Gov. Fallin signs open carry bill into law

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OKLAHOMA CITY — A controversial bill that allows Oklahoma citizens to openly carry firearms was signed into law by Gov. Fallin Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1733 permits those who are licensed to carry a firearm to either carry it openly or conceal it.

Oklahoma joins Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts as a “licensed open carry” state.

Officials say the bill also allows property owners to openly carry a firearm on their property for self-defense, even without a concealed carry permit.

Firearms would still be banned from property owned or leased by the city, state or federal government, at correctional facilities, schools, colleges, liquor stores and sports arenas.

In addition to those locations, businesses have the right to prohibit firearms from being carried on their premises.

Gov. Fallin said, “Senate Bill 1733 sends a strong message that Oklahoma values the rights of its citizens to defend themselves, their family and their property. It does so in a responsible way, by requiring those citizens who choose to ‘open carry’ to undergo both firearms training and a background check.”

To receive the proper paperwork to legally carry a firearm, residents must take a firearms safety and training course and submit to a background check by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.