Recent Changes to the Oklahoma Self Defense Act: Effective November 1, 2017

State of Oklahoma Self Defense Act: 2016 changes to the conceal carry laws, prohibited places, and government buildings, including the Oklahoma and Tulsa County State Fair:

1. A new law clarifies the statute used by cities to ban the carrying of weapons on fairgrounds property during state fairs. 21 O.S. section 1277, unlawful carry certain places.

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.

The new law dramatically reforms much of the prohibited places section of the Self Defense Act.

As of November 1st, 2016, 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, 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.

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.

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.

Below is a brief summary of the nine, 2017 gun laws, that were either amended or added by the 2017 Legislature and signed into law, Effective, November 1, 2017.

1. SB35, Amending 21 O.S. section 1290.8, David/McDugle: Active military may carry a firearm on an active military ID, plus an (OK photo i.d) Oklahoma drivers license or State photo I.D., military personnel must be 21 years or older, active member of the Reserve, National Guard, active Guard Reserve or active military technician.

2. SB36, Definition of a pistol, Bergstrom/Cleveland: Amends 21 O.S. section 1289.3, allows singe or multiple projectiles from a single round of ammunition and amends gas and rocket propulsion to: “a combustible propellant charge.”

3. SB40, Amends 21 O.S. section 1289.16, Felony Pointing, and section 1289.25, Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground, Bergstrom/Cleveland:, Title, Felony Pointing, Section 1289.16, Amended to: “Except for an act of self-defense”,.. it shall be unlawful to point. Legislature stressed self defense.. Section 1289.25, Legislature modified “force” to “defensive force” at paragraph F and G; modified paragraph I, changing pistol to weapon; and, added paragraph J: “A person pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony shall not be deemed guilty of committing a criminal act..” Paragraph K was amended to define “Defensive Force”, includes, but shall not be limited to, pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony.

4. SB288, Amended 21 O.S. section 1290.22, Business Owners Rights, Dossett/ Coody: Driver Carry. At paragraph F, immunity extended to business entity’s vehicle when a company driver is not prohibited by company from carrying a firearm.

5. SB397, Amending 21 O.S. section 1902, Newhouse/ Babinec: SB 397 amends the Bus Legislation definitions, at section 1902, SB 397 Repeals paragraph D, of 21 O.S. section 1903, not found in the Self Defense Act, but very important, 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for carrying a firearm on a bus is repealed to allow CCL licensee to carry a firearm on a bus.

6. HB1104: Amends 21 O.S. section 1277, Elected County Officials under the authority of the SDA may Carry a firearm in the courthouse where they are elected.

7. HB1550, Faught/Fields: Amended 21 O.S. section 1277, Clarified motorcycle carry and parking, to include a motorcycle as a motor vehicle allowed to have a locked compartment for storage of a firearm in designated parking places, under the specific authority of the SDA.

8. HB2324, Amending 29 O.S. section 4-107.2, Coody /Scott: State authorization to shoot depradating animals, coyotes, feral hogs and other depradating species from aircraft and helicopters. Special permits from the Oklahoma Wildlife Commisssion required.

9. HB1428, A New Law, creating the Handgun Carry Military Age Exemption Act, Amending 21 O.S. Section 1290.9, modifying eligibility requirements, Hilbert/Smalley: 18 year old residents of the State of Oklahoma, who are: a veterans or members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Reserves or National Guard, or the person was discharged under honorable conditions from the United States Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard, may complete a firearms safety and training course, demonstrate competence and qualifications with the type of pistol to be carried. The Applicant will submit proof of training, qualification and submit the required fee and complete the application process.