Chris McKinnon, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – A new poll shows more Oklahomans support gun rights and keep guns in their homes than ever before. A new law takes effect on November 1 which broadens the protection Oklahomans have when using deadly force.
Tuesday marks the start of businesses being included under Oklahoma's ‘Make My Day' law. This is the latest expansion of protections to citizens who already arm themselves to defend their homes and personal property. Now, deadly force can be used to defend a business against intruders.
Mike Hall, founder and president of H&H Shooting Sports Outlet, supports the law and said, "It's critical that all of us, no matter who we are, that we should feel safe."
For years, the law has recognized that citizens have a natural right to defend themselves in their homes. The expanded Make My Day law now recognizes the right to self defense does not end because one is inside a business.
"Actually, we were limited, in a business, to what we were capable of being able to do," Hall said. "And that's sort of sad."
Would the new law have protected Jerome Ersland, the pharmacist convicted of murder for having shot an armed robber in the head and then getting another gun and shooting him five more times.
Some lawmakers say no.
"When people are forced in situations to have to defend themselves, they first must act in self defense," said Steve Russell, a state senator. "When you cross the line of self defense, then it's really up to a jury of your peers if you find yourself being prosecuted."
Russell says the law makes explicit what many already believe is their right to protect their place of business.
"This adds some clarifying language to the existing laws that will help attorneys and judges," he said.
For Hall, it's welcome news to know he and his employees can protect their workplace.
"Anything that puts a question in a bad guy's mind, that's a good thing, Safer stores, safer people," he said
Hall says it's important to note that getting a weapon in the first place means going through several requirements including three background checks, so there shouldn't be much question if the guns will end up in the wrong hands.