Controversial Open Carry Law Now in Effect in Oklahoma

Thursday, November 1st 2012, 7:55 pm
By: News 9

A controversial new law now in effect. Oklahoma is officially an open carry state. The new law means licensed gun owners can now legally carry their handgun in full view.

The number of people carrying openly throughout the metro was low Thursday, despite a lot of anticipation. Several businesses have put up signs prohibiting guns.

It's a step forward for 140,000 licensed Oklahoma gun owners who are now legally allowed to "pack in public."

"I feel that as tax paying Americans, we should be allowed to carry guns permitted," Terence Green says, "Not everyone should have a gun, but we should be able to carry a concealed weapon to protect ourselves."

There are limits under the new law. Guns are still prohibited in schools, government buildings, and some public events.

11/1/2012 Related Story: Gun Owners Celebrate New Open Carry Law With Breakfast

And every business in the state has the right to turn people away if they're carrying guns.

"Responsible legal gun owners are not the criminals, and we're left defenseless if the law doesn't allow you to carry," Connie Grimm said.

But seeing a gun out in the open is still a little unnerving for some. Several viewers voiced concerns Thursday on News 9's Facebook page.

"I'm worried. I think it's a huge mistake and a set-back for our state," Debbie Sinclair Barker said.

"The only thing I'm worried about is guns being around my children! They know not to ever touch a gun, but they see people carrying them around," Lindsey Welch said.

But those carrying in full view maintain there's nothing to worry about.

10/31/2012 Related Story: OKC Police Answer Questions About State's New Open Carry Law

The other 43 states where they've had an open carry option, it's really not caused any problems to speak of, and I don't think Oklahoma will be any different," Bryan Hull said.

Oklahoma City police told News 9 Thursday afternoon they haven't gotten any open carry-related calls for service today.