Oklahoma senators approve open-carry gun bill

OKLAHOMA CITY Thu May 10, 2012 7:41pm EDT

The Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin (C) rings the opening bell at New York Stock Exchange with Jeffrey Eubank, (L) NYSE Vice President for Global Affairs, and Lawrence Leibowitz, (R) NYSE COO, August 18, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin (C) rings the opening bell at New York Stock Exchange with Jeffrey Eubank, (L) NYSE Vice President for Global Affairs, and Lawrence Leibowitz, (R) NYSE COO, August 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A bill to allow Oklahomans with a concealed-carry permit to openly carry their handguns is headed to the governor, who is expected to sign the legislation that passed the state Senate on Thursday.

The bill, approved by a 33-10 vote, would allow those with a concealed-carry handgun permit to openly carry their firearms in holsters from November 1. Those without such permits could obtain a gun permit and openly carry a firearm if they meet legal criteria, pass a background check and undergo firearms training.

Republican Governor Mary Fallin, a member of the National Rifle Association, has said she would support a responsible open-carry bill. She has five days to sign or veto the legislation, which affects about 125,000 people in the state.

Oklahoma has been one of six states in the country to prohibit the open-carry of firearms, along with Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York and California (handguns only), according to the Brady Campaign, the gun control advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

Brian Malte, director of legislation for the Brady Campaign, said allowing Oklahoma residents to openly carry firearms would be threatening to fellow citizens.

"More loaded guns in public is not the answer to safer communities," he said.

Some 44 states allow some form of open-carry firearms, with only 11 requiring permits to do so, according to the Brady Campaign.

Tim Gillespie, director of OK2A, an Oklahoma City-based Second Amendment advocacy group, said allowing the open-carry of firearms would lead to a decline in the crime rate, based on statistics from other states.

"We believe it will make everyone safer," he said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (5)
fromthecenter wrote:
Are we heading back to the wild west or what? Between stand your ground and carrying guns openly in bars how long before we are having gunfights on main street. We will need a lot of marshal dillons!

May 10, 2012 11:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mikefromaz wrote:
All of these gun law removals are promoted by the NRA, as well as the gun manufacturers. I suppose here in Arizona we can say we are the leader in gun stupidity. Guns in bars, no permits required, just plunk yer money down an’ git yet shootin iron! Our legislators were pushing hard to make it legal for college kids to bring guns to school. This guns for all thing as you can imagine is totally out of control. How many times have I been on the checkout line in convenience store, snd wondering if the guy with a pistol shoved in his back pocketahead of me, is someone exercising his Constitutional rights, or some desperado about to stick the place up? Ironic to see such testosterone driven machismo in the very state Wyatt Earp spent his career trying to get guns off the streets.

May 11, 2012 2:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
texoman wrote:
This is just another Republican tool to get stupid people to vote for
them and against their own economic welfare!

May 11, 2012 9:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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