OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Police are standing by the decision to arrest a self-proclaimed “Second Amendment auditor” after a a local attorney said that he wasn’t breaking any gun law thanks to the new permitless carry law.
Timothy Harper was arrested last week after he broadcast video of himself bringing two guns into a metro restaurant.
One was a handgun he had a permit for. The other was identified by police as an AR-style rifle.
“If he would have just had the pistol alone, that’s fine, but you cannot take a rifle or a shotgun into an establishment like that where they’re selling low-point beer or alcohol,” said MSgt. Gary Knight.
That’s a law Knight said didn’t change once permitless carry went into effect November 1.
But Oklahoma City attorney Robert Robles said by his reading of the new law, Harper is innocent.
“He is allowed to carry a pistol under the old law, under the new law he is allowed to carry a rifle or a shotgun, loaded or unloaded,” Robles said.
It’s an argument Harper and his attorneys plan to take to court.
There is one thing police and Robles do seem to agree on. Just because business has a sign that prohibits weapons, you’re not necessarily breaking the law by entering until you’re asked to leave and refuse. That is a law Knight said also has not changed.
“If you come in there and you violate the rules of that business, not necessarily the law, but that business, and they ask you to leave, you must leave, otherwise you are trespassing,” Knight said.
Attorney General Mike Hunter said the following in a statement: “Our office was successful in defending the court challenge that would have barred the constitutional carry law from taking effect on Nov. 1. As part of defending the law, we must also defend the portion that gives business owners the right to prohibit the carrying of firearms into their place of business as outlined in pages 22 and 23 of House Bill 2597.”
For now, Knight said Oklahoma City police officers will continue to enforce the law the way he insists it’s written. He emphasized that permits are still required for handguns brought into businesses that serve alcohol, and that guns are not allowed inside bars or businesses that mostly sell alcohol.