How Oklahomans feel about new "Licensed Open Carry" gun law

By: Kristen Shanahan Email
By: Kristen Shanahan Email

BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- Come November, Oklahomans with a permit will be able to carry their guns out in the open in most places. Governor Mary Fallin signed the open carry measure into law Tuesday.

The open carry law not only allows people to have their guns out in plain sight, but it also allows property owners without a permit to carry openly on their lawn for self defense. We talked to several people who all had strong and very different opinions about open carry.

Raymond Coats has his concealed weapon's license and says he is excited about the new open carry law.

"I know a lot of people that will conceal them behind their back in their coats. I never did do that, but now that you can wear them openly I probably will," Coats said.

Coats says even though he is in favor of the law he does have some concerns.

"It's going to cause kind of a problem with the police officers wondering 'does that person have a concealed weapons license or not'" asked Coats.

Bryan County Sheriff Bill Sturch says that could be a big issue. Under the open carry law businesses may continue to prohibit firearms to be carried on their premises and the law maintains the existing ban on guns in public buildings and schools. Sturch says he is concerned people may forget they are openly carrying their gun and walk into a school. He says that will tie up officers responding to a lot more calls and writing a lot more tickets.

"What's going to happen is they're going to into those places and their going to get reported or your going to create a nightmare with people by carrying a gun in those places," Sturch said.

Dozens of people agree and say seeing guns out in the open would make them feel extremely uncomfortable.

"I don't think I'd feel comfortable to it. It might make me feel scared and nervous you know especially kids. I mean I don't mind that people carry it just don't show it that's all," Chauwn Chau said.

However, others say the licensed open carry law does not seem to be a problem in states like Iowa, Indiana and Tennessee, and having a gun visible could be very beneficial.

"You're not going to have a whole lot of people attack somebody that they see carrying a gun," Donavon Wesner said.

Sturch says it could also impact open carriers who cross the state line.

"What is this law going to do about going to Texas? Because Texas doesn't have an open hand gun law like Oklahoma does now," Sturch said.

To carry a gun in public people still have to get a license, take a firearms safety course and submit to a background check by the OSBI.

The law goes into effect in November.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by KELLY Location: ARDMORE on Jun 3, 2012 at 03:33 PM
    JAMES YOUNG CARRIES HIS GUN WITHOUT A PERMIT AND POINTS IT AT PEOPLE WHILE HES DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD, TOO BAD HE DOESNT GET IN TROUBLE. AND HE ALSO SHOOTS HIS OWN TRUCK AND FRAMES RUSSEL MURRAY FOR IT.
    • reply
      by KYLLE on Jun 4, 2012 at 07:51 AM in reply to KELLY
      RANT MUCH?
      • reply
        by kelly on Jun 4, 2012 at 03:01 PM in reply to KYLLE
        Isnt that what this is for?? Why do you have to be rude??
  • by smee Location: southern ok on May 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM
    I am for open carry. I will continue to conceal carry without the fear of accidentally exposing my gun by bending over. And if I do decide to open carry I will not have a problem showing CCL to any LEO that askes to see it because I would like them to ask to see everyones license to prevent someone from carrying gun without license.
  • by Anonymous on May 22, 2012 at 06:19 AM
    Many bad things are born out of fear. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Mind your own business, take care of your own business and there should be nothing to fear. No force, inside or outside, will ever be successful against us as long as we are sober and well armed. It has nothing to do with fear. It's all about commitment to principles that have been tested and proven worthy. Leadership that weakens the constitution is a determent to our survival. God bless America!
  • by Anonymous on May 21, 2012 at 06:22 AM
    No matter how far mankind drifts there is always the opportunity to get back on course. Read the 2nd amendment. What's the question? Politics kills intent.
  • by Steve Location: Jenks, OK on May 20, 2012 at 08:56 PM
    I love all the anti-gun drivel. Remember when the CC law was passed and these same people were predicting all the shootings that were going to take place? Well, that never happened! Similarly, open carry will drop out of the news cycle soon and we'll never hear any more about it.
  • by RTi on May 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM
    "I don't think I'd feel comfortable to it. It might make me feel scared and nervous you know especially kids. I mean I don't mind that people carry it just don't show it that's all," Chauwn Chau said. Mr. Chau, If you are nervous or scared, chances are you are uncomfortable... LOL!!!
  • by Anonymous on May 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM
    If the gun is carried openly, the permit should be visible, also.........
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 18, 2012 at 04:17 PM in reply to
      So I guess you wear your driver's license around your neck when you're driving so that everyone can see that you're legal?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 06:26 AM in reply to
        Police and citizens don't freak out at the sight of a vehicle...........
  • by Anonymous on May 17, 2012 at 06:24 AM
    One advantage to open carry, is if you don't have to conceal it, you will be able to carry a bigger gun.
    • reply
      by Leroy on May 17, 2012 at 06:40 AM in reply to
      Good point!
  • by Melissa Location: Moore on May 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM
    I'm just waiting to hear a few stories of cops killing someone because they seen he\she had a gun. That poor officer will be knee deep in trouble when he was only reacting. There is no way to tell who has a licens and who doesn't. If the cop ask's to see it and the person doesn't have one I see a few cop killing crimes in the future as well.
    • reply
      by Michael on May 17, 2012 at 07:33 AM in reply to Melissa
      Why would a cop kill someone because they have a gun that they very well could be legally carrying? Cops need to be more worried about people with hidden guns than with people open carrying. Why would a criminal want to show everyone that they have a gun before they commit a crime? Do some of you people actually think before you start talking?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 17, 2012 at 09:04 AM in reply to Michael
        Evidently not!
      • reply
        by Mickey on May 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM in reply to Michael
        Actually, from what I have observed, when a group of cops arrive at a scene, they determine who appears to be a threat, they throw them onto the ground, subdue them, and ask questions later. I believe they refer to it as "kissing pavement". Generally, no cop views someone with a firearm as friendly, and in general are not supportive of expanding gun carrying rights among the citizenry. And actually, Michael, criminals often show they are carrying as a means of intimidation. Sure, one might keep a gun hidden prior to committing a hold-up, but criminals use guns for a lot more than holding up convenience stores.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM in reply to Mickey
          You are wrong Mickey! I have many, many friends and family in law enforcement and everyone of them are in favor of allowing honest citizens to carry (maybe not openly, but some form of carry). It makes their jobs easier.
        • reply
          by Mickey on May 17, 2012 at 09:25 PM in reply to Mickey
          Anonymous, 5-17 at 2:05. Open carry IS an expansion of gun carrying rights....it's an expansion of conceal to carry, and as you suggest, even your many, many friends and relatives apparently don't approve of that expansion. Furthermore, your many, many friends and relatives do not speak for the law enforcement associations in this country which have publicly opposed even conceal to carry legislation.
        • reply
          by Michael on May 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM in reply to Mickey
          So you're trying to tell us that criminals often walk around with visible holstered firearms as a means of intimidation? You wanna know how I know that you don't know what you're talking about?
        • reply
          by Actually Mickey on May 19, 2012 at 09:49 AM in reply to Mickey
          "criminals often show they are carrying as a means of intimidation" - If you're inferring that it's common for criminals to openly carry their firearms, which is what this discussion has turned into, then you're 100% incorrect. There have been many studies on this including an FBI study in 2006 titled "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers" that has an entire section on the subject of how criminals most commonly carry weapons. It's obvious that you don't know the answer to that so I'll let you in on the secret, criminals overwhelmingly carry their firearms concealed and unholstered.
        • reply
          by Mickey on Jun 4, 2012 at 03:56 PM in reply to Mickey
          To Michael and Actually: Allow me to explain. I did not mean to suggest that criminals carry openly. What I said was that criminals often show they are carrying as a means of intimidation. You know, pull it out from under their shirt to show what they got, or as is quite common these days, lift it up into to view while passing by in their car. Clearly such displays are intended to intimidate, and many folks living in urban centers (especially), have seen such displays on any number of occasions. BTW, Is it really necessary to explain this? How did that which I wrote morph into the suggestion that criminals tend to carry their weapons openly holstered? Seriously. Is it a comprehension problem or just an intentional spin job?
    • reply
      by think about it first on May 21, 2012 at 09:00 PM in reply to Melissa
      game wardens walk into camps on a daily basis knowing everyone in camp has a gun there not concealed by know means. The concealed gun law if you slip up and a grip is visible your breaking the law. the new law gives you options.
  • by ROBERT Location: Ardmore ,Ok on May 16, 2012 at 03:23 PM
    the same amount of time you spent posting your comment anonymously and gripe. you could have called emailed or wrote your elected officials and expressed your views and concerns O yeah you can even vote men and womenhave fought for over 200 yrs for us all to have this right 5000 servicemen and women have died in Iraq alone another 33,000 wounded
    • reply
      by Willie on May 16, 2012 at 05:10 PM in reply to ROBERT
      Those who died in Iraq didn't die for my right to vote. Saddam wasn't interfering with that right in any way, shape or form. Nor was he a threat to the U.S.A. in any other way. They died because the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld gang decided we needed to spend billions of borrowed dollars and waste thousands of American lives for their own agenda.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 17, 2012 at 07:19 AM in reply to Willie
        Yep, and then Obama continued the legacy....and moved even more troops into Afghanistan where we CERTAINLY didn't have any business being.........still all Bush'd fault though, isn't it? You liberals so funny!
        • reply
          by Willie on May 17, 2012 at 02:33 PM in reply to
          Nice job of avoiding the totally un-necessary war in Iraq waged by your hero, Bush. And we are in Afghanistan to fight those responsible for 9/11. And guess what? Obama did the job that Bush couldn't do in the 7 years he was in office after the attacks on our country. Now he is drawing down troops and will soon have all combat troops out of harms way in this war that has been going on longer than any other war in U.S. history. Too bad you weren't smart enough to realize those facts.
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