place. If it's a concealed carry bill lets make sure, since we have one now, let's make a few changes that we need to make," Representative Ownbey said.
A couple years back the legislature passed a bill that would have gun owners to carry their firearms uncovered, but it was vetoed by the governor. Now Ownbey says lawmakers are trying to consider every aspect of gun ownership in the state.
"Should there be gun retention training? Should there be holsters required? Locking or not? And I think all of those things together make this topic a very interesting topic. That I think in the end something will be hammered out by the time the next legislative session gets started," Representative Ownbey said.
Members of the House Public Safety Committee have also discussed the possibility of carrying a firearm openly, or concealed without a license.
Steven Harris, the owner of Jerry's Gun Shop says he is all for expanded gun rights like open-carry, but he does not know how he would feel with just anyone walking around with a gun.
"I would be for it, but as far as just an open carry that allows anybody to open carry without any sort of qualification, or regulation I'd be a little hesitant," Harris said.
Licensed gun owner Joe Bostic agrees. He says people should be qualified to have a gun, but he believes law abiding citizens have a right to have a gun.
"I think people would be a lot nicer to each other actually. You know because you're in danger of being shot if you want to be not too good of a character," Bostic said.
Representative Ownbey says, after an intense consideration of all the issues a well planned bill should be presented in the upcoming legislative session.
Ownbey says if they just make changes to the current law they will look at things like revamping the fee structure, what to do if there's accidental gun exposure, and informing law enforcement about a weapon.
"Whatever bill we eventually send I'll be surprised if the governor doesn't sign it," Representative Ownbey said.