Lawmakers Debate Open-Carry Law In Oklahoma - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Lawmakers Debate Open-Carry Law In Oklahoma

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The bill's authors maintain open carry states don't have a higher crime rate than others. The bill's authors maintain open carry states don't have a higher crime rate than others.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Lawmakers are debating whether Oklahomans can carry handguns in the open. But some law enforcement officials are concerned about legislation that would have guns in full view. Others say the public may not see a big difference.

The Oklahoma House approved the measure and Senator Steve Russell defends the pending legislation, despite local law enforcement and citizens expressing concern.

"The same usual suspects that come out of the woodwork and predict there is going to be blood in the streets and that there is going to be problems with this and that is just not the case," Senator Russell said.

Carrying firearms on hip or holster sparks fear in some.

"In the hands of someone who is not responsible anything can happen, like with the situation that occurred in Florida with little Trayvon and with so many citizens who feel they have all the answers, it would be a perilous situation," said Patricia Kemp of Oklahoma City.

The bill's authors maintain open carry states don't have a higher crime rate than others.

"I think people should be able to protect themselves at all times but there is no need to go back to the wild, wild west. This is 2012, you know, if you want a weapon at least get a license to be concealed," said Lawrence Taft of Oklahoma City.

Senator Russell disagrees.

"That would convey to people that you have to have a license to defend yourself which I certainly disagree with," he said.

Russell points out the proposal is one step closer to the federal law on the books.

Now the bill head to the Oklahoma state Senate. we are told if it makes it to Governor Mary Fallin's desk she'll approve the measure.

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