OKC seeks to overturn open carry on city buses

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Leaders in Oklahoma City are trying to close a loophole in a controversial new law.

Last week Oklahoma’s new open carry law went into effect, allowing once-hidden weapons to be carried in the open.

That law has now made it legal to carry guns on city buses.

For three decades, it had been illegal to carry concealed weapons onto city buses but the state’s new open carry law effectively canceled that out.

That’s a legal loophole some with the city hope to close.

Most metro transit passengers agree with the city’s ban on concealed weapons on city buses.

“I mean, everybody wants to be safe,” passenger Robert Ratliff said. “You don’t want kids riding next to somebody with guns, do you?”

“If somebody gets on the buses with open carry, we’re not going to challenge them,” Metro Transit’s Rick Cain said.

Cain said, under the new open carry law, guns are still banned at most city and state buildings but the new law doesn’t extend the same prohibition to city buses.

“Clearly the intent was, if you don’t allow conceal carry on buses, you don’t allow open carry on buses,” Cain said. “Unfortunately, the law is not clear on that point.”

“How it affects other proceeding laws has to be dealt with,” State Sen. Elect Kyle Loveless said.

Loveless supports open carry but said state house leaders will examine any new exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

“In this instance, because we have city property and state law, we’re gonna have to look at it very carefully to make sure people’s rights aren’t taken away,” Loveless said.

Those in charge of Metro Transit said closing the open carry loophole will make all their riders and drivers feel safer.

“It’s not really been an issue but we feel it needs to be clarified for the benefit of all concerned,” Cain said.

The city council promised to lobby lawmakers to ban open carry on city buses.

The next legislative session begins in February.

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