Oklahoma’s open carry gun law goes into effect

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A controversial new law takes effect this week in Oklahoma.

The state’s open carry law becomes a reality on Thursday.

Once-concealed weapons will soon be allowed to be carried out in the open here in Oklahoma.

The biggest thing to remember, open carry comes with limits.

For example, many state and federal buildings already have signs banning weapons at the door and every business in the state has the same right to turn people away if they’re carrying guns.

Police suspect the change could still lead to lots of emergency calls to 911.

“We respect the citizen’s right to carry. That’s the law but it does pose a hurdle to overcome,” Oklahoma FOP President John George said.

Under the new law, guns will still be banned at all state and federal buildings, as well as schools, courtrooms, sporting events, jails and so on.

“You know 15 states have open carry and they haven’t devolved into the wild west,” State Senator Elect Kyle Loveless.

Loveless points out anyone wishing to carry a gun in public will still need a valid permit.

“The process is still the same. You still have to go through training and go through education,” Loveless said.

“I know a lot of business owners are concerned about this law,” State Rep. Mike Shelton said.

Shelton, one of only a handful of lawmakers at the state house who voted against the law, supports the state’s current conceal carry laws and calls the expansion to open carry unnecessary.

“We already have law people can carry guns. I think we went too far allowing open carry,” Shelton said.

“I don’t think you’ll see more open carry as one might think,” local gun store owner Miles Hall said.

Hall said he believes the negative impacts of open carry will be minimal.

“Conceal carry holders are just out to protect themselves, not to make a statement. I think they’ll blend in like everything else,” Hall said.

It should be pointed out, if business owners don’t want weapons on their property they are not required to post signs.

All they have to do is tell people to get rid of their weapon and that will have to be followed.

Gov. Mary Fallin also issued a statement supporting the change to open carry.

She also reminds citizens who plan to open carry to read and follow the law at all times.

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