Next week the governor could decide whether to pass or veto a bill that would legalize the permitless, so called constitutional carry of handguns.
The bill, Senate Bill 1212, has already passed in the state House of Representatives and the Senate, and now sits on the governor’s desk waiting for her to pass or veto it.
If she passes it, constitutional carry will go into effect November first.
Constitutional carry simply extends the rights and restrictions that current license holders have to all Oklahomans over 21-years-old and without a felony conviction.
"The issue is whether people that carry guns in public have safety training and necessary background checks to make sure that dangerous people aren’t the ones carrying guns in public." Audrey Burro of the group "Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America" says constitutional carry would do away with the OSBI background check that is more in-depth than the national check that is done when a person buys a handgun from a dealer. "This not only jeopardizes public safety but it would allow people with a dangerous history carrying a loaded handgun in places that Oklahoma families frequent every day." Burro said.
Henry Israel of Henry's Guns in Yukon is a retired police officer. He says, while he is a backer of the second amendment, he believes anyone who carries a gun should regularly train with it.
"Knowledge is king. If you're going to carry a pistol you'd better have knowledge of the pistol, you'd better have knowledge of how to use it. How to defend yourself so that you can use it if you need to." said Israel.
If the bill passes, Israel suspects a lot more people will start carrying, but those numbers will dwindle when people see that carrying a gun can be uncomfortable, especially in the summer. For those who do carry, he urges them to train with the gun, whether the state requires it or not.
"They should be at the range a minimum of three times a month.” Israel said, “And if they're not willing to do that they probably should not be carrying a pistol."