Oklahoma Updates Gun Definitions

A new Oklahoma law, signed back in April, revising some of that State’s definitions related to guns is now effective as of November 1st, 2017. This law mostly served to include “handguns” in to classifications which previously only covered “pistols”, but also had a few other noteworthy effects.

Other changes involved carrying handguns and pistols in public, as well as homemade weapons. The edits affected both concealed carry and open carry.

A weapon was formerly considered “concealed” when “the presence of which is not openly discernable” to an ordinary reasonable person’s observation. The change removes most of that language, replacing it a sole requirement that the weapon be “not openly visible” to such an ordinary reasonable person.

Open carry, a term which was added to the list of definitions to accompany “unconcealed” handguns, removed from the definition that such a weapon be carried in a belt or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible and replaced it with a blanket statement that covers any type of holster where the gun itself is visible. The open carry definition also includes carrying the weapon in a case designed for carrying firearms in addition to a scabbard and (now) a sling.

Oklahoma law generally forbids openly carrying a firearm unless the person doing so holds a concealed carry permit or, as of today, a military identification card. The changes mean that the firearm itself must now be visible, unless in a carrying case, to be considered openly carried, rather than just the holster.

The law also removed an exemption for homemade pistols and handguns from inclusion in the law. Self-made pistols now require permits to carry in Oklahoma.

If you live in or frequently visit the Sooner State, especially if you carry, make sure you are aware of these changes! And if you carry a homemade weapon, make sure to remember you’re no longer exempt from permitting requirements before the next time you head out.