Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Tuesday that will allow Oklahoma citizens to openly carry firearms.
Senate Bill 1733 permits those who are licensed to carry a firearm under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act to openly carry or conceal it. The measure also allows property owners to openly carry a firearm on their property without a permit for the purpose of self defense.
To receive a license under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, applicants must take a firearms safety and training course and submit to a background check by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Those convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors may not receive a handgun license.
Fallin's signature makes Oklahoma the 25th state with an open carry law of some kind. Other states with similar laws include Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts.
"As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and a gun owner myself, I'm happy to sign this bill into law and grant law-abiding citizens the ability to openly carry firearms," said Fallin. "Senate Bill 1733 sends a strong message that Oklahoma values the rights of its citizens to defend themselves, their family and their property. It does so in a responsible way, by requiring those citizens who choose to ‘open carry' to undergo both firearms training and a background check."
Businesses may continue to prohibit firearms to be carried on their premises.
The open carry legislation prohibits carrying firearms on properties owned or leased by the city, state or federal government, at corrections facilities, in schools or college campuses, liquor stores and at sports arenas during sporting events.
SB 1733 goes into effect Nov. 1, 2012.