Oklahoma's open carry law takes effect Nov. 1

TULSA - As Oklahoma moves closer to becoming the 44th state to allow guns to be carried in open view, interest in firearms continues to grow.

"It just seems like this was one of the busiest summers we've had," said Don Roberts, a certified handgun instructor.

Roberts said since Senate Bill 1733 was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin in May, more people have enrolled in concealed carry classes.

Roberts said along with the new open carry law, recent high-profile crimes and the upcoming election have factored into the increased interest.

Still, most of the media's focus has been on the open carry law and how it impacts Oklahomans.

Under the law, Oklahomans with a concealed carry license will not be required to hide their guns anymore.

They will be able to carry openly, provided the gun is in a correct-fitting holster.

While many gun instructors support the law on principle, and because it removes fines for accidentally exposing a concealed firearm, some do not think carrying in open views is a good idea.

"It's tactically inferior," said Roberts. "In most cases, you don't want to show your hand. Better for the bad guys to wonder who's carrying and who's not carrying."

Matt Burton, a gun instructor at Liberty Defense Solutions in Bixby, shares Robert's viewpoint.

"I think it gives up a tactical advantage in letting people know you do have a firearm," said Burton.

Burton and Roberts held a concealed carry class on Sunday.

2NEWS asked Liberty Defense students if they would carry openly when the new law takes effect. All of them said they would not.

Each of the students said they would conceal their weapons.

For those who choose to carry openly, there are still restrictions.

Guns are not allowed on government property, including schools and colleges.

In addition, business and homeowners can still ban guns from their properties.

Supporters of the law don't think it will cause a lot of problems.

"For the most part, while you're in town conducting business, I think most people are going to keep their guns concealed," said Burton.

Oklahoma's open carry law takes effect on November 1.

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