Oklahoma gun permits highest since 2009 with open carry now in effect

TULSA - "Open Carry" is now the law of the land in Oklahoma.

The state's new law went into effect Thursday, making Oklahoma the 44th state to allow registered guns to be carried in open view.

Senate Bill 1733 was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin in May.

Under the new law, those who wish to carry openly must have a license to carry a gun and keep it in a correct-fitting holster.

The new law comes with some restrictions.

Guns are still prohibited in government buildings, schools, colleges and sporting events. 

Business and property owners also have the option of banning guns from their premises.

Oklahomans apply and receive permits through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. OSBI has a 5-year permit for $100 and a 10-year permit for $200.

OSBI says more people are applying since open carry was enacted.

Here's the breakdown of how many Oklahomans received a permit:

  • 2008- 18,510
  • 2009- 35,962 (President Obama took office)
  • 2010- 27,013
  • 2011- 24,018
  • So far in 2012- 28,000

The permit money goes to OSBI's general revolving fund. Officials say it pays for:

  • 17 workers in its Self Defense Unit
  • 9 employees processing applications
  • It keeps the agency from furloughing workers
  • Since there's an influx of applications, it has filled positions frozen due to a 20 percent cut in state funding
  • Replaced 15-year-old cars, bullet proof vests and surveillance equipment
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