Oklahomans are starting to head to class to learn about "packing heat" on the outside. The new "open carry" law goes into effect in less than two weeks. That means people will be able to carry a firearm in full view.
A lot of people may have concerns or questions about the new open carry law. The Norman Police Department will take up the issue at a public forum on Monday, October 29.
That's because on November 1, anytime we're out shopping, going into businesses or out to eat, Oklahomans will be carrying in full view. Oklahoma will soon become the 44th state to allow people to carry a gun openly.
The training and background check required to get a concealed permit right now will remain the same, but November 1, your permit will allow you to carry your gun under your clothes or out in the open.
Norman police have developed a training plan for officers and dispatchers on how to respond to complaints related to the new law.
A group called the Oklahoma Open Carry Association will also be holding classes in the metro over the next few weeks to teach people how the law works. Creator Bryan Hull says open carry could deter crime.
"Someone who wants to start a criminal attack will be less likely to do so when he sees someone is openly carrying, so I believe there will be fewer incidents of using a defensive firearm," Hull said.
There are limits under the new law.
Guns are still prohibited in government buildings, schools and public events like city council and school board meetings. Police say guns will also be prohibited in businesses where the primary source of income is derived from alcohol sales. It'll be up to other business owners to decide whether to allow people to carry openly.
If you plan to carry openly, your gun must remain in a holster that is partially visible. You'll also need to carry a valid Oklahoma ID and a handgun license at all times. The Oklahoma Open Carry Association says 130,000 Oklahomans currently have a permit to carry concealed.
The Norman Police Department community forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. October 29 in the Municipal Building Council Chambers.